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An Open Letter to John Kerry: Tell Ethiopia to Release Eskinder Nega and Stop Imprisoning Bloggers
Electronic Frontier Foundation
"Individuals can be penalised, made to suffer (oh, how I miss my child) and even killed. But democracy is a destiny of humanity which can not be averted. It can be delayed but not defeated… I sleep in peace, even if only in the company of lice, behind bars."
- a letter attributed to imprisoned blogger Eskinder Nega, serving 18 years for journalism in Ethiopia
September 4, 2013
Dear Secretary of State John Kerry,
This month marks the second anniversary of Eskinder Nega’s imprisonment. When you visited Ethiopia in May, Eskinder Nega had already been imprisoned – and thus silenced - for over a year. It’s time for the United States to use its considerable influence to vigorously and directly advocate Nega’s freedom and, in the process, to promote free expression and independent journalism throughout Ethiopia.
Now is a crucial moment for the Secretary to speak out. Over the weekend, Ethiopian security forces in Addis Ababa brutally suppressed a demonstration calling for political reforms and the release of jailed journalists and dissidents.
Eskinder Nega is an internationally recognized Ethiopian reporter-turned-blogger. His award-winning journalism on political issues in Ethiopia – and his refusal to stop publishing or flee the country - has made him the target of persecution by the Ethiopian government for many years. Nega was arrested in September 2011 and then convicted under a new, extremely broad anti-terrorism law in Ethiopia. Nega’s so-called crime was writing articles and speaking publicly on topics such as the Arab Spring and Ethiopia’s poor record on press freedom. For that, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
In July, the New York Times published a letter from Eskinder Nega in prison, who explained that Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law "has been used as a pretext to detain journalists who criticize the government." He elaborated on the actions that landed him in prison on charges of terrorism:
I’ve never conspired to overthrow the government; all I did was report on the Arab Spring and suggest that something similar might happen in Ethiopia if the authoritarian regime didn’t reform. The state’s main evidence against me was a YouTube video of me, saying this at a public meeting. I also dared to question the government’s ludicrous claim that jailed journalists were terrorists.
As Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said, "The use of draconian laws and trumped-up charges to crack down on free speech and peaceful dissent makes a mockery of the rule of law."
EFF has joined other free speech advocates and human rights organizations around the world in calling for Nega’s release. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has joined the movement calling for Nega’s freedom. And Amnesty International has rightly declared Nega a prisoner of conscience and is petitioning for his release.
Journalists and human rights organizations around the world have condemned Nega’s sentence and called for his release. It’s time for the United States, and especially the State Department, to do the same.
We’re writing today to urge you to use your relationship with Ethiopia to campaign for Eskinder Nega’s freedom and the freedom of all peaceful bloggers in Ethiopia.
We appreciate the public statements that the State Department has made about Nega’s imprisonment, but that’s not enough. Nega has already spent two years in prison, and other bloggers in Ethiopia have also been silenced by similar unjust imprisonments.
A free and independent media is vital to democracy and justice. We are calling on you to speak out on behalf of Eskinder Nega and raise his case with your contacts within the Ethiopian government. We urge you to more strongly tie American economic and political support for Ethiopia to its record on press freedom. The Ethiopian government should understand that the imprisonment of Eskinder Nega has real and continuing consequences to the health of its global diplomatic and financial relationships with its partners.
The United States has deep ties with Ethiopia. Please use this access and influence to champion the rights of free expression and press freedom that are guaranteed by the Ethiopian constitution and international law.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Wow! Eskinder nega is a convicted terrorist, first and most. Second, John Kerry is busy in his country’s big issue of dealing with Syria crisis. And last but not least, how in the world you losers think, John Kerry or any one in that matter to tell us what to do in our country’s internal issue.
Ethiopia is a respected sovereign nation. in case you didn’t know!
Mr. Kerry is not arrogant enough to “Tell” Ethiopia to do anything.
“Electronic Frontier Foundation"(where they come up with these names I wonder) are the latest set of “liberal idealist trash that can’t get a straight job” to comment on Ethiopia.
Nazret… You do understand that anyone telling the Ethiopia government what to do, be it Mr Kerry or Hailemariam , would be undemocratic and unlawful. If your problem is with dictatorship and you think Hailemariam is a dictator then your objective should be bringing democracy, not replacing a dictator that you disagree with with a dictator you agree with!!!!
Article by “Electronic Frontier Foundation"…Wasn’t that an 80s Pop band?
