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Prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia
By Birtukan Mideksa
Independent journalists in Ethiopia face grave threat of imprisonment if they criticise the state or its laws.
Although Ethiopia has its first new prime minister in 17 years - so far, the government has failed to right a long history of wrongs. With prisoners of conscience still languishing in its prisons, Ethiopia must receive the clear message - especially from allies like the United States - that continued human rights violations will not be tolerated.
My journey to become a political prisoner in Ethiopia began as a federal judge fighting to uphold the rule of law. Despite institutional challenges and even death threats, I hoped to use constitutional principles to ensure respect for basic rights.
But, having witnessed firsthand the government disregard for fundamental constitutional rules, I joined the opposition and became the first woman to hold a high-level position in an Ethiopian political party.
Our party - the Coalition for Unity and Democracy - contested the 2005 elections with a multiethnic platform based on economic liberalism and respect for individual rights. As momentum gathered, many hoped change had finally arrived in Ethiopia.
“Birtukan beliche lome lome agesagne"!
What’s going on? Our orengina still looking to go on the run for some kind of political office, or just to have her say?
Hey, Orengina, be carefull not to stumble again on the path of fake politicians and bandas who sold you to the heighst bidder . Just think of Ethiopia.
Most of all, HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY!!
Addis zemen, Addis zemen…spending your time all day and commenting on every issue….
bayikefelih..noro yikochih neber
I think you are better in your law career than politics. I respect women politicians, but you have to see where your true gifts are.
Eskinder, Reeyot, Woubshet, and the Muslim right activists are imprisoned in Ethiopia and accused by the anti terrorist law.
Let us try to see, the Ethiopian anti terrorist proclamation in birds eye view. Why do we oppose the law?
It starts with defining terrorism. Individuals which should not be called terrorist are to be called by the law. From Art.1- 15: a lot of ambiguity of languages to acts of terrorism, and who a terrorist is.
From Art.16-18: generally those articles infringe freedom of speech and expression. A direct violation of the constitution.
In Art.19: It discuss about the expansion of police powers without a serious effort to improve protections for those detained, and it raises serious concerns that the law is facilitating further abuses.
From Art. 20- 26: is dedicated to powers of arrest, search, and seizure. It states that sudden search of “body and property” can be authorized by the director general of the Federal Police or his designee, without judicial oversight: for entering any premise and to install and intercept communications they have to obtain a court warrant—–But they do without court order, showing that they are above the law.
And finally, ….who fail to cooperate with the police can be subjected to three to 10 years’ imprisonment.—not fair at all!
Art. 27-32: Detention without charge—— even though International law , and the constitution requires that anyone arrested shall be promptly brought before a judicial authority and criminally charged.
In Art. 33: It violates the right to bodily integrity…they can take samples of blood and other body fluids, handwriting, hair, fingerprints, and undergo medical tests, and states that “if the suspect is not willing for the test, the police may use force!”
Art. 34-38: Evidentiary Rules and Use of Evidence Obtained by Torture.—-Even though the Ethiopian constitution bars the use of statements obtained through coercion.
Additional Provisions of Concern include articles 41- 45: which directly interfere with one’s own privacy. Especially those of you with foreign passports. It states an obligation to notify police within 24 hours if a foreigner is living in one’s house——consequences for failure to do so,-just want to say not a good idea.
EPRDF/TPLF doesn’t need a law to lock you. A simple oral order from an official, can land you in prison for unknown years; on top of that, even their proclamations cross over the exaggeratedly spoken constitution, and run over it!……
The author starts to outcry for her friend only, but she could have known that there are a number of political prisoners are behind the bars. Around the beginning of her article, there is an echo of the impression to evoke her voice that I was amused as she appeared sending a clear message on behalf of the United State but, later at around the bottom of the article, she is pecularilaly appealing to the United State to send a message to the Ethiopian Government. There are a number of scholars have been doing thus, that is a custom.
Still she needs to edit her article; otherwise, Assat B. Gettu would step on it claiming that she is not attending one of the top universities.
Though she gives a consoling largess to journalists which is an outcome of the liberal arts, that is all, a real contribution towards the alleviation of an economic poverty. But it is obvious she was detained and now it appears that an expression of her irritated feelings and emotions which may not be accounted as a repercussion. Is her voice branches government from the whole citizens and may make a guilty of glaring omissions? This is doubtful in the short run or even unlikely to achieve it.
Reporting Al Jazera?
The coming of the Good God to crash and destroy the Satan cult is near but still is taking time because of the oil and gas money that is polluting not only the earth Environment and causing so many damages but also polluting the people mind especially the English lead west that has no moral and ethic but doing anything for money.
