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Ethiopia: Right in Prison, Wrong on the Throne



  07:58:49 pm, by admin   , 3353 words  
Categories: Alemayehu G. Mariam

Ethiopia: Right in Prison, Wrong on the Throne

Ethiopian jailed journalist Eskinder Nega

Ethiopia: Right in Prison, Wrong on the Throne

By Alemayehu G. Mariam

Last April, I wrote a “Special Tribute to My Personal Hero Eskinder Nega”. In that tribute, I groped for words as I tried to describe this common Ethiopian man of uncommon valor, an ordinary journalist of extraordinary integrity and audacity. Frankly, what could be said of a simple man of humility possessed of indomitable dignity? Eskinder Nega is a man who stood up to brutality with his gentle humanity. What could I really say of a gentleman of the utmost civility, nobility and authenticity who was jailed 8 times for loving liberty? What could I say of a man and his wife who defiantly defended press freedom in Ethiopia, even when they were both locked up in Meles Zenawi Prison just outside of the capital in Kality for 17 months! What could anybody say of a man, a woman and their child who sacrificed their liberties, their peace of mind, their futures and earthly possessions so that their countrymen, women and children could be free!?

Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega is a special kind of hero who fights with nothing more than ideas and the truth. He slays falsehoods with the sword of truth. He chases bad ideas with good ones. Armed only with a pen, Eskinder fights despair with hope; fear with courage; anger with reason; arrogance with humility; ignorance with knowledge; intolerance with forbearance; oppression with perseverance; doubt with trust and cruelty with compassion. Above all, Eskinder speaks truth to power and to those who abuse, misuse, overuse and are corrupted by power.
Now almost a year since I wrote my tribute, I remember my great friend and brother Eskinder Nega as he languishes in Meles Zenawi Prison. But I do not remember him in sadness or with heartache. No! No! I remember Eskinder in the hopeful, faith-filled and resolute words of American poet James Russell Lowell (“The Present Crisis”): “When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth’s aching breast…/ Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide…/ In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side... For Humanity sweeps onward: where to-day the martyr stands…/ Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne…/

Eskinder and his wife Serkalem did the right deed to defend the right of press freedom in Ethiopia. They spoke truth to falsehood in their newspapers and never backed down. They spoke right to wrong in kangaroo court. The man who tried for 20 years to right the wrongs of tyranny, today, like Lowell’s Truth, hangs on the scaffold in the belly of Meles Zenawi Prison, a place of “wrath and tears where the horror of the shade looms”, with his head bloodied but UNBOWED!

Last week, Birtukan Mideksa wrote an opinion piece for Al Jazeera urging the release of Eskinder Nega and other journalists including Reeyot Alemu (winner of the International Women’s Media Foundation 2012 Courage in Journalism Award) and Woubshet Taye (2012 Hellman/Hammett Grant Award) and all political prisoners in Ethiopia. Birtukan is the first female political party (Unity for Democracy and Justice) leader in Ethiopian history. Birtukan, like Eskinder, was the personal political prisoner of the late dictator Meles Zenawi. Meles personally ordered Birtukan’s arrest and on December 29, 2008, a year and half after he “pardoned” and released her from prison, he threw her back in jail without even the usual song and dance of kangaroo court. On January 9, 2010, Meles sent chills down the spines of reporters when he declared sadistically that “there will never be an agreement with anybody to release Birtukan. Ever. Full stop. That’s a dead issue.” On January 15, 2010, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention adopted an opinion finding that Birtukan Midekksa is a political prisoner.

It is heartwarming to read Birtukan’s moving and robustly principled defense of Eskinder Nega and the other Ethiopian journalists and political prisoners. It is also ironic that Eskinder should replace Birtukan as the foremost political prisoner in Ethiopia today.

Few can speak more authoritatively on the plight of Eskinder and all Ethiopian political prisoners than my great sister Birtukan who also spent years in in the belly of Meles Zenawi Prison, a substantial part of it in solitary confinement. In her Al Jazeera commentary she wrote:

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… [Ethiopian] authorities have detained my friend Eskinder Nega eight times over his 20-year career as a journalist and publisher. After the 2005 elections, Eskinder and his wife – Serkalem Fasil – spent 17 months in prison. Pregnant at the time, Serkalem gave birth to a son despite her confinement and almost no pre-natal care. Banned from publishing after his release in 2007, Eskinder continued to write online. In early 2011, he began focusing particularly on the protest movements then sweeping North Africa and the Middle East. Eskinder, who does not belong to any political party because of a commitment to maintain his independence, offered a unique and incisive take on what those movements meant for the future of Ethiopia. Committed to the principle of non-violence, Eskinder repeatedly emphasised that any similar movements in Ethiopia would have to remain peaceful. Despite this, police briefly detained him and warned him that his writings had crossed the line and he could face prosecution. Then in September [14], 2011, the government made good on that threat. Authorities arrested Eskinder just days after he publicly criticised the use of anti-terror laws to stifle dissent. They held him without charge or access to an attorney for nearly two months. The government eventually charged Eskinder with terrorism and treason, sentencing him to 18 years in prison after a political trial. Unfortunately, Eskinder is not alone; independent journalists Woubshet Taye and Reeyot Alemu also face long prison terms on terrorism charges.

Eskinder is a hero to the world but a villain to Meles Zenawi and his disciples
Who really is Eskinder Nega? In Meles Zenawi’s kangaroo court, Eskinder has been judged a “terrorist”, a “public enemy”. In the court of world public opinion, Eskinder is celebrated as the undisputed champion and defender of press freedom.

