Jailed icon Birtukan & brewing political storms amid hunger Part I – By Robele Ababya

January 12th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Mother of all threats

The four-year old Halé Mideksa wants her mother to come home each time she visits her Mum in the filthy jail. (more…)

Mother of all threats

The four-year old Halé Mideksa wants her mother to come home each time she visits her Mum in the filthy jail. But, in his usual state of paranoia each time the name Birtukan is mentioned, tyrant Meles publicly and angrily uttered last year that:

“There will never be an agreement with anybody to release Birtukan. Ever. Full stop. That’s a dead issue.”

He has thus recklessly triggered the brewing of ugly political storms in 2010.
This mother of all threats amounts to: affront to civility and morality; an insult to the international community giving him direct financial and political support; unequivocal proof that the judicial system is under his tight grip and control and hat he is a brutal dictator above the law.

With the leader of the most popular opposition party, Judge Birtukan Mideksa, and thousands of political prisoners languishing in TPLF jails, such an irresponsible and arrogant public statement does not augur well for a free and fair election.

This writer has watched Roha political debates moderated by seasoned BBC journalists. The young people in the Middle East want peace and democracy while cursing corrupt, inept and dictatorial regimes in the region. This writing is a call to the youth of the world to unite in order to build a future of peace and tranquility free of violence. Birtukan Mideksa will certainly be a reliable partner to that end given her proven dedication to and sacrifice for the principle of no-violence.

Birtukan was whisked to the infamous Kaliti prison on the outskirts of Addis Ababa by ten armed security thugs of the ruling repressive regime on 28 December 2009 where she was kept in solitary confinement in a dark narrow room for 170 days. This atrocious act of cruelty was meant to emaciate her body, mind and spirit. But the indomitable lioness committed to non-violence won political and moral victory while her jailors went bankrupt overwhelmed by international wrath and condemnation.

It is time to redouble the pursuit for moral rearmament in response to the demand of the new generation for upholding basic human rights, peace, democracy, and supremacy of the rule of law.

The global community and political leaders in powerful positions are morally bound to note and act for the immediate release of icon Judge Birtukan Mideksa, Her four-year old Halé Mideksa wants her mother to come home. So does her over seventy year old mother who is dependent on her support.

Existence of evil in this world!

As rightly put by President Barrack Obama in his eloquent speech at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, the immortal truth that “There is evil in this world” is irrefutable.

In the context of Ethiopian brinkmanship examples of heinous crimes are rampant. To wit: The charismatic Judge Birtukan Mideksa, her four- year old daughter, her septuagenarian mother are innocent victims of such evil in that this unique family is being physically and psychologically tortured on the watch of the global community. All political prisoners in Ethiopia are victims of this evil. All martyrs in the aftermath of the historic election of 2005 were victims of this evil. In fact, almost all Ethiopians are victims of this evil for they live in a larger prison having been denied by the evil in power: 1) basic civil liberty; 2) access to their natural sea frontier, 3) private ownership of property; and, 4) their right to oppose the ceding of sixty four thousand square kilometers (1600kmX 40 Km) of fertile farmland to the Sudan and leasing fertile farmlands to unscrupulous foreign investors.

Ethiopia is misruled by a regime with no moral or ethical principles; an illegitimate regime that had stolen votes, willingly dismembered Ethiopia and denied her right of access to the Red Sea which is vital to national security both as economic lifeline and frontier for defense. It is a regime well known for its heinous crimes including genocide, crime against humanity, war crimes, killer in cold-blood of peaceful protesters against robbery of votes and incarcerator of tens of thousands in connection therewith.

This brutal regime has been lying for the past 19 years shamelessly boasting double-digit growth of the national economy whereas the truth is that abject poverty has prevailed and the peasants have remained enslaved in serfdom. Naked invasion of Somalia by the agazi armed forces under the direct command of tyrant Meles has provided the basis for interminable acrimony and source of conflict between the two neighborly countries not to speak of the squandering of resources of a poor country on the reckless military adventure of the regime to invade a poorer failed state. The plight of millions of Somalis is evidence of gross violation of human rights for which the victims should hold tyrant Meles accountable, for Ethiopians under occupation themselves were helpless to prevent the invasion of Somalia.