The wahabi terrorists family owned sunni rulers in the desert that are created by the Little English and protected by USA and England to serve them are doing everything to cause troubles against any nation that is trying to be peaceful, honest and working for the fair share benefit to the whole community unlike the class system economy in England and some part of USA. Liberal Economy is a class system minded plan working in modern time while making the few rich and the rest poor.
The money the banks, insurances, companies and the likes lost with trillions is a kind of leaf from the tree but the millions of poor people money where the few have benefited from. This is the Liberal Economy they are trying other nations to accept in a way the benefit would be for them.
Almost all Al Jazera English service personals are the English journalists and those slaves brainwashed trained by the old and merciless MI6 and CIA minded Journalism school.
So, no wonder why al Jazera is doing anything bad against Ethiopia including approaching this woman who did run from the country and is in abroad God knows who is behind her. Is that to benefit Ethiopia? No.
Al Jazera which is functioning by oil and Gas money to spread wahabi Islam and cause problems is part of the English Media system as most of its workers are the English. It is the same with Qatar, Emirates and the likes Air Lines.
Any nation that is not totally clean and free from direct as well as Indirect English interference especially they are coming in the form of aid which is the new method to come in the country to keep her weak, poor, using different kinds of tactics to highjack the country useful long term benefit policy and instead implementing their secret agendas to affect the nation in the long run, that nation is a doomed nation.
What kind leader and people is having anything to do with England knowing her history that is still on the making rather than keeping them away and never trust them for anything during the time she herself is heading to total chaos where millions of poor people going to suffer and the world centre is in Asia where 1/2 world population lives? Smart, wise and brave leader and nation always must be a head on its enemies and always know the best for its benefit. The benefit is not far away and still being acted as an animal can’t do by itself like donkey to carry the loads, but being smart, taking own decision and most importantly understanding that no nation would benefit from the English lead western aid but doing own thing by ourselves paid sacrifices.
Thanks to the Ethiopian abandoned fresh water wealth, fertile soil and nice Climate, within few years of sacrifices, Ethiopia can become totally free from any bad western aid that is using as a tool to affect the country in many ways including damaging her image in the name of aid as the English so called aid workers in Ethiopia are doing. Thanks to the brave Ethiopian young generation that is becoming smart and capable of doing things that have to be done in the 21-century and Countries like China, Japan, Korea and the likes, the known Enemies will never get their way despite they will continue using many tactics to affect the country. The Ethiopian government has to wake up and free from being stupid and backward and start re-activating the old century and useful relationship with Russia. Alongside with China, Japan and the Likes Russia is the best and trust worthy nation Ethiopians always have to keep in mind. There is no other nation other than Russia has done lots for Ethiopia for many years. That relationship must start again even more warmer, closer and all directions. If Ethiopia want to export her best quality flowers. She doesn’t need another nation but directly flying to Russia. It is the same with Ethiopian best coffee and other products. China, India, Russia and the likes markets are and will be the best future to the Ethiopian exports. The England lead Europe needs markets to sell it products which are getting hard. They are in a big trouble never ever happened to them and there is no way they would survive from and become the leader as it was the case in the past including during the biggest economic crises. This is the worst economic crisis Europe is suffering.
This time, there is no free raw material and market all over the world as it was the case during colonization where India, Pakistan, Africa, Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Filipinos and the likes were under their ownership and as a result they managed to survives the economic crisis and developed the way they reached until 9/11crushed them to a very slow death. Back then, they were the centre of the world economy, technology, politics and everything has to do with the word. But today is a different world. Civilization is moved to Asia and will stay there before moving to the west following the tropic sun to reach Africa. But USA is a different matter. USA is the nation to humanity. It has still lots of potential. Its future will not be the same as it was in the past having close relation with England but will be the best example to the world where all races living together as a nation. However, the liberal economy they are using is the biggest fret USA has.
The point is that the Ethiopian government and people must not relay and cheat by the Idea of Aid coming for Europe especially England that is heading down to hell where the poor will be the worst victim in the class society. Instead they have to rely on themselves and continue building the very solid and long term relation with China, Japan and the likes with knowledge transferring policy/relationship.
The Japan economic model which is in working in Ethiopia is more than a trillion dollar coming from the west in the form of aid which is a tactic to keep the population ignorant, weak and poor in a way will remain under their feet to do anything against it for their own interest thinking in the long run. Ethiopian companies are using Japans economic models and many of them are doing their job very effectively and booking remarkable results.
Japan aid to Ethiopia is not like the kind of England is doing which is a propaganda aid where there is nothing in reality except sending her people and paying that money to them to do the job based on their agenda they have about our country. This is not a secret. So, the Ethiopian people must reject the English type of so called aid and be free from them. As long as they are around, there will be always division, hate, mistrust, chaos and lots of problems including long term damage among the population.
