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The Audacity of Evil in Ethiopia



  08:53:26 pm, by admin   , 4360 words  
Categories: Alemayehu G. Mariam

The Audacity of Evil in Ethiopia

The Audacity of Evil in Ethiopia

By Alemayehu G. Mariam

Triumph of Evil?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”, said Edmund Burke. But what happens when evil triumphs over a good young woman journalist named Reeyot Alemu in Ethiopia? Do good men and women turn a blind eye, plug their ears, turn their backs and stand in silence with pursed lips?
In an extraordinary letter dated April 10, 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists pled with Berhan Hailu, “Minister of Justice” in Ethiopia, on behalf of the imprisoned 32-year old journalist urging that she be provided urgent medical care and spared punishment in solitary confinement at the filthy Meles Zenawi Prison in Kality just outside the capital Addis Ababa.

Prison authorities have threatened Reeyot with solitary confinement for two months as punishment for alleged bad behavior toward them and threatening to publicize human rights violations by prison guards, according to sources close to the journalist who spoke to the International Women's Media Foundation on condition of anonymity.CPJ has independently verified the information. Reeyot has also been denied access to adequate medical treatment after she was diagnosed with a tumor in her breast…

Last week Reeyot was declared winner of the “UNESCO / Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2013.” That award recognizes “a person, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger.” The $25,000 prize will be awarded on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2013.
In May 2012, Reeyot received the prestigious International Women’s Media Foundation “2012 Courage in Journalism Award for “her commitment to work for independent media when the prospect of doing so became increasingly dangerous, her refusal to self-censor in a place where that practice is standard, and her unwillingness to apologize for truth-telling, even though contrition could win her freedom.”

In December 2012, Reeyot, along with three other courageous independent journalists, received Human Rights Watch’s prestigious Hellman/Hammett Award for 2012 “in recognition of their efforts to promote free expression in Ethiopia, one of the world’s most restricted media environments.”
Reeyout Alemu is Ethiopia’s press freedom heroine

In May 2012, when Reeyot received the IWMF’s award, I wrote a commentary entitled, “Reeyot Alemu: Young Heroine of Ethiopian Press Freedom” recounting some of Reeyot’s courageous acts of journalism and denouncing the abuse she received at the hands of those in power in Ethiopia. In June 2011, Reeyot and her co-defendant journalist Woubshet Taye were arrested on trumped up charges of “terrorism” and held incommunicado in the infamous Meles Zenawi Prison. Reeyot’s arrest occurred just after she had written a column in a weekly paper criticizing the late Meles Zenawi's harebrained fundraising campaign for the so-called Grand Renaissance Dam over the Blue Nile. That column seemed to have angered the cantankerous and irascible Meles. Reeyot also skewered Meles’ sacred cow, the half-baked “five-year growth and transformation plan” (which I critiqued in “The Fakeonomics of Meles Zenawi in June 2011) . In September 2012, Reeyot and Woubshet were charged with “conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and participation in a terrorist organization” under Meles Zenawi’s cut-and-paste anti-terrorism law.

Reeyot’s trial in Meles’ kangaroo court was a template for miscarriage of justice. She was held in detention for three months with no access to legal counsel. She was denied counsel during interrogation. The kangaroo court refused to investigate her allegations of torture, mistreatment and denial of medical care in pre-trial detention. The evidence of “conspiracy” consisted of intercepted emails and wiretapped telephone conversations she had about peaceful protests and change with other journalists abroad. Her articles posted on various opposition websites were “introduced” as “evidence” of conspiracy.

Human Rights Watch was confounded by the idiocy of the terrorism charges: “According to the charge sheet, the evidence consisted primarily of online articles critical of the government and telephone discussions notably regarding peaceful protest actions that do not amount to acts of terrorism. Furthermore, the descriptions of the charges in the initial charge sheet did not contain even the basic elements of the crimes of which the defendants are accused….”

Amnesty International denounced the judgment of the kangaroo court: “There is no evidence that [Reeyot and the other independent journalists] are guilty of any criminal wrongdoing. We believe that they are prisoners of conscience, prosecuted because of their legitimate criticism of the government. They must be released immediately and unconditionally.”

PEN American Center “protested the harsh punishment handed down to” Reeyot and Woubshet and demanded their “immediate and unconditional release.” PEN asserted the two journalists “have been sentenced solely in relation to their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression, in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, to which Ethiopia is a signatory.”

The International Women’s Media Foundation saw the kangaroo court trial as an intimidation tactic against all independent women journalists: “The fact that the Ethiopian Government pursues and persecutes courageous, brave and professional women journalists does not bode well particularly for young women who may be interested in journalism. As a result, women’s voices (as reporters, editors, journalists, decision-making chambers) are rarely heard and women’s issues are often relegated to secondary position.”

Following Reeyot’s kangaroo court conviction, her father told an interviewer his daughter will not apologize, seek a pardon or apply for clemency. “As a father, would you rather not advise your daughter to apologize?”
This is perhaps one of the most difficult questions a parent can face. As any one of us who are parents would readily admit, there is an innate biological chord that attaches us to our kids. We wish nothing but the best for them. We try as much as humanly possible to keep them from harm…. Whether or not to beg for clemency is her right and her decision. I would honor and respect whatever decision she makes… To answer your specific question regarding my position on the issue by the fact of being her father, I would rather have her not plead for clemency, for she has not committed any crime.

