#1 2015 that activists say have left more than 400 dead von corse178 14.06.2019 07:54

Since the Rio Olympics, when Feyisa Lilesa made an anti-government gesture during the marathon, he has traveled from country to country out of fear of going home. He worries about the family he left behind in Ethiopia. His young kids ask when they will see him again.That one he just cant answer at the moment.Lilesa became an international figure when he crossed his wrists at the finish line last month in Brazil on his way to a silver medal. The gesture drew global attention to the recent deadly protests in his home region of Oromia.Concerned with what might happen to him should he return to his country, Lilesa spent 2+ extra weeks in Rio before arriving in the U.S. about a week ago on a special skills visa, which allows him to train and compete until January. He hasnt seen his wife, 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter since Aug. 17.If I wouldve taken my medal and went back to Ethiopia, that wouldve been the biggest regret of my life, Lilesa said through a translator in a phone interview with The Associated Press as he begins speaking out in the U.S. I wanted to be a voice for a story that wasnt getting any coverage.The Oromia region has experienced enormous anti-government protests in the past few months. The government is now vowing to take drastic measures to deal with mismanagement, corruption and nepotism. But yet, the government has shown few signs of opening up the political space for opposition.Many social media users have changed their profile pictures with the image of Lilesa crossing his wrists, and many are describing him as a national hero for speaking up and bringing it to the international arena.The crossed-wrists gesture has been widely used by anti-government protesters in recent nationwide demonstrations as a sign of peaceful resistance, and before that by the Muslim community when it revolted against the government. It is meant to symbolize being handcuffed by security forces.Lilesas not alone, either: Fellow Ethiopian Ebisa Ejigu flashed a similar gesture when he won the Quebec City Marathon on Aug. 28. Over the weekend, another Ethiopian, Tamiru Demisse, also made the X sign at the Rio Paralympic Games after capturing silver in the 1,500 meters.That solidarity meant a great deal to Lilesa.It gives me hope -- them following in my footsteps and making a stand by saying, `Enough, said Lilesa, who has no plans to file for political asylum.With about 40 million people, the Oromo are Ethiopias largest ethnic group. Their region has seen anti-government protests since November 2015 that activists say have left more than 400 dead.Ethiopias government is often accused of silencing dissent, even blocking internet access at times. Recently, video obtained by the AP showed Ethiopian security forces beating, kicking and dragging several protesters during a rare demonstration in the capital.Theres been increased international pressure on Ethiopia and its treatment of protesters. The United States, for one, last week said it has raised grave concerns about what it called the excessive use of force against protesters in Ethiopia, describing the situation there as extremely serious and calling for an independent investigation.What we are asking for is peace, justice and freedom, said Lilesa, whos currently in Washington, D.C., but hoping to train in a city with a higher elevation. If the situation continues as it is, without any change, its going to degenerate into a conflict that could take a very, very bad direction. ... We need peace. We need change.Lilesa said his wifes brother -- a student at Mada Walabu University in Bale -- was arrested in a protest nearly eight months ago. They still dont know his whereabouts.One of my main concerns if she finds out her brother was one of those who were killed is what will she do? How will she feel? he said. Im not there to support her and comfort her.Ethiopias state broadcaster, EBC, did not re-broadcast images of Lilesas gesture when he finished runner-up on Aug. 21. Some people who were watching live and cheering for Lilesa quickly hushed when they saw his gesture.Lilesa said in a follow-up email hes received no backlash from the International Olympic Committee for his gesture.They came and asked me what the gesture was. I explained, Lilesa said. They empathized with my situation.And while the government assures him he will not face prosecution upon his return home and will have a heroic welcome, as a government spokesman recently said, hes wary of it.Usually, what the government says and what the government does are very opposite, Lilesa said. If change comes to Ethiopia, and the regime changes, and people are finally free, I look forward to the day I can go home and meet with my people. Live with my family in peace.---This story has been corrected to show that the spelling of Lilesas first name is Feyisa, not Feysia.---AP Sports Writer Pat Graham reported from Denver and AP Writer Elias Meseret from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Wild Jerseys China .J. -- Marty Brodeur beat the Pittsburgh Penguins yet again. Eric Staal Jersey Large .Y. - Nelson Mandela will be honoured by the New York Yankees with a plaque in Monument Park. http://www.customwildjersey.com/ .J. -- Marshawn Lynch said Thursday it will be good to get back to football after the Seattle quiet talking running back wrapped up his final mandatory media session of Super Bowl week. Custom Wild Jerseys . -- Jaye Marie Green shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday to increase her lead to five strokes after the second round of the LPGA Tours qualifying tournament. Custom Wild T-shirts .C. -- Calgarys Kevin Koe did it the hard way again. RIO DE JANEIRO -- Alison and Bruno stood on the top step of the Olympic podium, holding back tears as the booming voices of the Carioca singing the Brazilian national anthem rose above the waves crashing against Copacabana beach.In front of our people. In the best spot for this sport, Bruno said after the reigning world champions beat Italy in straight sets in the beach volleyball gold medal match on Thursday night. This is a magical feeling.In a temporary stadium erected on the sports spiritual home, during a steady rain that only served to help the 6-foot-8 Alison jump even higher, the Brazilians rallied from deficits in both sets to beat Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai 21-19, 21-17.The victory sparked a lively -- but somewhat drenched -- party one night after losses in the womens bronze- and gold-medal matches left the hosts with just two total medals at the Rio Games in a sport they love and were expected to dominate.Its like a dream realized. I cant believe it, said Alison, who lost in the gold medal match in London. Its amazing. I dont have the words.The Netherlands beat Russia earlier Thursday in a bronze-medal match that was subdued after two weeks of singing and samba dancing in the 12,000-seat venue. But when the time came for the main event, the stands filled and the anticipation built.Italy opened a 5-1 lead but the hosts came back to win the first set. In the second, Brazil trailed by three before scoring 11 of the next 15 points to take a 19-15 lead.Alison delivered his sixth block on the game-winner, knocking it off Lupo for what the referee ruled was a double-touch. The Italians questioned the call, but by the time the score hit the scoreboard the Brazilian athletes were already in the stands.We tried everything to win the game, Nicolai said.dddddddddddd They were the best, for sure.Some fans covered their heads with the ever-present green and yellow flags in an attempt to stay dry. Others wore ponchos and waved their flags and celebrate each point scored by the locals.As he has throughout the tournament, Alison egged on the crowd, pointing to his ear to encourage fans to yell louder after the Brazilians rallied from the early deficit.The victory helped salvage what had been a bit of a disappointment for the Brazilian beach volleyball teams, who stepped onto their home sand with the top two womens seeds and two of the top four on the mens side.Pedro and Evandro failed to make it out of the round of 16, and the top-seeded womens teams collected only a silver medal.Even with Italys loss, it was cause for celebration in Europe.No European country had ever won a medal in womens beach volleyball -- or even reached the final four -- before Germany beat one Brazilian team in the semifinal and another in the championship to claim the gold.With the Dutch bronze and Italian silver on the mens side, the three medals were an Olympic high for the continent. Heading into the Rio Games, the sport had been dominated by Brazilians and Americans, who combined to win 20 of a possible 30 medals.I dont think we have to talk about it being the Brazilians and the Americans anymore, said Alexander Brouwer after he joined with Robert Meeuwsen to win 23-21, 22-20 and earn the Netherlands first beach medal.Of course, its where the sport was invented, he said. But if you talk about it now, we are on an even level. ' ' '

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