Al Jazera is running by the English journalists and those trained by the English class system Journalism. So, it is clear who is behind. Any wise, smart and good Ethiopia has/must be peaceful, respectful, patriotic and contributor to build the nation rather than being part of the old tactic the English west are using some selfish and Ignorant individuals to affect the nation. However, the old tactic is over. The world is no longer run by the cold west but East where the sun rises. The Ethiopian people is aware of that and Birtuakn or whatever can act as if they are all that in the west in order to be accepted and get a living but in Ethiopia, they will never ever get even a single voice. The old type of dealing with politics is gone alongside the west influence.
Africa is no longer damp and treated as worthless by the English lead west knowing it had no choice and it was/is weak. But thanks to China, Africa is no longer their private property but many African youth are started to accumulate revenges against those enslaved, colonized and neo colonized them. Only we Ethiopians have no that feeling despite Especially the English don’t understand that and instead time after time they are affecting Ethiopia including playing the leading ro9le intentionally to block Ethiopia from her ancient sea coast line. So, no forgive and forget what England have done and still is doing in Ethiopia in the name of aid as they have colonized and enslaved the world in the name of civilizing them. But, we Ethiopians have no what so ever reason to hate or have revenge feeling towards Europe or any white people. But the English…..
The only solution to the abuser government is no negotiation but the Author ignored many of the political prisoners.
civilized exchange of ideas seem to have no importance here. the moderators of this site should filter or delete infitile comments if genuine discussion is the primary purpose this forum.
ወ/ት ብርቱካን መደቅሳ የጻፍሽው ከ ደረሰብሽ በደል አንጻር እናም በ ሃቅ ከተደረገው ወንጀል አክዋያ ነው::
ከዚህ የበለጠ ግፍ በደል ሲፈጸም ለ ቀሪው አለም ማሳወቅ የለም::
ጨካኙ የ ሽፍታዎች ማህበር ይሀው አሰቃቂ ድርጊቶችን ማድረግ ከጀመረ ሃያ አመታት አልፈዋል::
አሁን የ አንድነት የ ህብረታዊ ትግል አድርገን ይህንን የጋራ ጠላታችንን ለመደምሰስ መዘጋጀት ያስፈልገናል::
እስላምና ክርስቲያን ደቡብ እና ሰሜን ከ ምስራቅ አስከ ምራብ ክንድ ለ ክንድ ተያይዘን አድሃሪውን አረመኔውን ኢ ህ አ ዴ ግን ማጥፋት አሁን ነው እላለሁ::
ድር ቢያብር አንበሳ ያስር!!!
Wow,why do we have many sexist comments? All the Eth. male chauvinist are out.If you disagree with her political inclination,then attack that not her gender!
What you have written is what you totally don’t know. I always condemn putting journalists behind bars. But, I want to ask you something about journalism in Ethiopia. How professional, ethical, non-corrupt, and real is journalism in Ethiopia? Setting up a paper is easy here, and managing them seems hard, as the media is not also governed by the law and related ethics.
Birtukan Mideksa’s pardon documentations; sufficient enough to produce her untold stories in the future as a Female Freedom Fighter & Prisoner of Conscience.
At times of her imprisonment, it wasn’t the US that spoke but her “Pardon Letters” that helped & secured her release from prison.
Birtukan Mideksa, as a fellow researcher @Harvard University should find other ways of securing release from TPLF lead regime prison. No more asking, writing Pardon gonna work.
Because pardoning converted many ‘Criminals’ to ‘Heroes’. If pardoning continue in Ethiopia, it gonna be difficult to count the number of heroes & cover their untold stories in the future Ethiopia.
Hey, Bi… Ok, I don’t want to call you that here.
Now, can’t you just hide, and hide well?
The waters you are trying to charter are not still safe for your kind. By ‘your kind’ I mean, people who are attention seekers, fame chasers but spineless dogs.
You should be grateful for being alive. Do you remember how many young poor Ethiopians you killed?
But you’re at Harvard, because woyane made you a hero. You wouldn’t have seen the gates of that university if it wasn’t for woyane’s kindness.
Weyane imprisoned useless people like you and release them only to make a hero out of their cowardice.
Lady, you don’t know what your former supporters are saying about you. They want to see you disappear from the face of the earth.
But they just kept quite because they don’t want to make Woyane happy. I don’t know what those stupid supporters did see in you in the first place.Any average Ethiopian can see your low level IQ and maturity the moment you open your mouth.
Anyway, please don’t embarrass yourself. Just be quite and just study, read and make a decent income and lead honest but calm life. Politics is not for you and it never was.