Meles offered Reeyot her freedom if she agreed to snitch on her colleagues and help railroad them to prison. She turned him down flat and got herself railroaded into solitary confinement. Even in prison, Reeyot remained defiant as she informed IWMF: “I believe that I must contribute something to bring a better future. Since there are a lot of injustices and oppressions in Ethiopia, I must reveal and oppose them in my articles.”

The problem of evil in Ethiopia

Over the hundreds of uninterrupted weekly commentaries I have written over the years, I have rarely strayed much from my professional fields of law and politics. I make an exception in this commentary by indulging in philosophical musings on evil, a subject that has puzzled me for the longest time (and one I expect to ruminate over from time to time in the future) but one I never considered opining about in my public commentaries. I am mindful that there is the risk of sounding pedantic when one reflects on "Big Questions", but pedantry is not intended here.

My simple definition of evil is any human act or omission that harms human beings. For instance, convicting an innocent young journalist on trumped up “terrorism” charges, sentencing her to a long prison term and throwing her into solitary confinement is evil because such acts cause great physical and psychological pain and suffering. Ordering the cold-blooded massacre of hundreds of unarmed demonstrators is evil because that act arbitrarily deprives innocent people of their God-given right to life. Forcibly displacing indigenous populations from their ancestral homes and selling their land to outsiders is evil because that act destroys not only the livelihood of those people but also their history and social fabric. Trashing the rights of individuals secured in the law of nations is evil because it is a crime against humanity and an affront to human decency and all norms of civilization. Discriminating against a person based on ethnicity, language and religion is evil because it deprives the victims of a fundamental right of citizenship. Albert Camus argued evil is anything that prevents solidarity between people and disables them from recognizing the rights or values of other human beings. Stealing elections in broad daylight and trying to deceive the world that one won an election by 99.6 percent is evil because such an act is an unconscionable lie and theft of the voice of the people. Stealing billions from a poor country’s treasury is evil because such theft deprives poor citizens vital resources necessary for their survival.

The evil I struggle to “understand” is that evil viciously committed by ordinary or sub-ordinary people in positions of political power. Such persons believe they can cheat, rob, steal and kill with absolute impunity because they believe there is no force on earth that can hold them accountable.

I am also concerned about the evil of passive complicity by ordinary and extraordinary people who stand silent in the face of evil. What is it that paralyzes those “good men and women” who can stand up, resist and defend against evil to cower and hide? Why do they pretend and rationalize to themselves that there really is no evil but in the eye of the beholder? What evil binds the blind, silent and deaf majority? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

I should clarify my use of the word “understand” in the context of evil. One can never understand evil. The Holocaust and the Rwanda Genocide are evils beyond human understanding and reason. To “understand” the deaths of millions or hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings is to implicitly justify it and somehow diminish its enormity. To “understand” the deliberate and premeditated murder of 193 unarmed protesters is beyond understanding because there could never be adequate reason, explanation or argumentation to justify it. “Understanding” such evil is tantamount to suggesting that there are or could be justifications for its occurrence.

When I use the word “understand”, I mean to suggest only that I am trying to get some insight, a glimpse of the moral makeup of people who live in a completely different moral universe than myself. It is impossible for me to see the world through the eyes of those in power who perpetrate evil in Ethiopia. When I speak of the triumph of evil in Ethiopia, I realize that there is nothing I can say by way of reasoned argument or presentation of evidence to persuade those in power to forsake their evil ways and deeds. I have concluded that those in power in Ethiopia live on a planet shielded by the equivalent of a moral Van Allen radiation belt that keeps out all cosmic rays of virtue, decency and goodness.

Let me also clarify what I mean when I speak of the audacity of evil in Ethiopia. The evil I am talking about is not the evil that Aquinas’ wrestled with in Questions 48 and 49 of Summa Theologica. Nor I am concerned about the evil Spinoza determined originates in the mind that lacks understanding because it is overwrought by fickle emotions. Neither am I concerned with evil that, for most of us, is associated with the Devil and his lesser intermediaries. I am not concerned about inanimate non-moral evil which manifests itself in the form of famine, pestilence and plague. I am also not referring to that evil lurking deep in the nihilistic being of those soulless, heartless and mindless psychopaths who are so disconnected from the rest of humanity that they feel justified in slaughtering innocent people at a sports event.

I am concerned about the evils of ordinary human wickedness and bestial human behavior that Aristotle alluded to in Nicomachean Ethics. I am concerned about gratuitous evil (pointless evil from which no greater good can be derived) committed by ordinary and sub-ordinary wicked people whose intellect is corrupted, and their bestial counterparts who are lacking in intellectual discernment. Such evil is cultivated in the soil of arrogance, ignorance, narcissism, desire for domination, self-aggrandizement and hubris. Those who commit gratuitous evil do so audaciously, willfully, recklessly and impulsively because they feel omnipotent; because they fear no retribution; because they anticipate no consequences for their evil deeds. They know they are committing evil and inflicting unspeakable and horrific pain and suffering on their victims but nonetheless go about doing evil with calculation and premeditation because they believe they are beyond morality, legality, responsibility and accountability. Hubristically relying on their power, they have exempted themselves from all rules of civilized society. They believe that their stranglehold on power gives them a license to commit evil at their pleasure and therefore make a habit of doing evil for evil’s sake. They are incapable of remorse or regrets because they have made evil their guiding “moral” principle.

