Protests over Ethiopia pop singer – By Elizabeth Blunt, BBC, Addis Ababa

April 23rd, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Ethiopia’s most popular pop singer, Teddy Afro, has pleaded not guilty to causing the death of a young man in a hit and run incident 18 months ago.

Thousands of young people mounted an impromptu protest after the High Court hearing, running through the streets, shouting, “Teddy is innocent”.

Unauthorised demonstrations are almost unheard of in Ethiopia and there was a heavy paramilitary police presence. (more…)

Ethiopia’s most popular pop singer, Teddy Afro, has pleaded not guilty to causing the death of a young man in a hit and run incident 18 months ago.

Thousands of young people mounted an impromptu protest after the High Court hearing, running through the streets, shouting, “Teddy is innocent”.

Unauthorised demonstrations are almost unheard of in Ethiopia and there was a heavy paramilitary police presence.

At a previous hearing, the noise of his fans almost drowned out proceedings.

This time the case was moved to a building at the back of the court area, well away from the crowd.

The singer appeared under close police guard, dressed in a pink t-shirt and looking subdued.

He spoke only to plead not guilty to negligent driving, driving without a licence, and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

The incident in question took place in November 2006 and since then the singer, whose real name is Tewodros Kassahun, has been free on bail.

It is not clear why he was rearrested last week and has now been charged.

He was remanded in custody until next Tuesday.

As the news spread in the street that Teddy was going back to jail, the crowd erupted and a large group of youths started jogging past waving and shouting that the singer was not guilty.

The police chased them with batons until they finally dispersed into the surrounding streets.

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This kind of demonstration has not been seen in Addis Ababa since the period after the elections in 2005 when Teddy Afro’s songs were playing everywhere and his music was the anthem of the anti-government protesters.

  1. Fiker
    | #1

    Teddy is innocent.Woyanne is just blaming people without reason. Guy lets say STOP b/c We don’t who is next.
    Woyanne is Leba
    God Bless Ethiopia

  2. Fiker
    | #2

    Teddy is innocent.Woyanne is just blaming people without reason. Guys lets say STOP b/c We don’t know who is next.
    Woyanne is Leba
    God Bless Ethiopia

  3. hjh
    | #3

    Fiker are you sure? What have you to proof

  4. Alex
    | #4

    What is surprising is why woyanne is coming all months passed a way. What was they are doing ? If the life of the young, is really that worried them, why don’t they do you in time so before all the memory feded. Teddy all the time in Addis. The other thing is why is suppose to be judge by Woynnaen cadres( whose orgin is from Tigray). Is it really fare ? AS to me Teddy is innoncent they know it themselves .The problem is he have to show his loyality for the kindom of Tigray, may be that is gambling with a blod minded people.

  5. satenaw
    | #5

    If Teddy has
    comitted the crime , he has to be charged like any other Ethiopian. But I personally believe that the crime is just a pretext to throw the guy to jail as a revenge for JAH YASTESERIYAL.
    Unless we wanna deny the truth , this is the fact.

    VICTORY TO ETHIOPIANS

  6. SAINT
    | #6

    TEDYY IS NOT JUST SIGER. HE IS ONE OF THE ARITS WHO HELP US TO EXPRESS OUR FURSTRATION ON GOVERMENT AND POLITICS

  7. Komerra
    | #7

    Teddy Afro should have call the police or the ambulance, instead of leaving the boy on the street to bleed to death. Indeed, That is cruel act.

  8. Amare alemu
    | #8

    If you are Amara, please make sure to support Teddy Afro regardless whether he did`t or not.

  9. loveseadi
    | #9

    TADDY IS NOY CRIMINAL JUST LET HIM GO PLS HAVE A FEAR OF YOUR GOD .TADDY YE AYZONE YOU GONE BE OKAY THE TRUTH NEVER LET YOU DOWN OKAY

  10. satenaw
    | #10

    Amare ,
    What has this to do with being Amhara ? After all Teddy is not Amhara(he is Gurage by hid dad). Don’t dessiminate such a silly opinion emanating from a narrow mind like yours. I am not Amhara but I don’t believe Teddy has comitted the crime. If it is about being Amhara let him go to hell.
    You are a hate monger and chauvanist Amhara Gang of Hailu Shawel. lol

    You are a hate monger .