When speaking of my brother Eskinder, I could be accused of exaggerating his virtues, hyperbolizing his singular contributions to press freedom in Ethiopia and overstating his importance to the cause of free expression throughout the world. Perhaps I am biased because I hold this great man in such high respect, honor and admiration. If I am guilty of bias, it is because seemingly in Ethiopia they have stopped making genuine heroes like Eskinder Nega, Woubeshet Taye, Anudalem Aragie, Temesgen Desalegn… and heroines like Birtukan Midekssa, Serkalem Fasil, Reeyot Alemu….

Let others more qualified and more eloquent than I speak of Eskinder Nega’s heroism, courage, fortitude, audacity and tenacity in the defense of press freedom.

On December 3, 2012, when Carl Bernstein (one of the two investigative journalists who exposed the Watergate scandal leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon) read at a public forum Eskinder’s last blog before he was arrested, he said:

… No honor can be greater than to read Eskinder Nega’s words. He is more than a symbol. He is the embodiment of the greatness of truth, of writing and reporting real truth, of persisting in truth and resisting the oppression of untruth… So let us marvel at and celebrate Eskinder Nega. For who among us could write what I am about to read [a blog of Eskinder’s] spirit unbound, faith in freedom and the power of the word untrammeled…
When Eskinder was named as the recipient of the prestigious 2012 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, Peter Godwin, president of PEN American Center said, “The Ethiopian writer Eskinder Nega is that bravest and most admirable of writers, one who picked up his pen to write things that he knew would surely put him at grave risk…”
Larry Siems, director of PEN Freedom to Write Award, at the award ceremonies groped for words trying to describe Eskinder Nega. “…[This year] one [journalist] really stood out, and that is Eskinder Nega. So tonight we recognize one of the world’s most courageous, most intrepid, most creative advocates of press freedom that I have ever seen…”
In awarding its prestigious Hellman/Hammett Award for 2012, Human Rights Watch described Eskinder and the other journalists as “exemplifying the courage and dire situation of independent journalism in Ethiopia today. Their ordeals illustrate the price of speaking freely in a country where free speech is no longer tolerated.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists declared, “The charges against Eskinder are baseless and politically motivated in reprisal for his writings. His conviction reiterates that Ethiopia will not hesitate to punish a probing press by imprisoning journalists or pushing them into exile in misusing the law to silence critical and independent reporting.”

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the American civil rights heroine and former CNN Johannesburg bureau chief defended Eskinder and travelled to Ethiopia to plead for his release:

The specific charge against Eskinder was that he conspired with a banned opposition party called Ginbot 7 to overthrow the government. At his trial, government prosecutors showed as evidence a fuzzy video, available on YouTube, of Eskinder at a public town-hall meeting, discussing the potential of an Arab Spring-type uprising in Ethiopia. State television labeled Eskinder and the other journalists as “spies for foreign forces.” There were also allegations that he had accepted a terrorist mission—what the mission involved was never specified.
United States Senator Patrick Leahy read a lenghty statement into the Congressional Record informing his colleagues that “7,000 miles from Washington, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia… a journalist named Eskinder Nega stands accused of supporting terrorism simply for refusing to remain silent about the Ethiopian government’s increasingly authoritarian drift…”

The U.S. State Department has condemned the imprisonment of Eskinder and the other journalists:

The United States remains deeply concerned about the trial, conviction, and sentencing of Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega, as well as seven political opposition figures, under the country’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. The sentences handed down today, including 18 years for Eskinder and life imprisonment for the opposition leader Andualem Arage, are extremely harsh and reinforce our serious questions about the politicized use of Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law in this and other cases.

Eskinder is a hero to the heroes of international journalism. In April 2012, twenty international journalists who have been recognised as “World Press Freedom Heroes” by the Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) stood by Eskinder’s side, condemned his unjust imprisonment on trumped up terrorism charges and demanded his release and the release of other journalists. These press freedom heroes minced no words in telling Meles Zenawi of their “extremely strong condemnation of the Ethiopian government’s decision to jail journalist Eskinder Nega on terrorism charges.”
On November 21, 2012, the U.N. Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued a 9-page legal Opinion concluding:

“The deprivation of liberty of Eskinder Nega is arbitrary in violation of articles 9, 10, 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 9, 14, and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights… The Working Group requests the Government to take the necessary steps to remedy the situation, which include the immediate release of Mr. Nega and adequate reparation to him.”

In December 2012, 16 member of the European parliament demanded the release of Eskinder Nega and journalists Reeyot Alemu and Woubshet Taye.

Who is (are) the real terrorist(s) in Ethiopia?

Meles said Eskinder and all of the journalists he jailed are “terrorists”. If Eskinder Nega is a terrorist, then speaking truth to power is an act of terrorism. If Eskinder Nega is a terrorist, then advocacy of peaceful change is terrorism; thinking is terrorism; dissent is terrorism; having a conscience is terrorism; refusing to sell out one’s soul is terrorism; standing up for democracy and human rights is terrorism; defending the rule of law is terrorism and peaceful resistance of state terrorism is terrorism. If Eskinder Nega is a terrorist today, then Nelson Mandela was a terrorist then. The same goes for all of the other jailed journalists and opposition leaders jailed by Meles Zenawi.

But the real terrorists know who they are. When Meles and his horde of guerilla fighters challenged military dictator Mengistu Hailemariam, they were officially branded as terrorists, bandits, mercenaries, criminals, thugs, murderers, marauders, public enemies, subversives, rebels, assassins, malcontents, invaders, traitors, saboteurs and other names. Were they?

Let the evidence speak for itself. In an interview Meles Zenawi gave to an Eritrean magazine called Hiwot (which was translated into Amharic and published by Etiop newspaper, (Vol. 5 Issue No. 52), he presented himself as the Willie Sutton of Tigray pulling bank jobs all over the palce. Meles spoke proudly of the banks he and his comrade-in-arms robbed or attempted to rob to finance their guerilla war. Meles boasted of his “victorious” robberies in Shire and Adwa while regretting botched jobs in Axum. Today they own the banks!

