Alert: Urgent Medical Alert – freebirtukan.org

March 24th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Information we have obtained in the past few days regarding Birtukan’s physical and mental health have concerned us in the extreme. (more…)

Information we have obtained in the past few days regarding Birtukan’s physical and mental health have concerned us in the extreme. Birtukan’s situation has been steadily getting worse since she was released from solitary confinement, where she spent more than six months. However, the following recent events have heightened our concern.

1. Birtukan’s mother, Mrs. Almaz Gebregziabher, visited Birtukan on Saturday March 20, 2010. During the visit, Birtukan asked Mrs. Gebregziabher to petition for medical care on her behalf since prison administrators have refused her request to see a physician. Mrs. Gebregziabher reported to us on Sunday March 21, 2010 that Birtukan was whisked out of the visitation room by security officers as soon as she made her plea for medical care.

2. Birtukan’s sister has now been permanently banned from visiting Birtukan. We believe that this was a deliberate action by the government to prevent any leakage of information. We understand that Birtukan’s sister is better able to communicate with Birtukan than the only other person who is allowed to visit her; the ailing 76 year old mother, Mrs. Gebregziabher.

3. The government controlled media seems to be engaged in a preemptive propaganda aimed at talking-up Birtukan’s health in prison. The Prime minister himself responded to a pre-arranged question that singled out Birtukan’s health above all other political questions surrounding her imprisonment.

4. The 2009 report on Human Rights in Ethiopia by the US state department, released March 11, 2010 warned that “There were credible reports that Birtukan’s mental health deteriorated significantly during the year.” Click here to read the full report.

Therefore, we strongly believe that Birtukan Mideksa is in need of urgent medical care and that she continues to be at a high risk of abuse by the authorities. The Ethiopian government has so far refused repeated requests for visits by medical professionals.

Urgent Action Items

Contact your elected officials and demand Birtukan Mideksa receive urgent medical care. Click here to find your representatives. The Free Birtukan organization will soon post campaign and lobby materials on this web site.

Call the Ethiopia office at the East African desk, US State Department and express your concern and demand action: 202-647-6473.

Planned Actions

The Free Birtukan and all Prisoners of Conscience in Ethiopia organization plans to take the following actions:

1. Petition the ICRC to immediately visit Birtukan Mideksa in prison.
2. Petition Amnesty International to elevate Birtukan’s status to Priority.
3. Lobby the United States State Department to look in to this matter immediately.

We have been informed that the political party she leads, the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party, has taken the following steps:

1. The party’s MPs have started a petition in parliament condemning the prisoner abuse and demanding Birtukan’s immediate release.

2. The party leadership has requested an immediate and urgent meeting with the Development Assistant Group (DAG) on Birtukan’s condition. The meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 24, 2010. DAG members are African Development Bank(AfDB), Austrian Development Cooperation, Belgium Development Cooperation, CIDA, Denmark Embassy, DFID, European Commission, Finland Embassy, French Embassy, German Embassy, GTZ-Ethiopia, IMF, Indian Embassy, Irish Aid, Italian Cooperation, Japan Embassy, JICA, KfW, Netherlands Embassy, Norwegian Embassy, SIDA, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation(AECID), UNDP, USAID and World Bank.

3. The party has initiated an appeal process to ask the courts to address the lack of enforcement of its prior ruling affirming Birtukan’s visitation rights. The government has refused a court ruling that ordered it to respect Birtukan Mideksa’s visitation rights.

4. The party is attempting to convene the council of elders that mediated the release of political prisoners, including Birtukan Mideksa, in the aftermath of the 2005 elections.

  1. Tulu Oda
    | #1

    የኢትዮጵያ ሀዝብ ይህን የወያኒ ግፍ ዝም ብሎ ቢቀበል የውርደት ውርደት ነውና ታሪክ ይፋረደዋል!!

  2. Mulugata
    | #2

    I am sure Meles gave her something to make her sick. It has to be investiaged and this son of evils need to stand a trial himself.

  3. Gifti
    | #3

    CORRECTED VERSION
    What the tyrant aiming is breaking her will and thanks to her spineless colleagues or Western duplicity he is on his way. I suspect he is aided by Western or Israeli know-how of psychological operations experts who had perfected their trade at Guantanamo or on Palestinians. It seems she is subjected to sleep deprivation techniques which is considered to be effective means used in breaking someone. Dear UDJP/MEDREK leaders, have the spine and demand immediate access to Birtukan by ICRC. ICRC does not need petition. Visit to political prisoners & POWs is one of their major duties from ICRC inception. You demand it and make the Western emissaries you always run to demand it and ICRC will do what it is supposed to do.
    It is amusing to see her own party wait for others to take the initiative instead of their own. I am saddened by Prof. Mesfin’s reply that I heard on ECADF page. I respect the professor but how can he say that there is nothing can be done and nothing can save her except the Tyrant’s mercy ርህራሄ .What I heard is lament, lament and helplessness. Even the interviewer seems clueless. The interviewer could have asked him, how about calling immediate access by ICRC? If he or her own party leaders make such demands then other human right organisations would endorse such demand and his Western backers have no other choice than demanding same thing. One might say Meles will not allow that. Let him be on the record and prohibit ICRC to visit her. That would put him and his Western backers on the spotlight. If Ato Asrat said that he does not have any knowledge about Birtukan’s plight. That is worse.

