Freemuse calls for thorough investigation into the death of Ethiopian singer and activist

3 July 2020
Hachalu singing
Image: Singer Hachalu Hundessa / Screenshot from the “Maalan Jira!” music video


29 June: Ethiopian singer, songwriter and Oromo ethnic group activist Hachalu Hundessa was shot in Addis Ababa. Deutsche Welle reported that the artist later died of wounds in hospital.

Motivation behind the shooting is still unknown, but the investigation is ongoing. Deutsche Welle reports that the US Embassy in Addis Ababa said that Hundessa’s followers “assume a political motive” behind the crime.

According to CNN, the Addis Ababa police commissioner claims that suspects in the crime have already been arrested.

“The murder of Hachalu Hundessa is an enormous loss to the music world and for the Oromo community. We call for an independent and impartial investigation into the artist’s death and for swift action to protect the lives of Ethiopian artists and activists, especially those in the Oromo community,” said Freemuse Executive Director, Dr Srirak Plipat.


Hundessa was a renowned artist and activist of the Oromo ethnic group, and his sudden death induced protests across Ethiopia.

BBC reports that at least 81 people were killed, and many dozens injured during the demonstration in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.


The Ethiopian government has condemned the killing of the artists. Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed Ali has published condolences and expressed his sorrow concerning the loss of the artist. Prime Minister also called for peace and assured that the investigation into the death of Hundessa is ongoing.

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