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Ethiopia - Birtukan Mideksa is nazret.com's Person of The Year
Ethiopian prisoner of conscience, Birtukan Mideksa, is nazret.com's Person of The Year for 2009. Two thousand three hundred seventy two readers participated in the poll which was held for 48 hours. Birtukan received 41% of the vote with 984 readers casting their vote for her, nearly twice the number of votes for the second finisher Eleni Gabre-Medhin.
In November 2008 Birtukan Mideksa spoke at a public meeting in Sweden about her pardon and the process that led to her release. When she returned to Ethiopia, authorities asked her to retract her statement, failing which she would be re-arrested. She refused and was re-arrested in December 2008, when the Ministry of Justice revoked her pardon and re-imposed her life sentence.
After Ethiopia's disputed election in 2005, Birtukan was arrested along with other opposition leaders and served more than 18 months before being released.
Birtukan is often referred to as Ethiopia's 'Aung San Suu Kyi' and other supporters call her 'Lady Liberty'. She is the most popular political figure in Ethiopia.
Birtukan was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital. Her parents are a member of the Oromo and Amhara major ethnic groups, which comprise more than 70 percent of the population of Ethiopia. Birtukan attended Yekatit 12 secondary school (aka Etege Menen) in Addis and upon graduating from high school she joined Addis Ababa University where she graduated from Law School. She practiced law at the 3rd district of the federal judiciary.
Visit freebirtukan.org to learn how you can help to free Birtukan Mideksa
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