Please don’t go out side the motherland to tell about prisoners. We ask our goverment to free them. To give the all amnesty. The feranj do not take his dirty cloth to other country. You have to understand. Problem we have inside stay inside our beloved mother country. We have defit Italy before now we can defit America
Our problem is Ethiopia problem. We have history not tell forieners our problem . We jest deafit foreiner.
thank you ADDIS ZEMEN
Etiopia is repexcted all around africa, Asia, and america.
The america government have Syrya, Jordan, Palestine to think. We think only about Ethiopia.
You are wonderful. I agree
Remember Eskinder Nega is not the only Journalist or the only political prisoner languishing at Kaliti.
If we fight we need to fight for all political prisoners in Ethiopia. We should not cherry pick or we should not have some as favorites.
Afterall it’s really a waste of Times asking State Department Officials Whether Mr Kerry even President Obama on the Human Rights Violation in Ethiopia . As it had been by the past years with the Bush Administration .Also
the then two Secretary of States Whether Ms Rice or Ms Clinton .We have been witnessing also how peoples whether in Central Africa Republic and during the Arabs Spring poved how to get rid themselveses from Tyranni . So what might be done with the Bandits squattering actually Menelike Palace than calling US Officials and demonstrating infront the White House and State Department . Of course ,Agazi Bandits Officials wherever they have gone must be denounced by the Patriotic Diasporas ,including their fake bonds selling Compaign and their
Kleptomaniac Condominium Houses Registration . Adgi what about your Dead Master with his Bandits all of them well known TERRORISTS .His Ethno Mafia Firm .
His Looter Widow and the Tigre Mafiosis and Bandas .What about your Kangoroo COURT ,with illeterate Judges and Agazi Cadre
Fake Prosecutors receiving directly
the orders from your bandit masters . Of course John Kerry as any State Department Officials in the past Times as Mr Pauwles ,Ms Rice ,Ms Clinton can give the order to your Bandit Masters .The likes to accomplish a Mercenary Mission in Somalia and neighboring country …Afterall it’s certainly not the Childish Speech of the State Department Official praising her dead Friend ,last year at Meskel Square, that could Hide the NAKED TRUTH…!!!! Of course if he did really have the wills ,Mr Kerry can make release right away Eskinder and all the patriots from Jaile .Unfortunatly to spare his Woyane Slaves and Clerks ,he will certainly never do so .Afterall ,knowing perfectly who
the Hell is paying your Masters’ bills you ,Thuggies and Bandas ,must shut your stinky mouth .AMICHE AGASES BANDA !!!!!
An Open Letter to Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Tedros Adhanom :Tell United States to Release Bradley Manning and Stop Extradition of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.
“The United States has deep ties with Ethiopia”
What a distorted saying! since when was US is interested in Ethiopian Affairs? just quote an example which I do not know! They used to support and recognise Eritrea as part of Ethiopia, but because they bitterly hated Mengistu, they financed, supported and installed both shiftas in Eritrea and Ethiopia thanks to the late Cohl who did his best for what we are now. The king after WWII requeste Roosvelt for which he received a leapservic and few second hand military gears until Derg took over.
The US Government does not care about Ethiopia or for that matter the whole black Africa except for their own strategical use. In such matters like fighting for them in Somalia and elsewhere, they might drop you some dollars to benefit the politicl stooge leaders. Late Meles was hailed as their yes man in Africa. We should never ever expect their support to gain our democratic rights. Our freedom lies in our own hand. Leave the fight within, unite as Ethiopian, be visionary and get determined for a purposeful fight. Then only we may throw those small bandits and bring back the true democracy and freedom where an Ethiopian will not be ethnically catagorised or called names. This needs a unity in good cause not having a hidden motive to seek power, but for a free Ethiopia. Let us not beg America for this and that, but if we are strong enough they will give us attention and knock on our door. This is the US Policy! We are as they see us “third world, black and unimportant unless for USE and THROW” purpose. I have not seen a single case wher America stood for the right and freedom of a foreign nation except may be the western Europe England and Germany!
Top 5 nations jailing journalists.
Top 5 jailing politicians including accusing with coup.
