Four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah made the famous Oromo gesture in protest against the government of Ethiopia as he crossed the finishing line in the 5,000m Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday.
The legendary British athlete who have just returned from Ethiopia to break the European record at the event (pictured), swapped his ‘Mobot’ signature celebration with a show of solidarity for the Oromo people.
In Rio Olympic, hundreds of millions of people watched Ethiopian silver medallist Marathon winner Feyisa Lilesa hold his arms over his head, wrists crossed, in support of members of his Oromo ethnic group against the Ethiopian ruling party.
The Tigre ethnics group (TPLF) of the country’s leaders have been repeatedly accused of human rights abuses and of discrimination against the Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group, comprising about 35% of the country’s 100m population.
Recently, the #Oromo community in the United Kingdom had written to the British government urging it to halt with immediate effect, its assistance to the government of Ethiopia which they accused of systematic repression that included the torture, killing and harassment of school children in #Oromia, a regional state of Ethiopia.
Since October 2016, the TPLF government declared a state of emergency, giving security forces and the army new sweeping powers.
The government blocked mobile internet, restricted social media, banned protests, closed down broadcast and print media, and imposed draconian restrictions on all political freedoms.
In its recent report analysing the effect of the emergency, Human Rights Watch described the measures as the securitisation of legitimate grievances.
#OromoProtests #EthiopiaProtests#Mo Farah #Athletics Mo Farah British Athletics
Athletics: Farah bows out indoors with European recor
LONDON (Reuters) – Mo Farah ended his indoor career with a new European record, winning the 5,000 meters at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday in a time of 13 minutes 09.16 seconds.
Farah, Britain’s four-times Olympic champion, plans to focus on road racing after the outdoor world championships in London in August when he will say his final farewell to the track.
The 33-year-old was helped to break the indoor mark at the Birmingham Indoor Arena in what became a two-way duel with Kenyan Albert Rop, who stretched him over the final two laps.
It was a fitting way for Britain’s most successful long-distance runner to end his indoor career – and a marked improvement on his only other appearance this season, when he came seventh in a cross-country event in Edinburgh last month.
“I knew from Edinburgh I needed to do some work,” he told the BBC. “I had to go away and leave my family behind to do more training. It has paid off. Hard work pays off.”
Farah shaved almost two seconds off the European record – and more than 12 off the previous British best – after pacemaker Adam Clarke had taken the 11-man field through a fast opening to the race.
Urging the crowd to raise the noise levels, Farah exuded his trademark calmness as he tucked in behind Rop for the final stages.
He hit the front with two laps to go before extending his lead, much to the joy of the large crowd.
Farah did not realize he had broken the record but paid tribute to the support he has received during his stellar career, in which he has won the Olympic 5,000 and 10,000-metres double twice.
“The crowds have been so good for me over the years. I will miss it,” he said. “I can’t quite believe it’s my last race.”