My musings on the audacity of evil in Ethiopia are not intended to be abstract philosophical reflections but observations with practical value for victims of evil. I have an unshakeable belief that there will come a time in Ethiopia when the demands of punishment, blame and justice would have to be weighed against the greater good of peace, harmony and reconciliation. There will come a time when the open wounds of ethnic division, hatred and sectarianism must be healed and safeguards put into place to prevent their future recurrence. I believe insight into the nature of gratuitous evil is an important step in the healing process. By "understanding" (gaining insight) why individuals and groups in power commit gratuitous evil, it may be possible for Ethiopians to develop the courage, perseverance, fortitude and spiritual strength to move towards a reconciled and peaceful society. That is exactly what the South Africans did by instituting their Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) after Apartheid ended. Perpetrators of gratuitous evil were given the option to come to a public hearing and confess the evils they have committed and seek not only amnesty and immunity from civil and criminal prosecution but also forgiveness from their victims and the survivors of their victims. The Commission largely succeeded in that mission. The Rwandan “Gacaca courts” (traditional grassroots village courts composed of well-respected elders) which were established to administer justice to those alleged to have committed genocidal acts similarly sought to achieve “reconciliation of all Rwandans and building their unity” by putting justice partially into the hands of the surviving victims or victims’ families who are given the opportunity to confront and challenge the perpetrators in the open. The Rwandans also achieved a measure of success.

What has been learned from the TRC of South Africa and Rwanda’s Gacaca courts is that the act of forgiving can be an activity that victims of evil can find enormously helpful and beneficial. By publicly confronting the perpetrators, victims gain a sense of psychological satisfaction, moral vindication and physical well-being. The victims are no longer tormented by the desire for revenge and retribution. Coming to terms with the enormity of gratuitous evil makes it easier for a society to reconcile and prevent the recurrence of such evil.

Touched by evil

The Socratic thesis is that no one does evil intentionally. In other words, men and women commit evil out of ignorance which blinds them from doing right and good and deprives them of the practical wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong and good and evil. Evil doers are morally blind and unable to value other human beings while overestimating their own value and worth.

Why do those in power in Ethiopia commit the gratuitous evil of throwing into solitary confinement an innocent young woman who has been internationally honored and celebrated for her journalistic courage? Could it be the evil of misogyny that makes powerful men derive sadistic pleasure from the humiliation, degradation, dehumanization, depersonalization, demoralization, brutalization and incapacitation of strong-willed, intelligent, defiant, principled and irrepressible women who oppose them?

The gratuitous evil that is inflicted on Reeyot by those in power in Ethiopia is only the latest example. The exact same evil was inflicted on Birtukan Midekssa, the first woman political party leader in Ethiopian history, who was thrown into solitary confinement for months at Meles Zenawi Prison because she stood up and opposed him. The same evil in different form was inflicted on Serkalem Fasil, another world-renowned female Ethiopian journalist who was imprisoned and forced to give birth in prison. The common denominator between these three women is that they are strong, self-confident, determined and principled and risked their lives to stand up to a brutal dictatorship. Because they refused to back down, they suffered the most inhumane treatment at the hands of powerful men.

Solitary confinement in Meles Zenawi Prison is used as a psychological weapon to drive the victims mad. By depriving victims of all human contact and by denying them access to any information about the outside world, the aim is to make them feel lost and forgotten. Solitary confinement for women is a particularly insidious from psychological torture intended to humiliate and breakdown their physical, psychological, spiritual and moral integrity. Those in solitary confinement in Meles Zenawi Prison are not allowed to visit with friends. They are denied access to books. They are not allowed to meet their legal counsel. Family visits are interrupted even before smiles are exchanged; and even hugs and kisses with family members are forbidden. Solitary confinement is a dirty psychological game played by those in power to plunge the victims into the depths of despair, sorrow and confusion and make them feel completely helpless and hopeless.

When Meles threw Birtukan into solitary confinement, he just did not want her to suffer. That would be too easy. He wanted to humiliate and dehumanize her. When she was in solitary confinement, he used a cruel metaphor describing her as a “silly chicken who did herself in”. While in solitary confinement, he mocked and took cheap shots at her telling the press that that she is “in perfect condition” but “may have gained a few kilos”. He wanted her to suffer so much that he told reporters, “there will never be an agreement with anybody to release Birtukan. Ever. Full stop. That’s a dead issue.” He wanted Birtukan to be the living dead in solitary confinement. Providence had a different plan.

The gratuitous evil perpetrated against Serkalem Fasil is beyond human comprehension. In their letter to President Lee C. Bollinger of Columbia University opposing Meles Zenawi’s appearance to speak at that institution, Serkalem and
her husband the world-renowned journalist Eskinder Nega wrote:

We are banned Ethiopian journalists who were charged with treason by the government of PM Meles Zenawi subsequent to disputed election results in 2005, incarcerated under deplorable circumstances, only to be acquitted sixteen months later; after Serkalem Fasil prematurely gave birth in prison.Severely underweight at birth because Serkalem’s physical and psychological privation in one of Africa’s worst prisons, an incubator was deemed life-saving to the new-born child by prison doctors; which was, in an act of incomprehensible vindictiveness, denied by the authorities. (The child nevertheless survived miraculously. Thanks to God.)

Do those who slammed Reeyot and Birtukan in solitary confinement and forced Serkalem to give birth in one of the filthiest prisons in the world realize what they are doing is evil? Do they care about the suffering of these young women?

Birtukan has survived and continues to thrive. Serkalem struggles to survive every day as she agonizes over the unjust imprisonment of her husband Eskinder. Reeyot, I believe, will survive in solitary confinement because she is a strong woman of faith and conviction. Solitary confinement to persons of faith and conviction is like fire to steel. It brings out the best in them. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years; but is there a man alive who is more compassionate, humane, kindhearted and forgiving than Mandela?

