Ethiopian Olympic medallist seeks asylum after marathon protest

Olympic silver medallist from Ethiopia is seeking asylum overseas after making a gesture of protest as he crossed the finishing line in the men’s marathon in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.Hundreds of millions of people watched Feyisa Lilesa hold his arms over his head, wrists crossed, in support of members of his Oromo tribe in the east African nation.It is a very dangerous situation for the Oromo people in Ethiopia. In nine months more than 1,000 people died in protests, Lilesa told reporters after the race.

The runner said he now feared detention or death if he returned home.They will kill me. I haven’t another visa Maybe I stay here. If I can get visa I can go to America, the 26-year-old said.Lilesa is protest prompted an outpouring of support on social media, while a crowdfunded effort to raise money to help him find a home outside Ethiopia had received nearly $40,000 (£30,000) in donations within hours.