Top 5 crimes against humanity and violation of human right
1. Saudi Arabia.
Top 5 nations with prison numbers
1. USA-more than 2.5 Million where more than 50% are blacks
2. UK- about 90.000
However, our backward Diasporas do not know how things are working in the world including in USA. USA needs to take care first it’s our prison/jailing cases before even thinking about others. Then it needs to do something about the worst human violation and crimes against humanity going on with its close watch and presence in Saudi and other Gulf nations where there is no Democracy, rule of law, human right, equality and the likes even by name.
It also needs to worry about what is going on in Egypt and Turkey before even having any free second of thought about Ethiopia; a nation that is doing her best and a good and trust worthy friend to USA and the west for years to come.
But the worthless and parasite old Diasporas that have no idea about the value of work and working and be part of the productive society rather than being stupid and worthless in abroad living for nothing but crying like old dogs on internet and blogs.
Do these worthless mother fucker think ESAT or the likes that were financed by MB in Egypt and still by the wahabi oil kings that are on the line to pay the ultimate and final biggest price which going on the last 2.5 years in the name of Arabs spring but in reality the Arab/Sunni Islam destruction, have any negative leverage in Ethiopia? No.
These old and lost rats had the negative leverage against our country in the past mainly when their dedeb and primitive parents were destroying Ethiopia especially during Derge era. We know most of them are criminal dergs and their children need to be in jail for the crimes they had committed against Ethiopia during that monster Mengistu era.
These dedeb and lazy can cry and this way can make money from the anti Ethiopian foreigners. But because of them Ethiopia will never ever lose one step from being forward. They are stupid and worthless crying under the white men feet with aim they would give them Ethiopia to destroy her because of they don’t know and they don’t like working and doing the right things.
Qoshasha Hulu. ESAT, Hypo face Tamagn which is a laughable when he even opens his Hypo mouth talking about politics he doesn’t know anything about. B. Nega a dishonest always changing side when he knows he is challenged and he will not be the centre and get money. Those ugly from ESAT in Amsterdam. KKKK, they need to get life rather than being always dependent on income support yet on ESAT acting as if they are nothing. QQQQ.
The good news is that these mother fucker few Diasporas are becoming worthless every day. They just have no other means to make the living and be around. Because everyone knows that they are nothing even for themselves let alone far away in Ethiopia. They don’t know how to make politics. They are the lost creatures milking the Ethiopian enemies and those stupid Diasporas that are giving money and coming around them in the name of Ethiopia thinking these stupid like Tamagn would do something far way in Ethiopia.
But It is their way milking the ignorant Diaspora not about bringing good to Ethiopia which is they are not capable of doing anything something Ethiopia demands from her citizens that are from this generation, wise and competent. Listening and relaying worthless Individuals like Hypo Tamagn, Dishonest B. Nega and the ugly Income support seekers from ESAT in Amsterdam by itself is a great defeat only the ignorant and stupid don’t get it.
Electronic Frontier Foundation is a longstanding advocate for online p****graphic films.
The cave-dwellers hae no civility and do not believe in human right either.
These bunch of goat-herders are good at stealing money in the name of our nation and fattten their accounts.
They throw to prison every ethiopian citizen who is the voice for the voiceless population.
In so doing they think they can stop the people’s struggle for freedom.
if only they know not only will they appear before the nation to get their judgement but they will not get a single penny of the stolen money
GezGezzo ,who are you supposing fooling by willingly deleting your bandit masters’ eveil regime from the LIST…Certainly you and your Thuggy bros as the whole .By
the way your supposed List is it from your Bandit Masters Well Known evil Lobbyists the Likes Djendai Frazer ,Ms Rice ,your own Mster ,the SHERATON SHEIK’s so called Foundation ,Or the Meles Foundation and even The So called
Peace Commitee led by the pallbearer Sebehat who had not already finished of burying the Dead CM . TCHINKILATEBIS WOFEFE BANDA !!!!!
Mr.John Kerry’ we are friends of america as always, but we do not want to put your hand in our constitution system of government better to stay away in this regard
we are fighting together for torresmo still ahead.