The current ruling party, “Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Movement” (TPLF), is listed today in the Global Terrorism Database as a terrorist organization. Documented acts of terrorism by the TPLF include armed robberies, assaults, hostage taking and kidnapping of foreign nationals and journalists and local leaders, hijacking of truck convoys, extortion of business owners and merchants, nongovernmental organizations, local leaders and private citizens and intimidation of religious leaders and journalists.

An official Inquiry Commission established by Meles Zenawi to investigate the deaths that occurred in the post-2005 election period determined that security forces under the personal control and command of Meles Zenawi massacred 193 unarmed protesters in the streets and severely wounded another 763. The Commission concluded the “shots fired by government forces were intended not to disperse the crowd of protesters but to kill by targeting the head and chest of the protesters.” On November 1, 2005, security forces in the Meles Zenawi Prison in Kality gunned down 65 inmates while confined in their cells. No one has ever been brought to justice for these crimes against humanity.

In September 2011, the world learned that “Ethiopian security forces (had) planted 3 bombs that went off in the Ethiopian capital on September 16, 2006 and then blamed Eritrea and the Oromo resistance for the blasts in a case that raised serious questions about the claims made about the bombing attempt against the African Union summit earlier this year in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.” Following its own investigation and “clandestine reporting”, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa fingered “GoE (Government of Ethiopia) security forces” for this criminal act. If all other acts of state terrorism committed against Ethiopian civilians were to be included, the body count would be in the hundreds of thousands.

Who are the real terrorists and criminals in Ethiopia today?

Tale of the Good Wolf and Evil Wolf
The late Meles Zenawi and his apostles remind me of an old Cherokee (Native American) tale of two wolves: A grandfather tells his young grandson that everyone has a Good Wolf and an Evil Wolf inside of them fighting with each other every day. The Good Wolf thrives on peace, love, truth, generosity, humility and kindness. The Evil Wolf feeds on hatred, anger, greed, lies and arrogance. “Which wolf will win, grandfather?” asked the boy. “Whichever one you feed,” replied the grandfather.

Meles and his disciples have been feeding the Evil Wolf for decades, and now the Evil Wolf sits triumphantly crowned on the Throne of Hatred and Falsehood. They have fattened the Evil Wolf with a lavish diet of inhumanity, barbarity, brutality, ignobility, immorality, depravity, duplicity, incivility, criminality, ethnocentricity, mediocrity, corruptibility and pomposity.

Eskinder, Reeyot, Woubshet, Andualem. Temesgen and the rest have managed to tame the Good Wolf and have followed the path of peace, love and truth. Their wolf thrives on a simple diet of humanity, unity, integrity, authenticity, civility, morality, incorruptibility, dignity, affability, humility, nobility, creativity, intellectuality and audacity.

It is hard for the reasonable mind to fathom why Meles and his disciples chose to embrace and follow the path of the Evil Wolf. Indeed, the Evil Wolf has been very good to them. The Evil Wolf has made it possible for them to accumulate great wealth and amass enormous power. They have unleashed the Evil Wolf to divide and rule the country along ethnic, religious, linguistic and regional lines. They have used the Evil Wolf to destroy not only the lives and futures of young professionals like Eskinder, Birtukan, Reeyot, Woubshet, Temesgen and Andualem but also the future of the younger generation. They have used the Evil Wolf to sell off the country’s most fertile lands for pennies and plunder its natural resources. They have used the Evil Wolf to convict the innocent in kangaroo courts. They have used the Evil Wolf to strike fear and loathing in the hearts and minds or ordinary citizens.

They have given new meaning to the ancient Roman playwright Paluatus’ aphorism homo homini lupus est (“man is a wolf to his fellow man”). They have used the Evil Wolf to create war from peace; strife from harmony; wrong from right; vice from virtue; division from unity; shame from honor; immorality from decency; poverty from wealth; hatred from love; ignorance from knowledge; corruption from blessing; bondage from freedom and dictatorship from democracy. In 21 years, Meles and his disciples have managed to jam a whole nation between the jaws of a snarling, gnarling and howling Evil Wolf.

How long before the Good Wolf wins over the Evil Wolf?

The great Nelson Mandela wondered when Apartheid would end. He told those who had unleashed the Evil Wolf of Apartheid, “You may succeed in delaying, but never in preventing the transition of South Africa to a democracy.”
My friend Eskinder Nega warned the overlords of the Evil Wolf in Ethiopia, “Freedom is partial to no race. Freedom has no religion. Freedom favors no ethnicity. Freedom discriminates not between rich and poor countries. Inevitably freedom will overwhelm Ethiopia.”

But how long before freedom overwhelms Ethiopia? How long before Ethiopia transitions to democracy? How long before “truth crushed to earth rises again” in Ethiopia? How long before all Ethiopian political prisoners are set free? Before Eskinder is released and joins his wife Sekalem and their son Nafkot? How long before Reeyot, Woubshet, Andualem… rejoin their families? How long before the Good Wolf wins over the Evil Wolf?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. agonized over similar questions during the darkest days of the struggle for civil rights in America. His answer to the question, “How long?” was “Not long!”.

I know you are asking today, “How long will it take?” Somebody’s asking, “How long will prejudice blind the visions of men…?”

Somebody’s asking, “When will wounded justice, lying prostrate on the streets of Selma and Birmingham… be lifted from this dust of shame…? … How long will justice be crucified, and truth bear it?”

I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because “truth crushed to earth will rise again.”
How long? Not long, because “no lie can live forever.”
How long? Not long, because “you shall reap what you sow.”
How long before the Good Wolf wins over the Evil Wolf? Not long, because “once to every man and nation comes the moment” to decide between Good and Evil.

