CBC RADIO: What was reported thenOn the final day of the Rio Olympics, Ethiopian marathoner Feyisa Lilesabecame a silver medalist. Lilesa crossed the finish line with arms raised above his head, and crossed over each other, as in an "X" — a political gesture instantly recognized in Ethiopia.
Lilesa says the symbol of defiance was a peaceful protest against how the Oromo people of Ethiopia have been treated by the government. Close to 100 people were slaughtered in a protest just weeks before the Olympics.
Since his protest on the world's stage, Lilesa tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti through a translator that he's worried about his safety if he were to return home.
"Having done this, going back to Ethiopia means suicide. They will kill me. If not killing, they will imprison me and torture me," says Lilesa who is still in Rio.
Lilesa feels it is important to stand up publicly and expose the repression of the Oromo people by the Ethiopian government. He tells Tremonti that "people are dying, being killed, being sent to refugee camps… many thousands were in the red sea running away from the country. People were having peaceful demonstrations but being killed."