Tchertcharaw ,don’t you know that
your Shabis Envoy is sent to DC by your Agazi Masters to beg Moneys their American Boss .As did by the past the then Crime Minister and still continuing by the new one .So you are addicted to p.rn films …LOL !!!!The way that you are talking as a Great Connaisseur on the Subject ,proves for what really purposes you are always stuck on your Laptop and I phone …LOL !!!Hey GezGezaw ,if Tamagne for you is a Hipo face by
the way what are you going to call your Great Idol Selemon Ms Pigy or Blue Wale…LOL !!!!Afterall you and your Thuggy bros are the most Idiots and Fools being milked by the Looter Agazis
with Fake Bonds and Empty Promises
the Likes of Condiminium Houses Registration .Hey Bandaw you forget on your Fake List Sudan ,Zimbabwe and many African States Ruled by Despots from the same Association of your own Dead Master…LOL!!!!And what about China ,North Korea ,Iran …LOL !!!What a Genious Guy you might be ,for denouncing the most Despotic Regimes in the World the Likes America ,Brazil ,UK ,maybe next time France ,Switzerland ,Sweden ,even Mars and The Planet of the Apes…LOL !!!
John Kerry is ignorant he knows nothing about blacks.
The journalist or the blogger Skinder Nega has been in jail for quite sometimes for a crime he has committed according to the statements by some of the Ethiopian authorities. His case should be referred to the Ethiopian court only, not to the State Department of the United State Mr. John Kerry runs. Mr. Skinder is an Ethiopian citizen, and any Ethiopian citizen’s case can be resolved by the concerned Ethiopian citizens only.
Any letter from any known or unknown organization sent to Mr. John Kerry to release an Ethiopian citizen from an Ethiopian jail ignores the sovereignty of the Ethiopian people and minimizes the capability of the Ethiopian citizens to handle their own problems. The person who wrote the letter lacks a sound judgment and thinks every crime perpetrated in this world should be solved by the United States State Department as if the United States were the Super Court of the entire world.
For example, Kenneth Bae, a United States citizen has been sentenced to 15 years in the notorious North Korean jail. John Kerry and other State Department officials have been working very hard for the release of their own citizen from the North Korean jail, but so far they have failed to bring Kenneth Bae from North Korea to the United States of America.
Therefore, how can the person who wrote John Kerry a letter to intervene in the case of a United States non-citizen Skinder Nega assume John Kerry may be more concerned about the case of Skinder Nega than the case of Kenneth Bae, a United States citizen?
If I were a true friend of Skinder Nega, I would never write such a self-defeating letter and send it to a foreign person to handle Skinder’s case. I would rather write a letter of apology to his Excellency, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and let him know my friend Skinder Nega has unintentionally committed a crime against his government, so he regrets for his bad judgment for writing an anti-government article and would never repeat the same mistake he had blundered in the past against the anti-terrorism law. He humbly requests your Excellency to reduce his jail sentences from 18 to 5 years in community services.
That is what the spirit of my letter would be if I am really concerned about Skinder Nega’s jail conditions and the problems his family faces. Whether the letter addressed to John Kerry has come from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or from John F. Kennedy’s ‘New Frontier’, it doesn’t make a sense at all, and it doesn’t solve Skinder’s immediate problem to get out of the jail and see God’s precious free gift – the sun light.
These year must be a dry season for putting journalists behind bar. Because either most of them are languishing in prison and the remaining already left the country. So, it pretty much says that there are no independent journalist left in the country to harass.
Congratulations Woyanes for a job well done!!!
On another hand, here is more bad news for Parroting cadres to chew on.
Ethiopia drops ten places to 137th in Press Freedom.
Despite the release of two Swedish journalists arrested in 2011, Ethiopia (137th) fell ten places because of its repressive application of the 2009 anti-terrorist law and the continued detention of several local journalists.
Tell Kerry to extradite Berhanu Nega, Elias Kifle, Alemayehu Gebremariam & co.
Eskinder Nega is a criminal who agitated to overthrow the government using the Arab Spring. It is not about press freedom. It is about crimes against the Ethiopian State. There could be other political prisoners, who are not guilty. They have to be released. The likes of Eskinder Nega hould not be released.
You have no balanced view! You are mentally deranged. some of the journalists like Eskinder Nega were agitating openly to overthrow the government. Many in the Opposition are agents of Eritrea and Egypt.
Weyane is anti-ethiopia in general. But many in the Opposition are worse than Weyane. If Weyane imprisons the likes of elias Kifle and Berhanu Nega, this should be fine for Ethiopia because they are collabarating eith Egypt and Eritrea. The Opposition does not oppose the secession of Eritrea.What a joke! How are they different from TPLF? The Opposition seems more sympathetic to Issays Afeworki, who is the enemy number o One of Ethiopia.
The Oppsoition is simply filled with tribalists, who are ready to sell Ethiopia to get the Tigreans from power. It is a shame1 No one stands for Ethiopia as a country!
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