How long before wounded justice, lying prostrate on the streets of Addis Ababa, Mekele, Adama, Gondar, Awassa, Jimma… is lifted from the dust of shame? Not long, “because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

How long before truth and right crushed to earth rise up again in Ethiopia? Not long, because truth and right will not remain forever on the scaffold nor wrong and falsehood nest forever on the throne!
I have no greater honor than to stand up, speak up and defend my friends, brothers and sisters Eskinder Nega, Serkalem Fasil, Reeyot Alemu, Woubshet Taye, Temesgen Desalegn, Andualem Aragie and all political prisoners held in Meles Zenawi Prison!

Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino and is a practicing defense lawyer


Comment from: [Member]

“Ye qottun awerd billa ye bibetuan tallech”

The HIGH ANXIETY continues in the diaspora opposition camp.
Almaria keeps on jumping from tree to tree like a hungry horny monkey in search of garbage and something to cry about.
The politicaly bankruted, moraly and psycologicaly dead, The FOOLS & IDIOTS of the diaspora Ethiopian opposition group, lead by the likes of almaria & co. started their campain of discrediting our govt and our leaders only for the purpose of gaining a momentum and mostly to earn some kind of a BARGAINING CHIPS.
But as the saying goes back home “ewunetina nigat eyader yeteral", their lies, deception and bigotry couldn’t take them anywhere. Instead backfired on their face.
The more Ethiopia shows success and growth in every sector, the higher the approval and credence of EPRDF soared. Which became a bitter reality hit the FIDO “fools & idiots of diaspora oppo” so hard. They had to sort out with some kind of extreme measure to get even, which turned out to be a disaster they cannot recover from.
“Ke dittu wede mattu” endilu,
The likes of eskinder nega back home picked up the Arab spring calling beqa beqa, and organizing a big scale meyham and unrest, communicating with the likes of shabia sympathizers and terrorists eliass kiftaff and the whole gimmo 7 crew. And now the shameless almaria is trying to justify their act of terrorism by comparing modern day terrorism with that of TPLF armed struggle and bank roberry.
Wow! Hey, loser almaria! Today when we talk about terrorism, we are talking about the indiscrimnate bombing of civillians, sucide missions like 9/11, and inciting violence and chaos in cities, like the 2005 unrest instigated by careless Ethiopian opposition group, which resulted to 197 people’s death.
We know all this lie is just to make noise and trying to prolong your hopless political life, the same as the diaspora opposition abroad demonstrated against the Renaissance Dam, and abebe gelebaw’s self promoting shout of “no pood we need preedom", and also when the losers picked the muslim extrimist distablizing movement as their own cause. all to no avail.
Now again they are still crying a farfetched claim of Ethnic cleansing! Wow! Do we really have to argue about this nonsense claim of ethnic cleansing, whether to exist or not in peaceful and stable Ethiopia?
The bottom line is, the FOOLS & IDIOTS of diaspora opposition (FIDO), end up being losers who don’t even have a place they call their country. Thanks to our Anti Terrorism Law, instead of some BARGAINING CHIPS, they are tagged with a label being terrorists who are wishing and planning the destruction of Ethiopia. If they try to place their feet on Ethiopia’s soil in their dellusional attempt to see the throne at Arrat Killo, all they gonna enjoy will be the Kallitti resort waiting for them.

04/08/13 @ 20:07
Comment from: Tarid [Visitor]

Comparing Mandela with Eskinder is like comparing apple and orange.

04/08/13 @ 20:26
Comment from: Tulu Proud ET [Visitor]
Tulu Proud ET

Woyane is crying out laud for International Court’s Prosecution.

Indeed Eskinder is a hero with his wife and his prison born child.

He is a man of principle armed with truth and pen, integrity, honesty, affection, humble to his God and trustworthy to his fellow being.

How can a government armed to teeth be afraid of him? Except to love him? Anyone who thinks otherwise is the exact opposite of Eskinder.

Woyane is notorious to keep journalists and innocent people in prison to keep them quit.

But the more Eskinder stays in prison the more bad attention Woyane is accumulating.
It is a proven criminality that will bring Woyane thugs to face justice internally and under the International criminal court.

In Woyanes arena arrogance is piling while Crime is adding. Like Milosevic and the rest who though they were untouchable justice is inevitable. Justice may be delayed but it is coming.

Stay strong brother. We love you and never forget you.

04/08/13 @ 20:51
Comment from: Tulu Proud ET [Visitor]
Tulu Proud ET

There are many ethnic groups in Ethiopians under the same nationality. All of whom long to be treated equally and with respect. Freedom of speech is innate and that should be cherished, encouraged and admired.

Every decent human being should be brave enough to be like Eskinder Nega and all of those heroes languishing in Zenawi and Woyane prison for arming themselves with speaking the truth. My humble respect to all of them.

Only fraudulent propaganda of Woyane formulated to brainwash, divide and exploit is the only one to be discouraged and forbidden.

Addiu Zerafi (AZ) is trying to defend the indefensible notorious human right violator, genocidal, ethnic cleanser criminal regime of EPRDF in Ethiopia.

The notorious dictator defender woke up after giving up its position as the first to comment on every issue and on every forum for long due resting and hibernating. Terrified of the truth Addis Zerafi is the first to paste its comment again.

The paid cadre couldn’t hold it anymore when it comes to attacking the hero Eskinder Nega But to no avail. No one listens and no one supports this kind of horrendous anti-Ethiopia and anti-human pressed to support one appallingly formed ethnocentric agenda.

04/08/13 @ 21:38
Comment from: Gragn Ahmed [Visitor]
Gragn Ahmed

Most of you did not agree with me then when I refuse to accept innocent Muslims burnt the Churchs in Jimma. Some of you were trying to put fingers at the general population. But whatever happened, our own regime are planting all the conspiracies to bleed our people and play with our psyche. A little bit of reading and a bit of logic will guide out to the real terrorist smoker. In my mind, there is no single event that happens in that country that is not under the watchful eyes of Ethiopian security forces if not approved and encouraged and even planned by them.

