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Ethiopia Pardons Jailed Swedish Journalists
By Ricci Shryock
The Ethiopian government will release two imprisoned Swedish journalists, as part of an annual mass amnesty to mark Ethiopia’s New Year. Some 1900 prisoners are part of an official pardon granted by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
The journalists, Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye, were convicted of supporting an illegal terrorist group and crossing the border without proper documentation. They were sentenced to 11 years in prison.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, welcomed the decision.
“We still believe that they should never have been jailed, because they were carrying out legitimate news-gathering activities,” Mohamed Keita, the group’s Africa Advocacy Coordinator said on Monday.
He added that the journalists were forced to admit to guilt in order to receive the pardon, though the terrorism charges were “a crime they did not commit.”
“They [the journalists] took the risk of entering the country illegally only because of the Ethiopian government’s restrictions and censorship banning independent media access to the Ogaden, and these are practices that reporters and news organizations the world over engage in to cover both sides of the story.
There are serious allegations of abuses in the Ogaden that the Ethiopian government denies, but it is not providing an opportunity for international or local media to independently report or investigate,” he said.
Keita said CPJ hopes the country will use the opportunity of Mr. Meles’ death to loosen what he says are restrictions on journalists operating in Ethiopia.
“We believe they have an opportunity to usher in national reconciliation,” he said, “and to turn the page. And they have an opportunity to do so by releasing the six other journalists behind bars.”
In July, prominent journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega was jailed for 18 years for what the government said was breaching anti-terror laws, while Andualem Arage, a member of the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party, was given a life term in prison.
Woyanes are saying that the last thing Meles did before he went to hospital was to pardon 1900 of his prisoners. Good for him. I hope he gets pardon up there too.
The Ethiopian gov’t must do pardon to all political
prisoners , journalist and call all political party to discuss and solve our difference forever. This is the
right time .This is not defeat way , This is the smart way .
This is a good sign, not because I care or respect the journalists, but because CPJ and HRW will run out of trash to say. In the 90s, all these pseudo journalists used to write all kinds of useless fabricated trash, but the government totally ignored them. Because of that, people, as in everybody, stopped paying attention. They were a laughing stock for the locals. By going after these idiots, the government raised their profile as if they were legit journalists. Of-course, the government should still go after people that genuinely instigate violence the way Eskinder Nega was doing during the Arab Spring. He was daring the public to go out and replicate the Egyptians. That’s not journalism, it’s violent activism.
Now,let us see what they say about Ethiopia…baaaaad
Bravo Mr.Desalegn Haile Mariam, good job! It has been only one week since the dictators is put down. If you get a couple of months you will free 85,000,000 of your brothers and sisters from the brutal slavery under TPLF. The problem is there is no such EPDRF political organization that embraces individuals from other ethnic group,so it is clear that they will remove you to bring their own Tigre man loyal to TPLF.
Have you seen what the Agazi bandits made them tell after leaving jail .The two journalists were repeating an already written speech by a TPLF cadre .Just wait and see in the next days what are they going to really say .The then Crime Minister ’s Pardon or not ,afterall
the TPLF Regime was already under pressures .Without USA and Western Allies Moneys ,Woyane Bandits and Tigre Mafiosis are KAPUT…LOL!!!!!
Well that is what you get for interfering with another country’s internal affairs. Stick to Swedish affairs next time. I have no sympathy for twist western and European ‘journalists’!
As to one of the elders, Meles and Ethiopian Gov. pardoned prisoners every year. This is a continuation of that.
Meles never believed in war or killing. Instead He always advise and warn his opponent to come to table for negotiation.He likes to fight with ideas not people.But when they start fight He fight and finish the fight as quick as possible with victory.Once he defeated them.He doesnt boast but tell them to confess and help them for a fresh start.
He pardoned Derg. He pardoned Dr Birhanu and the rest. This was not part of our history. At one time Yohannes was deliberately ignored When teddy needed help. Menilik did the same to Yohannes. Haileselase did to Eyasu Derg did to Haileselase. But Meles pardoned Derg.
Meles is a man who make new history in Ethiopia.
Dont fight with me fight with my idea.Dont try to lebel me with anything . I am just a citizen of great nation Ethiopia.
Now the hate campaign of western journalists shall begin. Ethiopia did good pardoning these two pathetic fools. CPJ is like HRW and other neo colonialist orgs who are anti peace and prosperity in Africa. Journalists with Khalashinkov with bunch of terrorists are called peaceful Journalists who are there to investigate what the other crooks of HRW inventions of genocide. It is endless. The whole theater of HRW and CPJ is: They have smelled oil and gas in the Ogaden and wants to creat problems like they do everywhere who have found oil in third world countries.
These days if you want to neo colonise African countries you don’t send soldiers but Human Right activists, journalists with out boarders and clueless enviormentalists to creat havok and destructions, ethnic strifes and total chaos.
The two swedish journalists were simply perfoming their moral and ethic obligation to highlight abuses in the Ogaden region and portray the message to the swedish masses for them to fully understand how their hard earned tax is used in Ethiopia.
I am glad that these 2 outstanding and brave swedish journalists are free at long last to tell the world about the atrocities in Ogaden, which is fully paid and financed by the West, the same countries that are drumming and preaching democracy.
The evil dictator is dead so is his policies of death and destruction. A new dawn a new beginning for Ethiopia has began
The leastthe Ethiopia government could do to these two brave journalists is to apologise publicly for the mistreatment and pay compensation to their families for the suffering endured.
The people of Scandivia have a choice to know on how their hard earned tax is used in the developing world. It is a moral duty to ensure that no Aid money is misused to create havoc and destruction.
Prince wanna be somali,…
You told us that you were a high ranking official in the 70s during Ethio-Somali war. That’s more than 40 years ago. That makes you a senior citizen between the ages of 70 and 85 years old.
Isn’t that too late to tell lies. Atleast you should live the rest of your life confessing your sins and praying for forgivness. What a looser!!
These two Swedish journalists are simply useful idiots. What are they doing in Ethiopia flirting with terrorists?
There is a massive of issue of takeover of Sweden and Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway) in general, by Muslim immigrants right now. The rate of increase of their numbers is alarming and more than half of them are on Welfare.
They commit a lot of crimes such as thefts and rapes, drain the host countries’ Welfare system, and refuse to integrate, and put no value in education and bring a security risk.
They contribute nothing to these countries’ scientific research and development, and as the German Thilo Sarrazin said, they lower the host countries’ IQ (aptitude).
A ‘useful idiot’ is a term attributed to Lenin, which means someone who feeds or enables an enemy who will eventually come back to kill him.
Ante aram gonderie yehie kezache shermuta entahe bete gwro yalewe yetewate arhe newe endzihe yemigemawe?!
Who didn’t know that they would be convicted then pardoned?
The conviction is for saving governments’s face, whereas the pardoning is for having some more money come into the begging bowl.
If they were Ethiopians of any ethnicity or religion, they would have been shot on the spot.
They must love their white color today. It is sad, but in Africa only Africans suffer.
“We still believe that they should never have been jailed, because they were carrying out legitimate news-gathering activities,” Mohamed Keita, the group’s Africa Advocacy Coordinator said on Monday:
Mohammed Keita, next time try it yourself and you will see how we will deal with you, loser - African servant of the neo-colonialists. You may be acustomed to colonialism. You are used to it and is part of your history. But for us Ethioppians, we hate it to our bone. We hate colonialism and neo-colonialists and their footsoldiers like you, Keita. If that is your belief regarding these losers, send another batch including yourself and see how we deal with them/you.
Shame on you. shame on your orgnaization. shame shame shame
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