Sigmund Freud wrote about the kind of sadistic gratuitous evil driven by deep-seated hatred and aggression against women. Other psychologists see the root of gratuitous evil in personality “fragmentation” caused by feelings of rejection and inferiority. They say those who commit gratuitous evil seek to “defragment and hold themselves together” by degrading and feeling superior to their victims. Others have argued that beneath the gratuitous evil that perpetrators commit lies a profound emptiness filled by sadistic rage, anger, and hatred.

I believe those in power in Ethiopia commit gratuitous evil to obtain absolute obedience and respect. As Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiments (and in other aspects the Zimbardo (Stanford) experiments) have shown, those in authority seek to secure obedience by establishing social models of compliance. In other words, those in power aim to teach by harsh example. If you are an independent journalist and do your job, you will be jacked up on bogus terrorism charges, held in detention, thrown in solitary confinement and tortured. If you challenge a stolen election and protest in the street, you will be shot in the streets like a rabid dog. By using extreme violence, those in power in Ethiopia seek to create not only an atmosphere of fear but also a culture of terror. The experiments have also shown that resistance can also be taught by example. Reeyot, Serkalem, Birtukan, Eskinder, Woubshet, Andualem are social models of resistance.

Hanna Arendt observed Adolf Eichmann, one of the major organizers of the Holocaust, at his trial in Jerusalem and found him to be “medium-sized, slender, middle-aged, with receding hair, ill-fitting teeth, and nearsighted eyes, who throughout the trial keeps craning his scraggy neck toward the bench.” He appeared to be a common man incapable of monstrous crimes. The banality of evil is the capacity of ordinary people to commit monstrous crimes. The audacity of evil is the capacity of ordinary and sub-ordinary people to commit evil not out of necessity, obedience to authority or even adherence to ideology; it is evil committed by those who are absolutely convinced that they will never be held accountable for their crimes.

Doing evil, doing good

I have many unanswered questions. Are the individuals in positions of power in Ethiopia evil by nature? Was evil thrust upon them by a demonic power? Were they victims of evil themselves and now seek to avenge the actual or perceived evil done to them and ended up being evil themselves? Did they become the very monster they slew? Are there persons who are innately incapable of doing good because they are bad seed and are born with a natural disposition to do only wrong and evil? Is gratuitous evil a psychological illness, an incurable sickness of the soul?

My questions do not end there. No one is immune from evil. Those of us who rise up in self-righteous indignation and denounce evil should look at ourselves and ask: If we were shown “all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor”, would we succumb to that offer and choose the path of evil? Nietzsche said, “When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks into you.” When we raise our lances at the windmills, do we really see monsters? Let us not forget that “He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster.” Are we also brutes, like those we criticize, costumed in a veneer of civilization and morality untested and unseduced by the corrupting power of power? Are human beings innately good, and evil people merely mutations of good ones?

The evil that men do lives after them

The late Meles Zenawi has left a dark and bleak legacy of gratuitous evil in Ethiopia. The evil he has done shall continue to live in the prisons he built, the justice system he corrupted and the lives of young good Ethiopians he destroyed like Reeyot, Eskinder, Serkalem, Birtukan, Woubshet, Andualem and countless others. In Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar, Antony speaks: “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones. So let it be with Ceasar.”

When I speak of Meles, I speak not of the man but of the wretched legacy he left and of the pious devotion of his disciples to that legacy. His disciples today speak of his great achievements and his great vision with Scriptural certitude and apostolic zeal. Their mantra is, "We will follow Meles' vision without doubt or question." One must speak out against pre-programmed robots; but raging against the machine should not be mistaken for raging against the man.

I remain optimistic that in the end good shall triumph over evil because the ultimate battle between good and evil in Ethiopia will not be waged on a battlefield with “crashing guns and rattling musketry”; nor will it be fought and won in the voting booths, the parliaments, the courts or bureaucracies. The battle for good and evil will be fought, won or lost, in the hearts and minds of ordinary Ethiopian men and women who have the courage to rise up and do extraordinary good.

Elie Wiesel, a prisoner in the Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald concentration camps, and Nobel peace laureate said “indifference is the epitome of evil” and “swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.

I have taken the side of Reeyot Alemu, Eskinder Nega, Serkalem Fasil, Birtukan Midekssa, Woubshet Taye, Andualem Aragie…. and made them the “center of my universe”.
(to be continued….)

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


Comment from: Are you Kidding Me!! [Visitor]
Are you Kidding Me!!

” filthy Meles Zenawi Prison in Kality”

Really Mr. Almariam? who built this prison originally? if I am not mistaken, it was built by haileselasie and was used since then. Your commander in chief Mengistu Hailemarima imprisoned so many young Ethiopians there. Why are you crying again? You pretend to care about Ethiopia yet you have not provide or suggest any solution to the problems that you keep crying about. why are you crying again?? simple question..can you provide an honest answer??

