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Ethiopia: A lifeline to the world
Birtukan Mideksa spent years in an Ethiopian prison, and was featured in Write for Rights 2009 as a prisoner of conscience. She told Amnesty International what global support meant to her, and how the power of letter writing can be harnessed again this year to help her good friend, Eskinder Nega.
Birtukan Mideksa speaks to us from her desk in Boston, USA, amid the bustle of student life. A Harvard fellow, she is taking an MA in Public Administration at Kennedy School and is a thriving academic.
It’s a far cry from the Ethiopian prison cell she occupied only a few years ago – a place her friend, Eskinder Nega, knows only too well. He is currently serving an 18-year sentence because of his journalism.
In fact, the two were detained together between 2005 and 2007, alongside Eskinder’s wife Serkalem. All three were declared prisoners of conscience. They have also featured in Amnesty’s Write for Rights campaign - Serkalem in 2006, Birtukan in 2009, and this year, Eskinder, because he’s in prison again.
“It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.”
- Mark Twain
Yes, freedom of speech comes with responsibility. With that in mind, people should exercise the freedom of thought. That’s where the failure comes. People are scared of exercising their freedom of thought. That runs against their inner conscious.
First of all, who made eskinder a prominent journalist. He is not a journalist, and has never been one. Get your facts in order. As a convicted terrorist, he has got a very lenient sentence, which he should be thankful of.
“TigreN wode Mekelle eKawun wode Kebelle” it rhymes well though Birtukan.
AZ - Well said!!!
According to who is Eskinder a terrorist ….. TPLF? the DEAD Tyrant Meles who is wanted who will be sentenced to death while in his death bed for treason, ethnic baiting, looting through EFFORT? or according to you, the loser and the crazy head who wants to be counted as Ethiopian?
Shabia/TPLF land is waiting for you ….that is your final resting place run before you get caught (I have a new word I coined for you idiot) ‘boastfully napping’, even more appropriately ‘farting and crapping’.
every body can be a journalist? Without certificate?
Take a look at your self in the mirror. You are not any more that young boy who grow up behind black lion hospital Sefer.
Why Amnesty didn’t say much about Saudi Arebia?
Eskindir appears to have misused his journalism by playing politics to undermine the government and by engaging in subversive activities.
Amnesty international why only try to destroy ethiopian development. Look in Saudiarabia everyday ethiopians torechering, abusing and murdering by saudi police and young barbar saudis why Amnesty international not devoting and protesting against this crim. world media nothing say about this crim in saudiarabia. thier ethnic cleansing against ethiopian in saudiarabia , but amnesty international and other organization say nothing or only few words about this crim.
ESKINDER IS ANOTHER DIASPORA LEBA WHO GREW UP IN WASHINGTON D.C. AND CAME TO ETHIOPIA TO CREATE TABLOID NEWS CO./NON-PROFIT/ETHNIC POLITICS/$$$$$!!!
I may add to the above post that this guy admires Hitler and advocates for genocide and elimination of one ethnic group. He has never been an ordinary journalist let alone a prominent one. Prominence comes from a cool headed , logical person who respects others rights to express their mind. This is a little man with a little mind and he deserves to serve the 18 years in jail if not more period!
Why would you even use that quote? we know what happened to those who dared to practice them. It’s ironic out of all people you are talking about freedom of conscience? What do you know about that?
Like I told you before, I’m going to tell you again, that the dead guy took your balls to the grave for you to never get them back. I was hoping that you still have some spines left. Evidentially, you don’t.
What type of a man would follow a system without asking solid questions? I guess that’s an easy question. Your type.
Free Eskinder Nega period.
AZ most of us do not understand how he is a terrorist. the definition of terrorist is one that instills fear and terror by indiscriminately targeting civillians lives or properties. we dont know what he did or what the results of his actions were to make him a terrorist to the point of receiving the maximum. did any one lose his life or were there properties damage we dont know. all we know is he opposes the government and he was calling ethiopians to copy cat the arab spring.
Oh here we go again. This dedeb from Dedebet thinks only Journalists have freedom of speech and not individual people or activities don’t have freedom of speech. This is what we call deliberate misdirection. Take a little bit of truth and stretch it until it distort to the shape they want it to take.
Someone with no commonsense and with bits and peaces of some knowledge ,dispersed and desperate knowledge, with no true depth, just like the Dead prime-minister, try to act very knowledgeable intellectual to make themselves look important. The sad part is people with depth know idiots like the Aram Dead president and his fools trying to convince us there is freedom of speech in Ethiopia. Whey don’t you go and put your ARE on the streets of Mekele or Axum Aram Tegre.
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