  11. AMINA
    | #11

    TEDDY YELKEKELNE EBAKACHU ATFERUM ENDE TEDDYEN STASERU TEDDY MALETE EKO ALGBACHUME ENJI ATSRUTEM NEBER BETAM TANDALCHU BEKA TENDEJALHU
    TEDDY TE FASIKA BEAL ENKUAN ADERSKE ESHI YENE KONJO AYEZOK ESHI TADDY.

  12. koratu
    | #12

    Dear “Amare alemu”
    I read your retarded TPLFite comment. What does it take for Woyane cadres to understand that we Ethiopians DON’T belive in ethinics politics we are one people united against Woyane Thugs.
    Teddy Afro is a simple of youth Strength & Unity that your master can’t stand

    Dear Amare alemau;I can assure you are NOT Amara you are a narrow minded TPLF cadres who is sperading his desease

    Shameless Cadre

  13. Chanyalew Mekuria
    | #13

    It is shame that we Ethiopians defending irresponsible drunkard driver(Teddy Afro), instead of innocent poor young boy who got killed.

  14. Asfefash
    | #14

    Let us learn from Tedy stupidity.
    Drink responsible, do`t drink excessively and kill young child as Tedy Afro did.

  15. CURU ETHIOPIA
    | #15

    We all Ethiopians stande afterTeddy Afro to show our unity /it is notneeded moreto stop lelitna kani jibi.GOD BLESS ETHIOPIANS.

  16. Mohammed
    | #16

    Woyane doen’t have evidence for teddy doing the hit and run. Why don’t they reviled the evidence? Woyane hate taddy, ‘cos he is voice for the voiceless. He is creative and young talent. Ebrite wodeketene tekedemaleche.

  17. Gulelat Zekaria
    | #17

    If you are drunk and kill somebody you are mere resposible for the crime.

    There is no preferential treatement for celebrity or die hard kinjit supporter(Teddy), The Law is the Law, and the law has its last say regardless, that is The end of the story.

  18. meseret
    | #18

    Eski behigu meseret eyalachu lemitilefadedu weyanewech enzihin tiyakewech lakirblachuh? Can anyone of you TPLFs replay please!!!!
    1. why the law permit Teddy to stay more than a year without his case being thoroughly investigated? Is it legal? Why at this time?
    2. do you think that weyane’s action made on street boys/girls for the millennium was legal? We remember that thousand of them were thrown out of Addis Ababa to die through hunger. That was much serious killing than what you talk of Teddy’s if he has done it. (we know for sure that Teddy is not a cruel person who runs after putting someone to death. NEVER NEVER. I am sure all are fabrications)
    3. do the law allow weyanes to kill innocent woman (for simply expressing the innocence of her husband), kids (who just play football in their surrounding)?

    Ere lemehonu min ayinet gudoch nachuh enante weyanewech? Afachuhin moltachuh sile hig sitaweru sisema silenanite ene yizegeninegnal. But remember, the day is not too far. Beseferachubet kuna yiseferlachuhal.

  19. Beratu Merga
    | #19

    Ethiopia gov should make a new different law just for Amaras and for irresponsible drunkard.

    HA!!HA!!!HA!!!!HA!!!!!!

  20. Zeleke Mulatu
    | #20

    Drunkard Teddy setting a bad precedent to our young childrens by drinking irresponsible, and by killing innocent by stander while intoxicated. Please,

    – DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE -

  21. Destachew
    | #21

    Mr saint,
    You missing the big point, we all Ethiopians like all our singers, remember they are our brothers and sisters too, regardless of their social status or social prospectives. But the problem with this Teddy case is different,whether to abide by the legal and moral code we all governed by or should we allow exception loophole to some ? It may sound absurd to you,but fact is aleast in principle we all are equal under the law without speciall privilage attached. Thus Teddy`s case also should go through due process of the law regardless of his fame, just like everybody else. Remember, there are the victimes famile`s too who is awaiting for the judgement of unbiast juriprudence, which such fair trial in long term mold us togather as law abiding and law respecting citizens, otherwise to apply preferetial exception and treatment to one over the other based on status prejudice may cause greater social pain than the one we take by enforcing the law, beside the stength and the standing of the law it self is based on the social contract and justice functionality it self, which gives confidence among its user masses. Thus let us not be infatuated and blinded by the refelection of our own unrestrained imblanced desire, let us not forget to see and envision the greater sociojuriprudential process in it. In every progressive society there is pain, but pain that is considered within the process to heal the social wound and to bring better tomorrow.