04/22/13 @ 22:18
Comment from: yilma [Visitor]

Al the most evil person I had ever know through the internet is calling others evil?. Does he claimed that he wrote to many articles with no interruption for the last hundred weeks? He is imitating the US president weekly speech! Al is everywhere and he could be anybody! Why not he continue writing a million times for his entire life? He does not change any way the course of history, especially people like him who have a complete close and ignorant mind set! I am not sure to what extent he use his “intellect” to evaluate himself to what extent his article persuade peoples to take lessons from his ideas. He is still thinking today as he is living back 40 years ago. what idiot he is! Unless people like hims who want to read what they want to read I do not think the majority of readers accept his articles without questions. one fact is his articles may read by many people, but not necessary people are appreciating what he wrote.Most of them read just to learn English, period! I agreed with him, he is good on that. i advised him to evaluate himself using scientific statistical analysis. Writing rubbish articles can not qualify him as a genuine political writer or commentator.
How could he expect positive change if he had never and ever speak positive comments about the country he claimed born? He oppose the construction of infrastructure, he oppose the transformation of agricultural sector to aggro-industrial level, he oppose the construction oh hydro power, which is a driving force for development activities etc…. What is important to raise here is that he betrayed Ethiopia and stand for the right of Egyptian to use our river Nile, and trying to intimidate Ethiopia to stop the dam. Does this guy considered himself an Ethiopian origin and have the right to speak about Ethiopia? As far as I am concerned I do not considered this evil man as an Ethiopian. he is an agent of Ethiopian external enemies, mainly Egypt and Shabia. As an Ethiopian I oppose many things about the current government. But I will never disagree with any government when it comes to economic development, national security and national interest of my country. Only those extremist and ignorant politicians disagree with this principles. To me there could be a political opposition, but there should not be a development opposition. This is an ugliest face of some radical Diaspora “Ethiopians". The good professor failed to understand this elementary concept. I don’t know how he teach his student ! it is a political necessities to stand against the government policy but it is unacceptable to stand against national development plan, national security and interest. Al is against everything. The reason is clear. As long as he or his likes idiot are not in power they will never appreciate or stand for their country. If Al have a power to induce an earth quake to kill the government he hate the most, he will not hesitate to do it with no consideration the repercussion to a other million Ethiopians life.Al is this kind of evil person!

04/22/13 @ 23:19
Comment from: [Member]

The nazi higher officials were responsible for killing millions and millions. These higher officials, some of them were even afraid of blood. There biography shows most are family persons. They have children, wife and a family to take care. There personal vendetta closed there minds and formed a system that caused the sufferings of the world. There lower officials were as brutal as they can be. These lower officials evilness can not be expressed in words.

On the same token, Weyanne is creating a system that makes this lower cadres a cannibal. They don’t even see right or left. They don’t judge for themselves. They don’t ask why? Humanity is a joke to them. Mothers children or the elderly are nothing. Because, now the law is on their side doesn’t mean they will escape prosecution. A time of accountability will not be far.


04/22/13 @ 23:26
Comment from: Seattle [Visitor]

The Meles Zenawi memorial Prison at Kaliti.

a perfect fitting for man who was famous for putting the largest number of journalists in jail after his cousin Essayas Afewerki of Eritrea.

04/22/13 @ 23:46
Comment from: Yonas [Visitor]

al mariam, the nutty & mentally retarded professor. You speak about evil? You are the essence of evil with a pencil. What a shameful life. You may pretend that you will make a difference but no one will know who you are or what you write. If you are a man of conviction may be you should take your struggle to Ethiopia but you are a coward. What on earth do you think you are doing? Nothing

04/22/13 @ 23:57
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Agazi Banda Kid ,kality concentration Camp was established by
your own bandit masters ,including the Zwai and also Tigrai Secret Prisons ,Time to shut your stinky mouth FIDAB …LOL !!!! The Agazi bandits are not remaining in power because of their strenth or having the support of the peoples .It’s also because of some coward ,opportunist Aderbyes working for them and even playing double games .Some in the diaspora are participating on the demonstration against these bandits but avoide to be filmed and taken in pictures with patriotic political activists .Some are telling us that they would like to ,but wanna to preserve their family members in the country or the villas they are actually building .Time to make their choice ,being enslaved by the Northern Bandits or being a proude Free Patriot standing for the Rights of the peoples .Eskinder ,Reeyot ,Andwalem and many patriots have already done it by risking their lives .But why not us living in a FREE WORLD .Certainly not a bunch of Thugs
and a pack of Agazi mad dogs and hyenas plus fake Agazi priests and sell out bandas who can intemidate us . Knowing that we have the means to FREE the peoples and the country from the hands of these evil Bandits .Let’s get UNITED and ACTIONS !!!!!!!!!!!!

04/23/13 @ 01:16
Comment from: [Member]

“The audacity of a self promoting loser almaria, in the diaspora".

AlMaria started his weekly bravado by pretending to say a word or two about the jail bird reeyot. But end up as usual promoting himself for the upcoming election of the diaspora FOOLS & IDIOTS imaginary transitional govt presidency.
As Plato once said it, “for a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.", al malaria needs first to conquer his egotistical self.
His egotistical self and his abnormal obsession with the late PM Meles got the best of him, by occupying his whole article with the name Meles, average 3 times in one paragraph, almost 150 times in all, in this short article.
Jealousy and envy seem to motivate al malaria, why he keeps crying as a forgotten significant other. Meanwhile forgetting his own purpose in life.
“know thyself” Socrates,
At last he said, where inhumanity, despair, suffering, and torture exist, to become his the “centre of the universe". Well, we hope and pray for him and the rest of FOOLS & IDIOTS diaspora opposition that, they open their eyes and make Isayass Aforki and Eritrea to be their CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE! AMEN!

04/23/13 @ 04:53
Comment from: ActionCase [Visitor]

Dear Author, Prof. Alm.
Usually I enjoy your deep insight to the problems that TPLF of Tigree by ethnicity influences other ethnicities group in abusing, killing, imprisonment, land grabbing and so on in Ethiopia. I know that you are lawyer too. Two things, however, I cannot understand of your actionable inputs to curb the challenges:

1) What is your action to bring those injustice cases to a court? I ask you this because you are a lawyer and not a journalist. I hope you will get support such as funding if you take a legal action than you remain as a writer. Then it is more convincing if you will write your progressive action for audience. Journalists will help you on other aspects.