Simply we have to call the Elephant in the room as the one causing our pain. Foreigners love this. But how are we going to continue like this? Why we are unable to share our resources fairly instead of serving other alien agents by fighting each other. The Tigres need to understand that in the end it is the people of Ethiopia they will have to live with. I for one are going to blame the whole of Tigre. The Tigre people must rise up and say no to this real dirty job their sons are doing. We forgot what the Amara elites have done and we got into the present dilemma. The voice this time must come from the north saying enough with this madness. We need peace and peace comes from all sorts of people caring.

04/08/13 @ 22:24
Comment from: Abyssinian [Visitor]

Eskinder, you state is your “hero” and your “brother". I am extremely happy for you. However, you go too far when you state that Eskinder “is a hero to the heroes of international journalism” and “Eskinder is a hero to the world". Please Professor, you are trying to place Eskinder on a pedestal appropriate for only an elite few,, not for one who attempts to tear at the fabric of Ethiopia by using journalistic license. He has abused his rights and has exhibited reckless behaviour.

Finally, you cite evryone under the sun from ancient Romans to Europeans and God knows who else. If you know anything about Ethiopians as you assume you do, you should know by now that we do not give a rat’s ass about Charlene Hunter-Gault or anyone else.

You are pathetic, not because EPRDF is doing a good job, but because you are always looking for approval from foreigners like a little puppy.

04/08/13 @ 22:30
Comment from: [Member]

The Ethiopian government’s human rights practice is continuing to be poor. Some of issues the government continues to be accused include:

a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention
e. Denial of Fair Public Trial
f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence
g. Use of Excessive Force and Other Abuses in Internal Conflicts

After the death of the Zombie , the government still continues to restrict & limit:
a. Freedom of Speech and Press
b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association
c. Freedom of Religion
d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons

The assault on independent institutions extends to nongovernmental organizations, particularly those engaged in human rights work and still violates:
a. Worker’s Right of Association
b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively


04/08/13 @ 23:12
Comment from: john john [Visitor]
john john

Eskinder got fair treatment and he is in a good human place not infamous place such us Abu grab, Gutanamo or secret jail around the world. In addition unlike other prison he never face water boarding or torching the uncivilized inhumane way on this soil.

04/08/13 @ 23:42
Comment from: Seattle [Visitor]

Ye woyane telba Hula binchacha be Ande Al Mekocha!

04/08/13 @ 23:42
Comment from: Lazy Observer [Visitor]
Lazy Observer

Armaria is at it again. The sad thing for him and his clown friends at gimmat 7 and the FIDO (copyright Addis Zemen) is that they will never set foot in their “beloved Ethiopia"…

That must be emasculating for the likes of ArMaria and Co., to think you are such a savior, such a Messiah, such a genious but never being able to ever set foot in the promise land.

04/09/13 @ 01:02
Comment from: Hewan [Visitor]

It seems you are devoid of any agenda to cry about. Now you went for the visitation of Bir-tuhan. Bir-tuhan has fizzled away. minarig new yemtlen ahun

04/09/13 @ 02:40
Comment from: Solomon [Visitor]

Al Mariam,

I will for the first time agree with you that Eskinder Nega is a much better version of the likes of you - champions of rubbish, useless and cheap talk 24/7. Eskinder at least does the talk from the heart of Addis, while the fraud Al Mariam (wanna be Al Gore) cries foul day in and day out from the comfort of the united states and the internet. I do really have a lot of respect for Eskinder in that aspect.

The problem is there is always a limit for everything. Even in the most democratic USA, you can not be a president without splashing a huge bunch of dollars $$$$$$.

Eskindar had all the earthen right to say and write whatever his twisted brain thought. He wrote Meles that Meles this, TPLF that TPLF this, EPRDF that EPRDF this…to the extent of bragging about the Eri-Tera’s superior military (which in fact is an ugly rat) over the gallant and selfless Ethiopian army.

Saying and writing whatever you want was not enough for our “journalist” and Eskindar wanted more - havoc and mayhem in the country. He is now where he rightly belongs - BIC - Behavior Improvement Center. His partner in BIC - Andualem Arage is even worse - just a village boy who needs to grow and chose to grow up in BIC.

04/09/13 @ 06:20
Comment from: Nenewe [Visitor]


New acronym -FIDO. That’s now creative thinking, Woyane style. I see some misplaced Amharic proverbs in your trashy comment, probably prepared in advance and approved by your masters.

What I like about the prof’s article is how it generates endless tirade from Woyane cadres like you.

His articles make you callous cadres congregate like flies on a rotten corpse. Woyanes don’t feel comfortable whenever truth comes to light.

“ewunetina nigat eyader yeteral”

When the truth comes out who do you think will be vindicated? your masters or the unjustly jailed journalists? Sorry, but I don’t consider you as an individual but an appendage of TPLF.

Don’t try to lecture us about terrorism. Just make noises and occupy space. That is what you are paid for.

Blind as they come you can’t even tell country from gov’t.

04/09/13 @ 07:53
Comment from: teshome [Visitor]

No surprise! Birds with the same feathers, flock together. “Gim le Gim Abreh Azgm”

04/09/13 @ 09:10
Comment from: [Member]

The relentless exposure of the “Evil circle” aka TPLF gangs , by the good professor is not welcomed by the Cyber weyane cadres.
As usual, these bunch of opportunistic “thugs” badmouth him. They even use derogatory language.
What is funny is these bunch of “mentally-challenged” puppets can’t even convince a child let alone the greater Habeshas. For this reason they resort to name-calling which is childish at best or straight rudeness at worst!!!
The Ethiopian people’s wrath will soon devour these Cyber flies and their masters at Arat Kilo.

