| ADDIS ABABA, July 12
ADDIS ABABA, July 12 Lawyers in conservative
Ethiopia have asked police to investigate an Ethiopian
contestant in the "Big Brother Africa" reality television show
after she appeared to have sex with a fellow housemate.
Betty Abera, 27, represented Ethiopia in the
pan-contintental version of the show that has spawned editions
around the world. She was not immediately available for comment.
Under Ethiopia's criminal code, sexual acts or "any other
obscene act or gesture" in public could lead to a jail term of
up to one year, or a fine of up to 1,000 birr ($54).
If the authorities deem her act a criminal offence,
prosecutors are likely to press charges.
"This was an act that shamed many Ethiopians. We have clear
laws that reject such indecency," said Paulos Tessema, one of
the lawyers who have called for the investigation.
Police have yet to comment on whether they would take up the
Nonetheless, some Ethiopians have taken to social media to
express their outrage over show in which the winner will scoop
£300,000 next month, with Facebook pages denouncing the
"Betty didn't represent Ethiopia on Big Brother Africa,"
says one, with the contestant's picture marked with an "X".
Another page has death threats posted on it.
Abera was evicted in June from the show that has whittled
down the housemates since May. She told an Ethiopian radio show
this month she was still in Johannesburg, where the series is
being filmed, but planned to travel back to Addis Ababa soon.
Ethiopia's population of 85 million is comprised of an
Orthodox majority population and a large Muslim minority.
(Editing by James Macharia and Alison Williams)