2) You stress mainly on a particular ethnic group and ignore others. For example, you ignore name of Oromo politicians and students who are prisoners. I assume that since they are so many, you may not able to list all of them but still you can include few names.

04/23/13 @ 05:04
Comment from: Abyssinian [Visitor]

I have never seen an opinion-editorial writer who loves to quote others more than Mr. Gebremariam. In the article above,Edmund Burke, Sigmund Freud, Albert Camus, Hanna Arendt, Nitzsche and Elie Wiesel were quoted or mentioned. All accomplished and respected people.

What Mr. Gebremariam does not understand is that merely quoting them without the proper context enlightens no one. It does not make one’s argument authoritative or believable. If Hitler quoted Gandhi, it does not make him believable.

Which brings us to the issue that matters. The Courts of Ethiopia. While I will admit that the Ethiopian courts are far from perfect.It is important for Mr. Gebremariam and others to understand, that journalists even in the USA do not have complete freedom to say what they want. In the recent Boston bombings, the news media was told not to report on certain information before some security agencies had checked out certain background information on the brothers. This was after the bombing. Journalists in the US are imprisoned when writing or releasing information deemed a national security threat. A recent example is the freedom of information activist who committed suicide here in the US before his trial.

The fact of the matter is that journalists who abuse their profession at the expense of national security at a time when you have Al-Shabaab, ONLF and Ato Isayas, should, and in fact, must be prosecuted to the full extent of our laws. And, if they complain of jail conditions, they need to remember that it’s not the Sheraton.

04/23/13 @ 07:27
Comment from: [Member]

The Lucifer clun gangs at Arat kilo
are drumming their business as usual.
As the good professor had explained it above, these bunch of “Devil-reincarnatiion-as-humans” are
doing their heinous crime.
-Torture our citizens
-Throw our journalists to prison
-Chase away people & give their land to foreign entity
-Steal aid & loan money in the name of our nation.
-Harass the non-weyane business people.
the crime list is endless.
The only solution to all these atrocities is to unite & bring down the Devil circle from Arat kilo

04/23/13 @ 10:49
Comment from: Bethihu [Visitor]

Alemayoh G. Mariam

You are jus a sick man and you will never stop crying or preaching against the Ethiopia’s development till the end of your life, but you should know that your crocodial cry will have no empact to stop the young jeneration of the Ethiopian people.

You like or not, the new jeneration of the Ethiopian people have gotten freed themselves from the stone aged way of thinking that you seemed to be stacked in for ever.

So, give up or tell to your sponsors that your preaching has a zero empact in today’s Ethiopia…LOL.

God bless the world!!

04/23/13 @ 11:38
Comment from: Nenewe [Visitor]

addis zemen [Visitor]

How come you failed to post first as part of your miserable job description.

Did you like the “Meles Zenawi prison". It should be renamed after him for his tireless work to put scores of innocent(terrorists in the eyes of your masters). Sounds like more original than FIDO.

Don’t make an a** of yourself. Issayas was the mentor of your late tyrant. And Eritrea was his true home. You need a reminder, cadre?

Not much is expected from you because your world revolves around Woyane.

Woyane’s dirt bags like you & the rest have no meaningful life at all let alone a purpose in life. You are paid to cry louder than the loudest cadres who are not in short supply here.

04/23/13 @ 11:55
Comment from: solo [Visitor]

Hi Mr. AL, I am just wing it ok. I did not read your article not a sentence. But I am going to say somthing about you, YOU!!! you alawys write about Ethiopia the country that you love so much. My question to you is what the hell did you do to your country latley??? It is ok to write about the so called today`s leaders of Ethiopia. It is your lively hood that is how you make your money. Good for you, again except complaining every monday week after week. My point is if you care much about your Ethiopia show it by doing postive things to ethiopians and their country.Anyone can write and go to sleep at the end of theday and expect change.That is not how change comes, please just for the sake of poor Ethiopians do somthing Postive that benfits the masses. Also plaese do not tell us how much you love your country, it is by doing that you can prove to us. Going around and be guest speaker is not one of them……plaese do the right thing for once and the comminty will rember you for that but not for the guy who writes article every monday`s.

04/23/13 @ 12:31
Comment from: Haile Sellassie [Visitor]
Haile Sellassie

Talk is cheap. Do something or shut up.

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”

Cited as from an address in Addis Ababa (1963) in Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations (1988)

04/23/13 @ 13:05
Comment from: Ras Thomas and Associates of Ethiopian Patriots. [Visitor]
Ras Thomas and Associates of Ethiopian Patriots.

Mr. Almanyehu,

If there is any evil in this world it is you.
You are drank with the hate to your country by little salary given to you by the enemy of Ethiopia.
You think you can deceive Ethiopian people with you crocked pen and trash word. Ethiopians are smart than that OK.

04/23/13 @ 13:40
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Mesfin B [Visitor]

Wow you are still in the same job as cyber cadre for Iss-ass!