  22. meseret
    | #22

    To Destachew,
    Noone said Teddy should get preferential treatment because he is popular. No one can say that Teddy should be free even if he killed innocient boy. The point is the there is no realiable,trustable law in Erhiopia. All the legal procedures are fake, woyane has never excersiced true legal practices. So, teddy i one of the vicitims of the false, fabricated, evidence-less legal act.

    yigebahl denkorow!!!

  23. Akalu
    | #23

    Dastachew,

    Forget about desprate Meseret, she is trying to politicize our justice system to her desprate hidden political agenda. And Those blinded by their personal political agenda and interest can not see the true colour of justice but their own self deceptive hollow shadow.

  24. Tigist
    | #24

    Teddy is not just one ordinary individual. He is an icon of Ethiopian nationalism. Of course Meles and Weyannes have identity crisis, they hate who are those that love their country. Let us go out for Teddy and for all those Ethiopians who are languishing in Weyannes jail just because they express their opinions. Having said that I want Melse to remember that he will die one day and go to hell for all the crime he committed against humanity. I want to remind the moron Weyannes, Meles is one ugly looking guy and he will pass and Weyanne will go down too, then you will regret for the crime you committed against Ethiopians and Somalians.

  25. Fasika
    | #25

    Tigist,

    “THE DEAD CAN NOT CRY OUT FOR JUSTICE,IT IS A DUTY OF THE LIVING TO DO SO FOR THEM.”

    In civilized society, When a drunk driver kills an child while driving under influence of alchol we do not call him an icon or hero,but irresponsible drunkard criminal.
    Beside, The best politics of all is self awareness and self restrain from violating others right while defending yours. But if you violate others right while you are drunk then you are liable for breaking the law and will be panished according the law of the land. And the government have absolute right to enforce the law and to bring justice to the victime.

  26. meseret
    | #26

    Ato Akalu said “she is trying to politicize our justice system to her desprate hidden political agenda”. Kikikiki,
    there is no hidden thing here. The world knows that there is no justice in the woyane regime.
    yetarede beg weyim doro kememotu befit eyeteferagete bakababiw yalewn neger hulu siregagit ayitehal, belijinetih. Woyane’s are doing the same thing. eyeteferagetachuh new wendime. there is no way to scape your death. you clearly know and i can assure you that woyane is unable to buy the hearts of the ethiopian poeple

    Meseret (the man)

  27. Akalu
    | #27

    Meseret,

    For how many years you been preaching this same self deceptive non sense shallow ? ? After reading your articles, i concluded that you seem to suffer from excessive day dreaming and mental retardation.

    HA!!HA!!!HA!!!!HA!!!!!HA!!!!!!

  28. Hailye Debremarkos
    | #28

    Mr./Ms. Faseka,

    I like your mature article,GOD BLESS YOU!for standing up for the poor and helpless vendor boy whos young dreams shattered by intoxicated driver. In the mean time, i would like you to know that, Tedy Afro never is and never will be qualified to be a moral mentor nor role model to my childrens, my childrens deserve better than this messy chracter.
    Please people keep your heads up, there are a lot of great Ethiopian artist singers who are morally well adjusted,God fearing,respectful and deserve our respect and attention.

    LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA ! ! !

  29. | #29

    teodros affro is in ethiopian. tell to tamagne ,to be orator ,leflafi is not a lawer.he know nothing about a law.ye azmare astewawaki ,his place is tegebet

  30. | #30

    teodros affro is in ethiopian.he will be judge under the law of ethiopia. tell to Tamagne ,to be ,leflafi is not to be a lawer.he know nothing about a law.ye azmare astewawaki ,his place is tejebet

  31. Meron
    | #31

    guilty untill proven innocent!
    so do something with your times…

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