04/09/13 @ 11:16
Comment from: Semabelew [Visitor]

Addis Zemen
Thank you for the new abbreviation–FIDO. Effective immediately that is the official name for those losers.
Gashe Mamo—truly MAMO! get your tuto and shut your mouth–old fart!

04/09/13 @ 11:52
Comment from: Abyssinian [Visitor]

Correction: My letter was directed at the professor, not Nega.

Mesfin B. First of all, you need to practice what you preach and stop calling people names. Second, if you support Nega, then you must also support freedon of speech. It follows that you must respect (not agree) with what others have to say. You have called us, including myself, childish and rude. It is people like you who do not deserve democracy.

04/09/13 @ 12:00
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

The sadist Stupidity of Agazi Bandits and Tigre Mafiosis
is more than ever blinding themselveses .Stuffed with the wealth
they have looted from the poor Ethiopian Peoples .Enritched on its misery .they are unable to understand that the peoples pation is on the eve of getting to its limit and they are actually digging their own grave .Amices and Thugs barking against Prof Al ,are just only crying for the bribes that the evil widow and her gangs are daily throwing to them . Even in foreign countries ,specially in the Democratic World ,their gangas and pupets are here and there trying to impose their laws ,by threatening patriots and Heroic Diasporas .Amices ,Agazis ,Mafiosis Aderbys and Bandas are themselveses :"Gim le Gim Abreh Azgm” as stated one of their Thuggy bros ,supposing laughing on patriots but in fact making of his own Truthful Description .

04/09/13 @ 13:49
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Ethiopia and the Abe Gubegna Nexus

Abe had told us in advance all what to come to Ethiopia, including Gobland. No question in his book “Alweledeme” Abe had told us in advance how soldiers took over power in a coup detate in an imaginary country and the following human right violations. It is in that same way he narrated a story of a Monkey Professor who will confuse people and finally confuse himself.

I don’t think there is any one as Abe Gubegna so eloquent and so through to the bone when it comes writing, central theme, characterization in Black African literature, and more than anything else he is true tinker greater than Chinue Achebe or Wole Soyinka. Abe is poetic and proverbial, a man who compose sentences that live longer in a lengthy story.

It always mesmerize me why Al Miriam always reminds me of Abe, it is not just Al brings back the memories of Abe in my mind, a man I came to know his great works closely in my childhood, readings in attempt to cover all his books, Al reminds me of Abe because of Abe’s lovely book titled “Gobland Achebrebariew Tota".

Abe in his other book “Seyfe Nebelbal Melkame” an amazing story again that sounds like Shakespearean sort of conspiracy to bring down a great man as in Othello, a story told with a tragic end of a great man in another Abe’s imaginary country. When one open the paper back book, first page he found the photo of Abe and below it is written “Sewoche yefelgutene lingerbungena liserubenge yechelalu lila sewe lydergunge gene aychelume". Abe is an amazing man! Abe is greater than the African greatest, the reason no one knows is he wrote in Amharic.

He told us long time ago there is a character like Gobland. An amazing Monkey grown up as a child in an Ethiopian childless family, Goblan grow as the only child of the family after the man killed the baby Monkey’s mother by mistake during hunting in the jungle, and took him to his house and gave it to his wife, where he was treated by the mans wife as a real child and mastered every thing like a brilliant Ethiopian child, the barren women Emat Lomie gave the child monkey a name Gobland and did everything for him as a true mother like a human child, Gobland was never informed that he was a Monkey,
The Monkey/Gobland got education and finally become professor. Abe is the most amazing writer, as creative as Gorge Orwell and when he want it as chilling political as Arthur Koestler. In his book “Gobland Achebrebariwe Tota” Abe is as funny as Carlo Collodi as in his book “Pinocchio” but Abe have a heavily loaded message to the reader, I am sure the book can be more popular in any language in any society. Abe created a world for Gobland by bringing the Monkey in a different world in the same way Ivan Turgenev moved the human child Ehitander from land to the sea in the “The Amphibian”.

Abe is amazing and is foresighted and prophetic as Orwell and historical with nationalistic pride as Nikolai Gogol as in Taras Bulba. The South African Ghanaian Peter Abraham is considered as a great African writer far in Europe and the US for his “Udomo” which is no comparison to Abe’s creativity and storytelling. There is no African English book as witty as Abe is in his “Gobland".

If there is anyone cares what other people are writing about, my message is read Abe’s “Gobland” if you want to understand Al, period. It is argued that it is Abe the composer of one of the greatest African proverb:

“Every day in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running.".

If Abe was alive today, he will identify Al saying wow this is what I was taking about in Gobland. Al is Gobland the monkey that “roars” every Monday hahahahahaha! Thanks for Abe the great who told me about Gobland Acheberbariew Tota

Here and now I declare the last prophesy of Abe on the emergency of a Monkey Professor is accomplished by Al.

04/09/13 @ 15:07
Comment from: Bethihu [Visitor]

Alemayoh G. & likes have been knowing good for nothing when it comes to the Ethiopian people well being. All they care is just to keep up their unrealistic or nonsense imaginary custles by dumping their trashy propagandas to the diaspora community on daily basses… However, the good things is that most of those idiots have been detached for good, so let them bark like toothless dogs from distance, and let them bend low to please an Ethiopia’s external enemies…LOL.

God bless the world!!

04/09/13 @ 15:24
Comment from: [Member]

***To Abyssinian***
respect is the outcome of one person’s acceptance of the other person’s right to live. Simply put, if one person or group of persons trump over other individuals the victim/s will not show respect.
I am quite sure this will shade some light why the EPRDF regime and it’s sympathaysers do not get respect. Given the laundry list of human right abuses, by the TPLF regime anyone can understand the “miserable” life of our people.
What I and many others have witnessed is the continous brutality of the guys from the
Tigray caves.