04/23/13 @ 13:44
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

The audacity of Moron and opportunist Bandas in the Diaspora .
Specially the TPLF Scavenger stuck to this website ,unable to challenge the great professor you are here and there barking as a pack of mad dogs against him .It’s not Prof Al who is mentining many times your evil dead master ,but you and all your Thuggy bros and bandas with your usual qualifications,Bale Raeyu Merih ,Abayen Yedeferre ,Tagyu ,Ye Edget Mehadissu …usual futile baseless bla blas …Even you on your daily craps ,you are mentioning him by giving the titles such as ,our great PM twice even Trice times on each line of your crying post .But not even a single line of his bad side ,of course “NOTHING” condemning the Genocide Crimes comitted by him and his blood sucker Agazis .You are supposing by throwing in Jail W/T Reeyoot and Talakun Eskinder that your bandit masters have silenced the opposition
by avoiding the Arab Spring Revolution happening into the country .Unfortunatly for you ,it’s not Reeyot ,Andwalem and Eskinder who are really in Jail ,but you and all your Agazi bros and bandas enclosed in your own Banda Moron Philosophy of Talaku Tigrai ,suffering with your ancestral
Inferiority Complex vis à vis the Amhara Peoples and also feeling as a
Low Cast peoples while comparing yourselves to Shabis and Eri Guys . Unable to change your brain washed mind ,you are still enChained to your own ignorancies prisoners of your own lies and propagandas

04/23/13 @ 14:22
Comment from: Easy to DEFEAT evil [Visitor]
Easy to DEFEAT  evil

Evil only survives if good people do nothing. Yes indeed. Good people must drive out evil when they see it. What is happening in Ethiopia today is nothing but evil.

Good people are enormous in number, strong, kind , reliable, confident, rational, reasonable and always happy because they have nothing that causes them to be fearful and nervous.

Evil is few in number, weak, greedy, unreliable, nervous, irrational but always afraid paranoid. Because of this weak and wicked nature it pretends to look strong not by reasonable of righteousness means but by cruelty, deceits, criminality, wickedly, immoral, unlawful and illegal, actions.

Evil is easy to defeat but good people must stand strong to do good.

04/23/13 @ 14:34
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Fake Abyssinian ;once again you and all your Thuggy Bros have proved how much you are a Pathological LIARS .First of all none journalists have thrown in jail for reporting the Boston’s last sad event .On the contrary in USA whether in any democratical countries press peoples are FREE to make inquiries and inform the public of what is really
happening .The 9/11 ,the Iraqi crisis ,the war against the Talibans ,the 90th Somalia Crisis all
the journalists who made inquiries have never been arrested not even being convened by any authority for explaination .Hidden under your fake assertion of the Fight against Terrorism ,you are just trying to fool peoples with your supposed Rule of Law .But a State of TERROR imposed by a minority Ethno Mafia Bandit Group on the majority of the peoples .By the way Berthihu ,the fact that Prof Al writings have more and mure impacts is that most of the commentators on this page and many others where he did post are from you
and all your Thuggy bros and sists barking against him like a pack of mad dogs and dying hyenas .

04/23/13 @ 14:45
Comment from: Bethihu [Visitor]

The good thing is that Ethiopian have been blessed by God to have a great leaders like the late PM and many others that have had sucrifiesd their entire life to the Ethiopian people causes. As the result, Ethiopian are united more than ever in their history to make a different in their life and to help their follow citizens. Even so, we are witnesing a big mouth individual are shouting their lies and hate preaches to distort the reality on the ground from wherever they reside… I mean, wehave people like the one who is posting nonstop his nonsense propagandas, God nows what kind of evil riding him, but he is surely on something else…

For your Information, you toothless Al, all the developments that you have protested or preached against, will be complete right in your face! What are you going to do? For sure you will continue to aggravate your old a*** sugar leve by just trying hard to achieve that aren’t capable of…LOL.

God bless the world!!

04/23/13 @ 16:43
Comment from: Kena Keb [Visitor]
Kena Keb

The definition of evil according to Alemayehu is tailored with the intent to be applied only on the government of Ethiopia who he despises to the core. His uncompromising love and support for any person/persons(some whose name he has listed in this article) or organizations(Human Rights Watch etc)expressed in many of the articles he has written is based simply on ” the enemy of my enemy is my friend” kind of relationship and affection.
The definition of evil does not apply when as an editorial staff member of the anti Ethiopia website “Ethiopian Review” named the Eritrean dictator Isaias Afeworki as Man of the Year not long time ago. The evil behaviours of many of his friends in the toxic diaspora community who once upon a time were active supporters or members of the DERG,MEISON,EPRP and other criminal organizations responsible for the massacre of thousands if not millions of innocent souls in Ethiopia are not defined as evil by Alemayehu. Genbot7’s Birhanu Nega who has scammed an unknown sum of dollars from the misguided Ethiopians in the diaspora for a purpose whose results we have not yet seen is in no way implicated by the definition of evil. The so called activist Tamagn Beyene who is making his living by tucking into his pocket 30% the money donated by Ethiopians in the diaspora for ESAT is in no way close to Alemayehu’s evil zone. Alemayehu’s friends in the diaspora Aklog Birara, Birhanu Nega. Getachew Haile. Negede Gobezie, Said Hassen, etc etc who in the past were members of political groups responsible for killing innocent Ethiopians during the mayhem days of the DERG are in no way zoomed into the evil zone of Alemayehu. Alemayehu as a board member of ESAT utters no word about this tv station when they aired fictitous stories about the “plan” to kill Abebe Gelaw but which according to them was foiled by the FBI! If this is not evil what is? The story which made Abebe Gelaw a “hero” within the toxic diaspora where he was said to have made our former Prime Minister bow down his head and for which he also received the blessing of a priest in a church in Seattle is not defined evil by Alemayehu. (By the way to know about the deceitful stories about Abebe Gelaw, I recommend that you watch how tgtelevion’s Mesfin Biru effectively exposes about this embarassing lies on entitled “ahunis betam abezut").
If Alemayehu’s definition of evil is devised only to suit his aversion and abhorrence towards the Ethiopian government it is about time that his mental integrity be put in a serious doubt.
While he continues to jump on every bandwagon that condemns anything that comes out of our country, Ethiopia is on a fast pace of growth and development and will continue to do so despite all evil intents by Alemayehu and darlings.

