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Runner Afraid Of Being Killed After Rio Protest

Ethiopian runner shows solidarity with Oromo protests

Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa thinks he may be killed because of the way he celebrated crossing the finish line on Sunday.

See him cross the finish line here:

Lilesa’s native group, the Oromo, are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, making up at least a third of the population of the small country of 100 million people.

He gave an interview after the race explaining his actions which were intended to draw international attention to the Oromo’s persecution in Ethiopia. 

He also said that some of his family are already in jail, and that if he goes back home, “I really think that I would be killed.” His wife and children may also be in danger. Depending on where he can get a visa granted, he plans to stay in the United States, or even Kenya.

Watch Feyisa Lilesa’s interview:

What is the issue he is protesting?

In Ethiopia, the largest ethnic group is the Oromo, but they are constantly marginalized by the government for the last ten years.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Gadaa.com