04/09/13 @ 15:59
Comment from: [Member]

Eskinder was just one of the many journalists jailed. Like many good journalists, Eskinder has shown his stubbornness to a fault. That is why it is our moral obligation to stand with him.

His imprisonment… is emblematic of the Ethiopian government’s determination to gag any dissenting voice in the country.

His courage is a pain to the regime. It painted a tar look to the officials serving the regime by showing the real picture hidden.

Their apartheid regime can only be compared to the late Nazi, or to the current North Korea.


04/09/13 @ 16:11
Comment from: Mohamed [Visitor]

Nenewe at least this creation of abbreviation shows AZ’s ability. What about your Fezralism which was preached by your propaganda machine ESAT A NCHOR MAN TAMAGNe.

AZ it is good abreviation for those Fools and Idiots. Alma is Yemeshebet Jib new. I don’t realy expect him to speak the fact. By the way he didn’t coment negative or positive on the Muslims issue.

Has he eber been to Ethiopia since he came to America. Is with Wehabiia or Ethiopian Muslims.

04/09/13 @ 17:05
Comment from: Netsanet [Visitor]

Addis Zemen,
I’m very worried that you are in a healthy state of mind. I’m not a fan of Al Mariam, but what really surprise me is your motive to critisize every topics which is posted on Nazret. You always put yourself on the top of the forum if the topic is against Ethiopian government (EPRDF or TPLF) and your comments are unbalanced, unjustified, irrelevant, and unskilled.

I’m not totally against the government and I give some credits for the achievement and I consider myself an opposition diaspora. I love my country than anything in this world, but people like makes me sick of it and I can’t stand it anymore. The more you are posting on each issue the more you are spreading hatred among the people. I feel that posting on this website is your major job and I’m quite shure you’re being payed for it. If you consider yourself in a state of war, then I don’t blame you, that’s your job.

04/09/13 @ 18:03
Comment from: guest1 [Visitor]

If anyone is interested in learning more about Eskinder Nega and what he is all about please take few minutes and read the following articles (I leave the judgment to your moral conscience) google the following titles and you will find the answer. I had the links but nazret kept rejecting my post so I removed it.

On Eskinder Nega | Setting the record straight; Eskinder Nega’s newspaper justifying the Holocaust; Eskinder Nega’s paper preaching genocide; Eskinder Nega’s paper: Let’s learn from Nazi heroism.

04/09/13 @ 20:43
Comment from: [Member]

***To netsanet***
አገሩን የሚጠላ ሰው የለም:: የ አገራችንን በደል ግፍ ግን እንቃወማለን::
የ ህዝባችን ለቅሶ እሮሮ ርሃብ እርዛት ጥማት ግድ የማይሰጣቸው ወያኔ ጅቦች ግን አገራችንን እየጋጡ አጥንትዋ ብቻ እየቀረ ነው ያለው:: አብለጭላጭ ህንጻ ስለታየ እድገት አለ ማለት አይደለም!!
~ ሃቁ ግን መሬት ለባለ ዶላሩ ሲቸበቸብ ነው የሚውለው::
~ ሃቁ ግን እውነቱን ተናጋሪዎችን ማሰር ነው::
~ ሃቁ ግን ሴቶች ኢትዮጵያውያን በ ቤት ሰራተኝነት ወደ አረብ አገር እየተሰደዱ ነው::
~ ሃቁ ግን ህዝባችን ካለበት እየተፈናቀለ ነው::
~ ሃቁ ግን ህጻናት እየተሸጡ ነው::
~ ሃቁ ግን ከ አለም አስራ አምስት የመጨረሻ ድሃ አገሮች እትዮጵያ አንደኛዋ ናት::
የ ሽፍታዎች ማህበር እየቀለደ በህዝባችን ስም ሲሰርቅ ይሀው ሃያ አመት ሆነው::

04/09/13 @ 20:52
Comment from: Ali roble [Visitor]
Ali  roble

I think “terror” word the most abused, misused and corrupted English word in these days. It is about discrediting your critics rather than addressing the real dispute or issue at hand.
It is all depends on the eyes of beholder. I wont be surprised if debtera Ass Gettu or Addid Zefen invokes next time “Islamic Terrorist” charges against his old ‘hore at home whenever he got drunk at home and got argument with her in the bed (BTW, these two fascist habesha guys has unique agreement on this matter but not much else).
As they say one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Mandela was charged was charged with terrorism act by the aparathied regime in South Africa and spend 30 yrs in jail. former PM of Israel Y. Shamir was charged with terrorism act in Plastine by the British colonials in 1940s and spent years hiding in Djibouti. Nevertheless, any struggle against social, political , and religious in injustice is justifiable no matter what. Woyane got wrong this again and they are nothing but a bunch of incorrigible thieves and bandits. It is outrageous to accuse something simple as a freedom of speech matters as terrorism charges.

04/10/13 @ 04:01
Comment from: [Member]

Semabelew and mohamed,…

Thanks, yes, FIDO is officially a given name to the losers and crybabies here in the west. They will die crying as fools and idiots they are!

Nestanet, and nenewe,…
As I can see, my writing is too sophisticated for you to undersand. Don’t be hard on yourselves. Maybe reading it again and again might help.

04/10/13 @ 05:49
Comment from: Nenewe [Visitor]


You’ve noticed the encouragement you are getting from two fellow F&I cadres. I can’t wait to see it in Wikipedia, courtesy of AZ. With background info as to how it was first mentioned and later parroted by, you know who.

Anyway, that and the fact that you were the first to comment(preparing your trashy comment beforehand, the article was posted somewhere else before it appeared here) should help you get noticed by your handlers. You’ve been too loyal to be passed up for promotion.

Don’t you worry about the substance of your comments. It is always devoid of any. Don’t despair, though. You can’t do any better as trying to be smart would get you in trouble with your handlers. Stay dumb and all is well.