Repugnantly, all the above are taking place as donor funds flow directly to the treasury of the evil regime in the form of direct budget support which is mostly allocated to the procurement of unnecessary sophisticated weapons of warfare and building of military institutions of little significance to the economic, social and political development of Ethiopia given that security forces under the repressive TPLF minority regime are responsive to the whim of the dictator.

Famine and hunger, atrocious human rights records of the repressive ruling regime coupled with its dismal economic performance, acrimony among divided opposition, the well-known treachery and adeptness of Meles as it were in fishing in troubled waters, and the usual cosmetic intercession of donor countries to settle disputes will have significant influence on the outcome of the Ethiopian election slated for 23 May 2010.

It is the mother of all contradictions that donor countries that present themselves as bulwarks of democracy provide the resources to the minority TPLF regime of Meles.

Unforgettable lesson from the past

Hundreds of millions of demonstrators inundated the streets and squares of cities and metropolis throughout the world including in the USA and the United Kingdom to oppose the preparation by Bush and Blair to invade Iraq. This writer sincerely believed that the duo will be restrained and stop their madness in response to the mammoth outcry not to invade a country that had nothing to do with the shocking event of 11 September 2001. Iraq had neither nuclear weapons nor program to produce any weapons of mass destruction because no evidence was found through exhaustive investigations. The weapons existed in the minds of the duo with Blair acting as the articulate spokesman of his friend Bush.

That was when the strongly held faith of this writer in democracy was shaken; his faith was further tested when some western powers turned a blind eye to the convincing victory of the Ethiopian people in the historic election of 15 May 2005. These powers kept flow of funds to a tyrant who stole votes in broad daylight; ordered his security forces to kill hundreds of the supporters of the opposition; threw the victors in the election to jail; incarcerated tens of thousands of peaceful demonstrators subjecting them to brutal treatment including shaving their heads with unsterilized blades. What is really disturbing and unforgettable is the contempt shown by former Prime Minister Blair to the Ethiopian people by inviting and bestowing legitimacy to the heinous crimes of Meles and accord him a red carpet treatment at the G8 Summit while parents of the victims were wailing and prisoners were languishing in filthy jails.

People demonstrate in hundreds of millions, but their leaders simply do not listen. The question is whether this double standard will repeat again in the coming election. It remains to be seen whether the Obama Administration will truly support free and fair election in Ethiopia by demanding unconditional and immediate release of Judge Birtukan and all political prisoners.

Ethiopian election 2010

Famine and hunger, atrocious human rights records of the repressive ruling regime coupled with its dismal economic performance, acrimony among divided opposition forces, the well-known treachery and adeptness of Meles in fishing in troubled waters, and the usual cosmetic intercession of donor countries to settle disputes will have significant influence on the outcome of the Ethiopian election slated for 23 May 2010.

Predictions especially by some donor countries are that the brutal ruling regime will sizably win in the election of 2010, which they know their puppet has rigged. Ex-President Jimmy Carter predicted victory by 85% for Meles in the historic election of 2005 immediately upon disembarking from his plane as head of the Carter Center Observer Team. Will he repeat that kind of contempt for the Ethiopian people once again? Are the Ethiopian people going to allow him?

There are positive signs. Most Ethiopians are now convinced that they are ruled by a foreign agent. Their characteristic spirit of rising in unison against an invader is emerging. So their historic indomitable gut of fighting the enemy to the bitter end will gloriously resurface. They are realizing that it would be the mother of all shame and cowardice to deliver victory to tyrant Meles in May 2010.

As someone sage recently put it, we do not live in the past; we rather use it as an important reference to improve our lives today and build a better future for our children. So fellow Ethiopians, stand up and fight in unison for your right and the future of you children setting aside your minor differences for the moment.

TPLF is haunted by its evil deeds spanning almost two decades. Its usefulness to the vestiges of colonialism has significantly diminished. Albeit difficult, it is a propitious moment to seize and expedite the momentum of the emerging unity of the democratic opposition forces in order to evict the illegitimate ruling regime from power at the ballot box in May 2010 and repeat the overwhelming victory of election of 2005, which we all know was stolen.

This writer sees three outcomes in the process leading to election 2010. Any action by the brutal regime to influence the outcomes in its favor must be resolutely countered.

The said three outcomes will be presented to readers shortly as Part II of this writing.

Release Judge Birtukan and all political prisoners in Ethiopia!

The four-year old Halé Mideksa wants her mother to come home!



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