The Ethiopian protesters chose to stand in solidarity with not only the arrested opposition leaders but civilians and others who have died during protests. The protesters are largely from the Oromo and Amhara ethnic tribes.
The act of head shaving is a sign of mourning in a vast number of Ethiopian cultures hence its symbolism in mourning fallen protesters.
According to VOA, the act was spearheaded when a letter smuggled by Oromo opposition leader, Bekele Garba calling for the mourning for those who have died in protests was made public.
The statement also called for the Ethiopian government to stop the mass killings of the Oromo and Amhara protesters.
Since the Oromo protests in 2015, many Ethiopians are said to have died in the hands of the Ethiopian government. This has, in large part, been due to the abuse of human rights by the Ethiopian police.
At least, a 100 have died since the protests renewed in July. Not less than 500 have passed away since the protests began in 2015.
Protesters are also unlawfully detained, with false accusations hurled at them. Bekele Garba is one of those who have fallen prey to the injustices of the Ethiopian government.
Bekele Gerba, who is also a former lecturer at the University of Addis Ababa was arrested on terrorism grounds which he has strongly denied.
The Oromo and Amhara protests arose as a result of years of frustration with the Ethiopian government. Despite being the top two ethnic groups in the horn of Africa, the Oromos and Amharas complain of being sidelined by the government.