Meles intends to rub Sweden’s nose in the mud Charging its two citizens with terrorism By G. Samson

October 19th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

The Meles Zenawi dictatorial regime is aiming at retaliating against Sweden for its longstanding criticisms of its human rights records. For a long time, Meles has also been angered by the pressure brought to bear on his regime by the previous Swedish government in being persistent about the release of Judge Britukan Mideksa, whom the dictator sent twice to prison under life sentences for her advocacy of respect for human rights and the democratic rights of the Ethiopian people.

As a sign of his anger against the Swedish government, he reduced the Ethiopia’s diplomatic presence in the Nordic countries to none. Today, therefore, there is only a consulate in Stockholm to provide services to Ethiopians residing in these countries. First Meles did not realize that he was downgrading diplomatic relations with all Nordic countries to single consulate, in terms of Ethiopia’s presence.

The Meles resorted to complaining to ambassadors of Nordic countries to inform their governments to silence Sweden. There is no reason why Sweden should be hostile to his regime, if it were not for the human rights situation that is so horrendous it could not tolerate it. There is a lot of gratitude for Sweden’s principled position, including by this writer.

Briefly put, their capture with ONLF members of Schibbye and Johan Persson is a godsend for Ethiopia’s venom oozing and sinister-minded dictator, to the satisfaction of whose narcissistic personality Sweden must be prepared to pay the price, if it does not calculate the position it takes carefully and with firmness.

Meles was swift in tying these two guys to terrorism, for accompanying ONLF fighters in the Ogaden, despite them being journalists. In the process, he has downplayed their main guilt——their illegal entry into the country. In his interview from Oslo on 10 October he told the Norwegian Aftenposten, the two Swedish journalists were “at the very least, messenger boys of a terrorist organization. They are not journalists.”

What is striking is that Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson are not the only journalists to be caught in similar situation in the Ogaden, violating Ethiopian laws. This happens in conflict zones by journalists driven by idealism, cause and testosterone. Not long ago, Jeffery Gentleman of the New York Times crossed from stateless Somalia into Ethiopia through the Ogaden. Meles wanted to play game with the Americans. The US ordered his release without delay and Meles complies, although the journalist was with the ONLF. Terrorism ——the word Meles so much loves was not uttered against him or the others before him! Does this not say something in the case against Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson?

The two journalists that since 1 July 2011 have the misfortune of landing in dictator Meles Zenawi’s dungeons. Surely, they would not be tortured, as happens to Ethiopians; but they have already been judged terrorists before world public. Fortunately, it comes from a person who is either ignorant or indifferent to the time honored judicial principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” He accused them already even before his court has heard their case, a situation to which many Ethiopians he has targeted have to put up with. This indeed has always been the case in a country where judicial independence has been a joke, even by Sub-Saharan Africa standard.

Therefore, from the legal point of view their appearance in court today is a matter of formality. Since it is he that would have their cases twisted around to get out of it some political mileage for his much-hated regime. The dictator has made it clear that the anti-terrorism law that has been designed to curb internal dissent is applicable to these two journalists.

The case against them, however, should not be seen as invalidating their status as journalists with conscience. They entered the country because they needed to verify as journalists the longstanding charges of genocide by TPLF forces in the Ogaden, the telltale signs UN investigators already a few years got hold of. Therefore, although costly to them personally what they have done indeed is worthy efforts in the interest of justice and human security that has been lacking in Ethiopia for a long, long time. After all, under ideal situations journalists must be free to report on all angles of a story.

Unfortunately, this is anathema to Meles Zenawi for whom there is only on side — his side. He did exactly that when he was a guerrilla fighter when he was committing acts of terrorism against Ethiopia, according to the US database on terrorism. Now power has dulled his conscience even to remember his own experience.

If in Sweden this situation leads to acrimony and dissension within the government especially more criticisms against Foreign Minister Carl Bildt that would be another godsend to the dictator. If not anything, it would give him the satisfaction of messing the Swedish government. The key here is firmness.

If this situation were handled firmness, Meles would see futility of to go on rubbing Sweden’s nose in the mud. Coordination with other countries is vital. In that case, he would see early enough the need to settling to extorting some mileage in political terms to bolster his standing at home in this critical time that everyone wishes him gone.

All said and done, this does not mean these two guys are innocent. They have violated the laws of Ethiopia by entering the country without authorization. They have to be held accountable for that. However, the charges of terrorism that Meles these days has been applying to Ethiopians for every little infraction has been extreme and excessive.

Scandinavia, the rest of Europe and the world must see through this what the proud Ethiopian people are putting up in their life on a daily basis!