Ethiopia is prospering and shall continue to prosper!!

04/23/13 @ 17:36
Comment from: Abyssinian [Visitor]


I never said the journalists were thrown in jail. They were told not to report certain things until the FBI checked what they were going to report. The FBI then allowed them to report after the FBI checked whatever it was. The Police chief said it himself on TV.

04/23/13 @ 19:04
Comment from: RasTeferi [Visitor]

The “audacity” of some woyane cadres is quite baffling. It is true Ethiopians have faced evil before as are facing it now. But.. the point woyane cadres intentionally miss here is what the current evil is doing while claiming to be a democratic govt. Not to mention the justification by the “FOOLS & IDIOTS of the WOYANE” that goes like.. “so long as there is development.” Well my answer to that is fak your development and free our people from your ethnically poisoned grip.

So, this is not about the professor but about what the GOE is doing in the guise of anti terrorism measures. The fact that there are so many journalists and others in jail for political reasons is evidence enough the GOE is an oppressive regime, same as, maybe even worse than that it replaced. It is a sad fact and a reminder of the saying.. “alsheshum zewer alu..”

04/23/13 @ 20:50
Comment from: [Member]

Did Not Read beyond the title…I have already concluded long time a go that nothing constructive will come out out of this man’s soul. It is like expecting a pigeon out of a snakes eggs. His writings are good for nothing. Evil is what Evil does, and Al-aram is the symbol of it.

04/23/13 @ 20:54
Comment from: [Member]

Ras teferi,…

“alsheshum zor allu”
The joke is on you dude!
Or shall I call you wanna be hegreEthiopia!!! Ha Ha Ha Ha!
Better yet “gullicha biqeyayer wot ayatafitm”
Min lemehon new beyeqenu kabbahin eyeqeyaerk yemitifogren ebakih? Loser!

04/23/13 @ 21:55
Comment from: yilma [Visitor]


04/23/13 @ 22:25
Comment from: jazzman [Visitor]

Evil Al, can you please leave us alone….we’re ok here and can take care of things….we dont get u man..

04/24/13 @ 02:29
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Fake Abyssinian ,so what have done your Bandit masters .Throwing in jails ,journalists who have done their job without the least proof .This is not a Rule of Law ,but a simple act of TERRORISM against the citizen comitted by the rulers’ TYRANNI….LOL !!!Berthihu you mean that the country was blessed
for having an evil ruler who sold the unity and sovereignty to its worst enemies ,SHABYA and Arabs .Divided its peoples by leting them daily starving for the sake of Foreign Looters .What the hell of Development are you talking about ,when 99.99 % of the peoples have nothing to eat .Toothless Moron FIDAB !!!!!!

04/24/13 @ 04:12
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Abyssinian [Visitor]

“I have never seen an opinion-editorial writer who loves to quote others more than Mr. Gebremariam.”

My opinion of Al Mariam quoting great man and women is an attempt to say I am also one of them. Al is a person suffering from inferiority complex towards PM Meles Zenawi. All he want to say is PM Meles is evil and I am an Angle, to strengthen his ego, nothing else. Intellectual argument with an idiot like Al Mariam is a waste of time as he is a hired mercenary, the best one can do about Al Mariam is slap him on his ugly face.

My question to is why they are posting his ugly horse face every time he open his stinky mouth!!!

04/24/13 @ 08:17
Comment from: Amoraw [Visitor]

Professor Al,

Your article had made a great impact and provocation to the mad dogs of woyane. One can observe how many they are who madly bark and bark!! no wonder dogs multiply so easily, but dogs remain dogs!

Keep on writing and exposing them despite the useless noise and always truth wins!

04/24/13 @ 10:10
Comment from: adisu [Visitor]

any way
when pen is mislead, it is the beginning of the end. When extremist claim to lead that will be insanity. and in this article what have you gain .one thing will remain ever lasting truth. democracy of nations and nationalities will not be reversed in Ethiopia
1.the rule of law requires all citizens to respect the rules of democracy.2.the new equilibrium which is established on the basis of diversity will be the bedrock of democracy. the domination of centrist elites will not recover . the ideologists of that system linger , but will not be to the helm . they are the antithesis of unity in Diversity

04/24/13 @ 18:04
Comment from: Bethihu [Visitor]


Your unconditional suport to the good for nothing, Alemayoh G. Mariam, making you look like a mad dog that barks at anyone passing by…LOL. Oh yeah, don’t forget to take your daily doz that may help you to calm down? Other than that, you all old head diasporas are doing nothing productive which may help to the Ethiopian people, but just hurting yourself by being angry for nothing for the rest of your life…

God bless the world!

04/25/13 @ 01:09
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Extraidiot , you are a person suffering from inferiority complex towards Prof Al. All you want to say is Prof Al is evil and you are an Angle, to strengthen your ego, nothing else. Intellectual argument with an idiot like you is a waste of time as you are a hired mercenary, the best one can do about you is kick your dumb ass.

My question to is why they are posting your stupid comments every time you are opening your stinky mouth!!! MORON FIDAB!!!!

04/25/13 @ 05:46



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