July 7th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Woyzero Birtukan a thirty-two year old mother of one belongs to the new generation of Ethiopians, born after the revolution of 1974. (more…)

Woyzero Birtukan a thirty-two year old mother of one belongs to the new generation of Ethiopians, born after the revolution of 1974. She grew up during the violent and traumatic of the post revolution era and subsequent mono-ethnic dictatorship of the EPRDF. In spite of the countless difficulties encountered in the daily life of people, she managed to complete her education and obtained a Law Degree at the University of Addis Ababa. After practicing Law for a while she was appointed as Justice at the High Court of Ethiopia. Having presided in her Court over the famous case against Ato Seye Abraha, then Minister of Defense, which she decided to release on bail, she saw her judgment transgressed and the defendant rearrested arbitrarily. Observing the continuous abuses and corruption of the Judicial system by the ruling political regime, she resigned from her Judgeship and went back to practice law.


A highly intelligent and perceptive lady highly conscious of her duties as a citizen, she joins a political party of which she eventually rose to its leadership. Having the abject humiliation and sufferance of imprisonment with the other leaders of Kinijit, she went back to carry the political struggle for democracy and freedom for the Ethiopian people. She traveled around the world to explain her policies and objectives. Back home she even tried to carry the struggle in a peaceful and orderly manner that theoretically the existing law permit. To the contrary she found herself falsely accused of fabricated crimes and condemned to life time prison, if she did not plead guilty of the alleged crimes and make an apology. A choice that challenges the core values of honesty, integrity and patriotism that she believes in. Her answer to that demeaning offer was NO “ASHAFEREGN”, come what may I shall not betray my people.

Woyzero Birtukan could have chosen the easy way out and abased herself and kneeled in obeisance to the enemy. While traveling abroad she could have asked, like many of us, for asylum in some country and stayed abroad making speeches. But she did not. She went back home and faced the enemy with unflinching courage and determination, in the tradition of the great Ethiopian women like Empress Taytu, patriot leader Woyzero Shewareged Gedle and scores of others.

Unlike the previous generation that went astray in suicidal journey of denial of its history, traditions, spiritual values and mores as a result of which it has remained confused, disarrayed and spiritless; I believe that Birtukan represents a new generation of Ethiopians men and women, who having lived through fire and high water, are saying NO ! The message is simple; they are saying; “We are waiting for no one. This is our time! We shall re-conquer our land and get rid of the poisonous rule that is infecting her, and give our people the freedom and dignity that is legitimately theirs. WE are willing to pay the price and make all the sacrifices to achieve this noble.


  1. Daniel
    | #1

    I see that there is a confusion as to what title to use with her name. Some use Woyzero and others Woyzerit. May be it is time that we should come up with an Ethiopian equivalent for the English – “Ms.”. This too could very well be regarded as a contribution by Birtukan to the struggle of Ethiopian women for equality.
    Until then, why don’t we just call her by her given beautiful name, BIRTUKAN?

  2. ይሁን
    | #2

    Siye’s case was of course high profile case, but her ordeal with Woyane started long before that. The first case that got her in collusion was a case of 70 years old father prisoned by Woyane allegedly for being a father of OLF member. She asked the police officer how old the son of this senior person is? The police officer responded, about 25. Then she told the officer to release this person and look for his son as long as his son is above average age which is 18 according to Ethiopian law. Woyane was not happy by that decision and Siye’s case made it worse. But she is who she is, humble,sober and unwavering.
    God bless you sister

  3. Free Bertukan
    | #3

    To me Bertukan is the embodiment of truth, peace and justice in a country filled with a legacy of corruption, injustice, deception, perplexity, intrigue, piety in poverty, unity-in-diversity, etc. No wonder she is in prison. Where else could she be in order to identify with the suffering poor people of Ethiopia? She is the torch in the darkness of cruelty in the pretext of reign of legality. She will come out trimphantly as her light dispels the darkness. Call her anything, but LIAR.

  4. Agegnehu
    | #4

    It is obvious that Birtukan is one of the best political figures of our time especially her stance in non-violent movements . And she will be the most accomplished leader in the continent . Even if she is a matured politician she didn’t know who were surrounding her . Her political buddies were more poisonous than woyane. They would have killed her sooner or later anyway . Amharas have no any sense of descent political outlook so that they are ready to avoid anyone after they succeed eliminating the existing power holder just like they did to “ABETO IYASU” . So Birtukan ,watch out !

  5. ተምሳሌት
    | #5

    መጽኔውን ይስጣት

  6. Robele Ababya
    | #6

    Yes Birtukan is an embodiment of everything blameless.

  7. Abe
    | #7

    I think I read somewhere Birtukan is 36 years old. Please check your facts.

  8. Anonymous
    | #8

    የሃሌዋ እናት ብሩቴ
    የነጻነት ተምሳለቴ
    ዛሬ ቢከባት ጨለማ
    የሁላችን ልብ ቢደማ
    ደም የተቀባው የሳኦል እጁ
    ሰላም የለችም ከደጁ
    ትቢያ ይሆናል ታሪኩ
    ደረስ ጊዜው መውረጃው ከመድረኩ

  9. Abetugetahoye
    | #9

    Of course she is 36 now unless weyane wont to deduct the four. When she was asked in congress she said there is only 100 prisoner in Ethiopia no wander wayane put her in prison to make the number 101, so what is a big deal.let her finish her term.

  10. binyam
    | #10

    A wonderful woman with a mission to be accomplished. She is truely Ethiopian with a lot ahead of her. I feel it, she has a future.

  11. Sholafrie
    | #11

    This is in response to Daniel. We can use “weizer” as equivalent to “Ms.”. It is the common denominator of weizero and weizerit. We have used it before on cyberspace conversation.

    As Birtukan, she is a great inspiration; she gave us hope that our Ethiopian nationalism did not come to end with the generation. It is people like Birtukan who made me say without fear “Ethiopia shall rise again”

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