  1. Wetu Enewta
    | #1

    Regardless of how the author of the article feels about Meles Zenawi and his regime, he must admit that Ethiopia is a sovereign state. And as a sovereign state, it has the right and responsibility to regulate or control who enters its territory just like Sweden does. It is irrelevant whether the two ‘journalists’ were idealists or full of testosterone or some other mental or physical deformities or gifts. The author, I am certain, knows that these two individuals were arrested within the borders of Ethiopia, and they have neither been invited or permitted to cross that particular border. I will concede that Meles’ prosecution of these two individuals gives him an avenue to send a serious message to some one or to some entity out there if the author of the article concedes that the two men were in Ethiopia illegally.

  2. The truth shall set you free
    | #2

    እውነትም ወጥ:: ጸሀፊው እኮ ሶዎቹ አላጠፉም አላለም:: The author did not deny the fact that the two reporters are guilty of crossing the border illegally. The question is Zenawi has tried and convicted them to be terrorists before letting the legal process to take its course. As the leader of that nation ( a dictatorial leader, I might add), he could influence the outcome of the legal process, although its questionable that there is a legal process at all. Otherwise, it is not a question of legality but a political process. In addition, Zenawi did not accuse the American reporter who was caught crossing the border illegally but complied to the American request to release him immediately. Because he knows not complying means bloody nose. If we follow your logic that breaking the rules of a sovereign state is a crime that is punishable and relegates the alleged criminal to a terrorist status, then Zenawi is a terrorist and therefore must be punished because he failed to apply the law in every circumstance and therefore he broke the law that he is so obscenely trying to enforce on the two Swedes.
    ገባህ አሁን? Think before you speak/write. also read the whole thing first, if you don’t understand re-read and focus, then give your comment. And make sure you understand first. Otherwise you are wasting our time.

  3. Thomas
    | #3

    So he put them in jail because they entered to the country illegally you can go to any part of the world if you cross any country boarder you will be in trouble, that is clear, these peoples deliberately crossed Ethiopian boarder illegally, Meles has a point, why they do that?? Why they do not entered the country through legal means and got permission from the government and travels to the area and finds more facts or why they cannot do it like BBC journalist like a tourist why they have to cross the country with armed rebellious group? Why they take a risk, they could get killed, because they were in wrong place and wrong time?? What if TPLF troops killed them, Sweden government can not nothing about it because these people were wrong place with wrong time with wrong group of people so no justification for their action, they were wrong

  4. Meskerm Teba
    | #4

    Wetu Enewta,
    It is really a laughing stock that you talk about sovereign state. Your beloved crock is creating an enclaves of India, Saudi, Sudan and China in Ethiopia and there is no other country in the world whose territory is as pours as Ethiopia. Have you heard recently, Ethiopia’s backdoor is wide open for good (, the Indians are invited to come and settle in the most fertile part of Ethiopia by Karuturi, so much so for sovereignty. For those Ethiopians who live in the edge of country who cross the so called boundaries without a visa on daily basis, there is no boundary ask the Denka, Somalis, the Afar even the Tigres in Zala ambensa. So, two journalists were caught without visa, just give them a ticket and release them. Or if you want to play by the book (the law), which BTW your boss has hard time respecting, in the lawless country, why can’t you give them their bail right and allow them to stay in the bigger prison and defend themselves? It is just a political game by your PM who is the law, the judge and the PM at the same time.

  5. Allen
    | #5

    Mr. wetu You are one of the Woyanne [washington dc] embassy Puppet.

  6. Yared Muturo
    | #6

    We know that Sweden has been channeling billions of dollars to support the ethnical fascist regime of Meles Zenawi. However, unlike its western partners, Sweden has raised the issues of human rights with the fascist and racist rule of Meles Zenawi. This has angered the ethnic dictator and led to the downgrading of his diplomatic mission in Stockholm. The measures the ethnical fascist Meles has taken have nothing to do with sovereignty or independence as his eating and ethnic cadres say. The fascist ethnic leader has been giving away land and violating the sovereignty of the country. Sovereignty and independence are alien to the fascist ethnic leader. He can embarass Swedes by arrestting and mistreating these two journalists but he will pay in the end. Swedes pursue a patient and wise diplomacy and can pursuade their European Union partners to follow a coordinated and common foreign policy towards the ethnical fascist regime of Meles Zenawi. The European Union has the leverage over Meles Zenawi and the attaching of aid with good behaviour is the ultimate outcome in this game. At the end the ethnical fascist Meles will understand that he will lose the game and free the journalists.

  7. Oda Tulu
    | #7

    @Wetu Enewta

    Ethiopia is an occupied country by Zenawi.

  8. wedajeneh
    | #8

    @Wetu Enewta
    You forgot one fundamental error in your assumption, that trespassing the border of a country doesn’t make one automatically a terrorist.

  9. ያስቃል!
    | #9

    መቸ ነው መለስና አበሮቹ የሚሞቱት? Plz God do it fast coz i want to see free Mama Ethiopia…

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