    What is happening to this brave lady is partly due to the Tyrant hubris as he is given all sorts of accolades by his Western backers and partly due to neglect by her own party colleagues. In a way her former colleagues are proving the Tyrant right when he warned that no one (not her colleagues not Westerners) will stand with her. Will it be surprising then if he succeded to break her? If Meles succeeds getting what he wanted from her thru increasingly intense psych. operations or thru SHIMAGLES which I suspect would follow soon, what a way to save-face for him and come out victorious.

  4. NETSANET
    | #4

    IN PROTEST TO THIS INHUMAN TREATMENT THAT BERTUKAN IS SUBJUCTED TO BY THE SAVAGE REGIME,MEDREK MUST CONSIDER A SERIOUS ACTION.

    THE MELES/BEREKET GANG IS BENT TO ELIMINATE BERTUKAN THE WAY IT DID THE LATE PROF ASRAT.

    THE STRATEGEM WORKED THEN.IT KILLED THE COURAGEOUS,LONELY TRAGIC HERO WHILE SUCCEEDING TO SILENCE HIS MOVEMENT.

    BERTUKAN MUST NOT NOW BE THE SECOND ASRAT DYING A SIMILAR DEATH WITH SIMILAR CONSEQUENCES.

    WHAT SAVES NOT ONLY BERTUKAN BUT ALSO THE MEDREK’S MOVEMENT FROM THE IMPENDING DOOM IS THIS SERIOUS ACTION.

    THERE IS NO BETTER ALTERNATIVE.
    IT IS NO GOOD BEGGING WESTERN DIPLOMATS TO TAKE ACTION ON YOUR BEHALF.

    WHILE IT IS DEMEANING AND CONTRARY TO OUR PROUD HISTORY,SUCH AN APPEAL HAS NEVER BROUGHT ANY SIGNIFICANT RESULT SO FAR AND IT WILL NOT BRING ANY IN THE NEAR FUTURE EITHER.

    WHY CAN’T YOU THEN BE A SELF RELIANT FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH?
    WHY CAN’T YOU MOBILIZE AND GALVANIZE YOUR OWN PEOPLE INTO MASS ACTION RATHER THAN MEEKLY AND OBSEQUOSLY KNOCK AT THE DOOR OF EVERY WESTERNER’S EMBASSY WITH YOUR SILLY APPEAL?

    COULDN’T YOU LEARN FROM YOUR PAST MISTAKES IN 2005? COULDN’T YOU LEARN FROM THE EXAMPLES OF YOUR NEIGHBORS,KENYANS,WHO TOOK TO THE STREETS TO EFFECT MEANINGFUL CHANGES?

    THANKS TO THAT DETERMINED MASS ACTION,OUR KENYAN FRIENDS HAD BOTH DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE THAT CAREFULLY LISTENED TO THEIR DEMANDS AND EVENTUALLY MET THEM.

    MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT THIS.
    WHAT YOU NEED IS ACTION.NOTHING ELSE.THE TIME IS NOW.THERE WILL BE NO TOMMOROW.
    THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES IS HANGING OVER NOT JUST BERTUKAN’S HEAD BUT ALSO OVER THE MOVEMENT’S.

    LEAVE THIS DIBILIATING AND CRETINIZING LEGAL THING AND OPENLY CALL FOR AN ILLEGAL AND POPULAR REBELLION.

    MELES HAS HAMSTRUNG YOU WITH PSEUDO LEGAL CHORDS.

    UNTIE YOURSELVES,LIVE LIKE MEN AND ACT LIKE LEADERS!

  5. ኢትዮጵያዬ
    | #5

    ብርቱዬ እግዜር ክጭራቆቹ እጅ ያውጣሽ ፀሎታችን ነው ዳኝልን በርቺልን

    ጠቅላይ አመሳቃዩ አገር ጥሎ ሳይጠፋ አረመኔነቱን የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ በአካል እንደሚፋረደው ነው ቀን እስኪያልፍ በርቺልን ብርቱዋ ያበርታሽ:: አረመኔው የባህድ ተላላኪው በሴት ዳኛ ከብሩን የተገፈፈው አልሆን በሎት ነው
    የሚያሰቃይሽ:: የእትዮጵያ ህዝብ ይፋረደዋል

  6. Cynic
    | #6

    Another sacrificial lamb?