Everyone knows that she came to be the ” first woman to ever hold a high position in a political party ” in Ethiopia, as she put it in the article, because she was hand picked and shoved in the position by Dr. Birhanu Nega, and not by the party general assembly or committes. She came to the political scene through the back door, and all she has been doing since was help Dr. Birhanu and the government itself by polarazing the public with her provocative and controversial statements, as this article shows. I also believe she does not have neither the moral not intelictual ground to be a political activist, let alone leader. How come she did not mention Andualem Arage, her own party spokesman, who has been charged along side Eskinder and given a life sentence ? How is that for polarization ? What a joke this woman continue to be.
My kind of Prisoners of conscience
mengistu neway and germame neway. Cut their neck under haile selassie
60 minsters under mengistu haile mariam killed and million more
Ms.comedy tamagne beyene
And other all where in jail once if Meles were evil, murderer,killer then who those people are free? They didn’t escaped from jail… Somebody must released them then I don’t see the problem… Do those people think they are above the law? Like any one u get jailed and u get freed as long as u don’t die in jail… I don’t see no problem
In fact u mentioning Mr.Birtukan being a federal judge she was not arrested because of that in fact it show even the federal judge is not above the law… Beside is not a crime to side with one political party if u r a federal judge… How in hell u can be a federal judge and political party member
By the way I want to know all Mr. Birtukan finical book opened I know federal judge in Ethiopia doesn’t make that much money so who pay for air ticket where did she got the money? Who is paying for all extra expenses living in America how in hell she got free education… Who help her to get education did those people give her if they where not involved in politics… Did she ever applied free education did she where rejected before then why did they accept her now.
Don’t act like the intellectual you obviously are not… U r just an emotional little brat…
I remember you in college where you were talking only in oromiffa acting like the extremist that you are… then you became a religous fanatic… now you are a neo-liberal fanatic extraordinaire…
The drunkard Engineer Gizachew and the Master Manipulator Mesfin W/M have wasted enough of your life… Try and give your daughter a good life in a stable home if you can… If you can achieve that then you will be a success..
I really feel sorry that you wasted your youth with these idiots but I guess that is who you are deep inside. Please don’t waste more of your life…
Nazret.com, why did you remove my post?
I did say this woman urged many poor Ethiopian youth, women and children to die in the streets of Addis while she never wanted even to stay in prison, not true?!
I said this woman just to live comfortable life pleaded guilty and released from jail, walking on the blood of those poor Ethiopians who sacrificed their lives, not true?!
I said when this woman prevaricated and Woyane jailed her again, and she re-pleaded guilty again just to avoid prison, unlike Eskender Nega and others,not true?!
I said this woman sought the mercy of Woyane to cross border at Bole Airport and fled to US just to again lie to Ethiopian people, that she was freedom fighter, and they should continue dying in the streets while she lives a modest life abroad, not true?!
Because of these things AND because what this woman talks about has NO substance, AND that she is opportunistic traitor who wants others to bleed for her obsession and LUST over power, I said this woman IS:
Tell me if I am wrong, OR GO HELL!!!
Claimed back your pole position and scored points with your handlers.
How did the two back to back conferences go? Your late idol’s shameless widow took the stage at one point. I can imagine you breaking into tears hearing that the her late husband had lived on a meager salary that he hadn’t even had a bank account. What a selfless despot.
The wifes of the other looters in the conference laughed their butts off whereas their husbalns in the conference nearly burst out fighting to hold back their laughter at her pathetic speech.
Back to the issue,
You said things without realising the unintended effects. That got you again in trouble with your handlers and may be forced to cut your miderable handout for which you have sold out your soul.
The schemeing politicians and born bandas are your masters who sold the country piece by piece without even bothering to look for the highest bidder.
Take it easy dude! Are you kinda jealous about something?
Well, for you cyber warriors “modern day samuri warriors” of the diaspora, there is no hope in this planet.
You need to commit a seppuku “harrakiri” by falling on your swords. HAYeeêëèęěē!!!!
Birtukan and her cohorts before lamenting about human right violation in ethiopia have to change their attitude.Time and again Birtukan ( I personally believe should have been tried for treason) and her DC friends should have to self assess themselves. They should ask themselves do we practice democracy? do our words and actions reflect democracy or a democratic idea? Bitukan, Alemayehu and Birhanu people who have not practiced democracy in their organization should show their diaspora followers what practicing democracy means. Dear woizero Birtukan there is a big difference between paying a lip service to democracy , democratic right and practicing it. In fact you woizero Birtukan is nothing but a puppet used to lure people to your failing coalition. I have known thousands of Ethiopian WOMEN who are fighting for human right and democracy but you are not one of them.YOU and the likes of you may use democracy and human right but it is not going to change who you truly are eople who sold their soul for a few dollars or scholarship.So don’t bore us with empty tirade about human right we know what it is worth we grew up fighting for with out selling our people and our souls for a few dollars.
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