There is no such thing as sophisticated in your tirade. The usual scream of bloody murder whenever your masters get tarnished by the prof or anyone for that matter.

You are not programmed to see the world from different perspectives.
Expendable/disposable cadres with no morality to speak of can’t be expected to accommodate others’ view of any topic.

You will go on denying what is glaringly obvious till your last breath.

04/10/13 @ 11:22
Comment from: Ash [Visitor]

Dear Ali roble,

“As they say one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Mandela was charged was charged with terrorism act by the aparathied regime in South Africa and spend 30 yrs in jail.”

I think u missing the point if Mandela fight apartheid that is perfectly right because apartheid regime doesn’t give polictical space for black…but if Mandela were fighting South Africa regime now he would be called terrorist… U see the timing is diffrent and the player are diffrent… Otherwise what u are saying is a slave can’t be fighting his slave master if he does he will be called terrorist, so too Ethiopian at Adawa…

Let’s take one more example TPLF fighting mengistu haile mariam right because Mengistu doesn’t give any kind of political space for TPLF so TPLF choice is to fight him…

Today cud can’t use TPLF method because TPLF give cud political space this doesn’t mean give power but political space this fight might take 40 years for cud to win but they still have political space to fight a peaceful fight so if they choice arme struggle against TPLF they will be called terrorist.

Another point to consider is timing… Today no body want even freedom fighter to use terrorism to achived their political goal every one fedup of terrorism so the west can’t support u it is outdated method so it is in ur best interest to use peaceful method.

04/10/13 @ 12:29
Comment from: [Member]


Hey dude, who died and made you the FOOLS & IDIOTS’ asleqash?
If my comments being first makes you angry, mission accomplished in my part.
Take it easy and lick your wounds. Looks like you are more hurt than the losers you were supposed to cry for.

04/10/13 @ 14:20
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

To the Agazi parrots and scavengers the likes ,AZ ,ET ,Ash ,Mohamed and Co. if you really have the Gut to face TRUTH …Time to watch the interview that the recently exiled photographer Journalist Benyam Mengesha has made on ESAT TV .And to
understand the real meaning of being
a Heroic Patriotic Journalist devoted to the rights of the peoples and for the benefits of the country . A great lesson for your own cadres and puppet fake journalists .

04/10/13 @ 15:49
Comment from: Bethihu [Visitor]

The famous Amharic song that being compose and sang to give asurance to those mothers whom gave birth to the Alemayoh G. Mariam and likes that not to worry what so over, because their children know how to keep their self safe cowardly…"ye feri enat atcheneki ligish gobeth new nefsu tebaki” yet they want see others to do all kind of dirty job for them in order to fulfil their evil dreams…

When I see Al’s nonstop propaganda, I just wonder what he has been doing all this time…. as much as he want the world to get a notice of him, he could had establish his popularity if he had participated a bit earlier with all those selfless Ethiopian children whom gave their life for the Ethiopian people betterment. I gues, he have been hiden around , know he thought that a good oppertunity to cry out loud for attention…

However, all those idiots are nothing but distraction toward their own people and we have long way to see a decent political opposition parties that would faction independent without the the interference of those toxic useless diasporas…

God bless the world!!

04/10/13 @ 17:49
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Who can be “FOOLS & IDIOTS” more than the pack of Agazi dogs ,Butchela Bandas ,and Western Diplomat Hyenas as the Ignorant Lady
crying her dear Friend ,the then Crime Minister….LOL !!!!!

04/11/13 @ 01:16
Comment from: Sew le Sew [Visitor]
Sew le Sew

AlMaria and the gang,
Crying from afar wont serve your call because it is not woyane problem they told us years ago that what they fight for is for the people of tgray and the country called tgray. I do not blame them when using and abusing the country and people of Ethiopia. We are born denz and will die always tramped and abused as denz! let them rule as they like as far as Ethiopia has no any MAN left to save her from the butchers and criminals of tgray.

Ethiopian has no ability to safeguard what is his. Ethiopia is a playground of not only Saudis but Indians, Saudis, and the US has made their daily bread in my beloved country while the people flee in despair.

04/11/13 @ 03:05
Comment from: fact [Visitor]

What is it Al Mariam? Eskinder is way better than you who stand up for his believe at home without fear at least. You are one of the sale out bastard old man with zero brain wishing a bloodshed in my country while you are relaxing in the United States. You and Elias are cowards who lack basic knowledge about your country and run gossip magazine in the heart of America. I wish you come back home and struggle like Eskinder Nega if you have the ball and sacrifice yourself and show the people love like Dr. Tesfaye Debesay. Kezenam!

04/11/13 @ 08:02
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

False (fact ),are you sure that you are
really apreciating Eskinder …LOL !!!When you are mentioning the Great Tesfaye Debesay ,do you mean the EPRP leader who fall heroically fighting the Junta Derg and the Meisson and Wezlig Bandas .Or simply ,as your Agazi Masters ,the Guy from Tigrai.You stink more the Amice AZ than a True Patriot .

04/11/13 @ 16:15
Comment from: Mohamed [Visitor]

Teddy. Your coments always don’t make sense. You labled me as one of cadre of EPRDF. Your coments are the same adgi always the word you are using. What is the meaning of it?

You mentioned about ESAT program and you advice us to watch the interview which was made with Biniam. It might help you and your likes to boost your moral but what I see is it doesn’t do any good in Ethiopian pilitics. First of all, mentioning ESAT is “SEW TIRA BILUT ERASU META” new. Please get a life.

04/11/13 @ 23:24
Comment from: Toe [Visitor]

Amazing to see Meles supporters still hanging in there, trying hard to hold on to the balloon that was left after his death…confused yet they do not have any clue they are left with one big balloon

sorry, it is sad to be on the wrong side of history just to get a couple hundred bucks. It is like selling yourself like….

04/13/13 @ 03:01



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