Paralympic T13 1,500m silver medallist protests Ethiopian government

Ethiopia's Tamiru Demisse crossed his arms in an anti-government protest at the end of the T13 visually impaired 1,500m at the Paralympics.

September 13th, 2016 by | Posted in Racing, Running videos | Tags: , , , , , ,

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Ethiopia’s Tamiru Demisse crossed his arms above his head to form an “X” to symbolize political protest against his home government on Sunday at the Paralympic Games. The 22-year-old performed the protest in solidarity with the Oromo people in Ethiopia during the T13 visually impaired 1,500m and again at the medal ceremony.

RELATED: Quebec City Marathon winner Ebisa Ejigu replicates Olympic medallist’s political protest.

The political protest comes three weeks after Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa made international headlines when he won a silver medal in the Olympic marathon and crossed the finish line with his arms in an “X.” In Canada, Ebisa Ejigu won the Quebec City Marathon protesting the Ethiopian government in identical fashion.

Cuatro atletas paralímpicos fueron más rápidos que el campeón olímpico de 1.500 en Río 2016. El nivel de los atletas paralímpicos cada día es mayor como lo demuestra que en la final de los 1.500 metros cuatro atletas lograsen menor marca que la que realizó el campeón olímpico el pasado 20 de agosto.  El estadounidense Mathew Centrowitz logró el oro con un tiempo de 3:50:00, un tiempo que en la final paralímpica superaron el argelino Abdellatif Baka (3:48.29), el etíope Tamiru Demisse (3:49.49), el keniano Henry Kirwa (3:49.59) y el argelino Fouad Baka (3:49.84). La categoría en la que lograron esta espectacular marca fue en T13, que corresponde a la más leve de débiles visuales, tanto así que ellos corren sin guía, pero no quita mérito a sus espectaculares marcas. y síguenos en las redes sociales. Somos más que fotografías, somos atletismo, natación, ciclismo y triatlón. #3viewsport #3viewsportmagazine #revistadeportiva #sports #sportphotography #sportmagazine #revistadeportiva #photography #fotografia #siguenosenlasredessociales #juegosparalimpicosrio2016 #atletismo #running #runnerscommunity #1500mts #masrapidos #mathewcentrowitz #tamirudemisse #henrykirwa #news #noticias

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The protest is being staged because the Ethiopian government has extended the municipal boundary of Addis Ababa into Oromia, home to much of the country’s Oromo population. Government security forces have killed as many as 400 people, according to Human Rights Watch, between November 2015 and June 2016.

Lilesa, who performed the protest during the Olympic marathon, arrived in the United States recently instead of returning home to Ethiopia. After he performed the protest at the Olympics, Lilesa said, “If I go back to Ethiopia, they will kill me.”

RELATED: 19-year-old Canadian Liam Stanley wins T37 1,500m silver at Paralympic Games.

On Sunday, all three medallists in the T13 1,500m finished in a faster time than the men’s 1,500m winner at the Olympic Games. That’s because the 1,500m race at the Olympics was very tactical and runners purposely conserved energy during the first half of the race. Demisse ran a personal best of 3:48.49 behind a world record performance by Abdellatif Baka (3:28.49).


According to, the International Paralympic Committee president spoke with Demisse after his gesture as protests are prohibited from the Paralympics. It’s not clear if any disciplinary action was taken.