  7. zeberga
    | #7

    This regime will do everything to remain in power, an evil regime

  8. mateos
    | #8

    As a parent of innocent children, it just eats my heart-out as to the night mare her child is going through as her mother becomes the trophy of Meles and his boss Bereket. I never believed evil existed in our world other than people turned themselves to evils. Meles, his wife, their boss Bereket, and the rest of the weyane mafia families are a typical human made evil and for their days to be captured alive and serve time together is near!!!

  9. Thomas
    | #9

    I agree with mulugata,the same thing is happening now like proffesor asrat.

  10. henok
    | #10

    Understanding all the situation,why is the United states, the Britain and Other nation that supports Ethiopia kept silent while the prime minister Meles Zenawi tortured,killed,abused and imprisoned thousands of its own citizens?
    It is very amazing seeing Western money is being used to oppress people of Ethiopia. May be wrongly, we have assumed this nations(mainly the United States and the U.K) to bring solution to the people. May be, because they are less concerned and are busy on their own issue,they don’t have time to spent on Ethiopian’s issues. May be, we overestimated them on issues like human right and democracy. May be, they have other interests which they give priority with the ruling oppressive government that they are not concerned much with whatever is going on there.
    Although I personally do not support war, the opposite of peaceful struggle, the people is being forced to choose to go to war against the regime. I suggest, the United States should maintain stability on the horn of Africa by truly supporting actions respecting human right and democracy.

  11. atuba dolla
    | #11

    May God and Ethiopians be with Birtukan.Amen.Birtukan is always a beloved daughter of Ethiopia and she is the sustainng engine of life to her child. Mother of the little angel.Meles Zinawi jailed Birtukan because he dislikes her.Guns and Bullets don’t vote people do.Ethiopians crushed the Zinawi’s cruel regime to its defeat in 2005.Victory lives.

    Ethiopians will continue fighting the brutal Zinawi’s regime and shall set free Birtukan from the jail Meles Zinawi put her in because Birtukan is always the joy of Ethiopians.He is crushing everyday.

    Meles Zinawi can not see.Ethiopians will never ever give their vote to him.In preparation to declare a fake and illegal victory,he has dispatched armed cadres throughout the country to robe off Ethiopians their vote in the coming 2010 election.Guns and Bullets don’t vote people do.Ethiopians shall defeat Zinawi and his illegal regime.Guns and Bullets don’t vote people do.

  12. Melkamu
    | #12

    It is quite unbelievable what the Meles regime is doing to politica opponents. Like all other dictators in history, the TPLF gangs are showing their arrogance and refusal to give into the will of the people. it is so painful to accept and then keep quiet after learning about the significant mental and physical abuse Birtukan has suffered. Everyone of us should stand up to contribute what we can to stop the massive human right violation and clear tyrany in our beloved country. We should not fear and back down thinking that it is the job of others to bring change. We should at least make our voice heard and hold a firm position in opposing these bloody dictators in our country. At least this is what we should learn from Birtukan, the heroine leader.

  13. atuba dolla
    | #13

    Ethiopians,it is worth to say more and loud and to do better in what we have been doing.First thing firtst;one distinct characterstics of the Zinawi regime has been showen clearly that it is stubbern,yet weak;it is a giant monster,yet dying;it is a sluggish locomotive,yet crushing;therefore,when a dying regime is near to be defeated againand twice,it can do nothing but coming on opposition leaders and the public with guns and bullets.

    Zinawi has now become more emotional and angry at the public mainly because the public would never vote for him and his dictatorial regime whatsoever;this has been proven correct and the right thing to do in 2005.As it is clear to Ethiopians,the Zinawi has long been dispatching fully armed cadres throughout the country to ambush and frightened voters and steal their vote.Guns and Bullets don’t people do.

    For sure,Zinawi has become too erratic and unstable in all manner he exhibited to the public and is crushing daily.That is right.This useless man will soon face justice as he deserve to spend the rest of his life nowhere but in prison.Victory for all Ethiopians.

    The sickness of Zinawi has been fully diagnosed and the prescription is simple and clear; guns and bulletes don’t vote people do;after all,the enemy,it is what it is;Ethiopians,keep fighting the enemy and remove the it now.

    Over 19 years Zinawi set a record of crimes for himself and the rest of members the crimefamily as the most wanted criminals committing crimes and robbery and the list is on and on with no end.Obviously,the enemy would not like to go;however,it is the historical duty of all it Ethiopians to defeat the unwanted and the illegal regime forever.

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