Tesfaye, owner and editor of the now-defunct magazine Mestawet and the newspaper Lubar, was murdered in front of his home. He was stabbed and hacked to death by two unidentified individuals using a knife and a machete. The attackers escaped the scene of the crime in a DX Toyota. Tesfaye, a lawyer by training, was an activist and member of the Ethiopian Peoples Rights Council. He was previously jailed by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front in 1993.