Ethiopia’s pardoned critic jailed – BBC

December 30th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Ethiopia’s main opposition leader has been sent to prison to serve a life sentence, after a pardon granted to her last year was revoked.

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Ethiopia’s main opposition leader has been sent to prison to serve a life sentence, after a pardon granted to her last year was revoked.

Birtukan Medeksa was among more than 100 people jailed for offences after controversial polls in 2005.

A dispute over the terms of her release caused her re-arrest.

Her colleague Berhanu Nega, who was also pardoned and now lives in exile, told the BBC it showed the government “was hell-bent on staying in power”.

The BBC’s Elizabeth Blunt in the capital, Addis Ababa, says Ms Birtukan was a former judge and one of the younger and more charismatic leaders of the coalition which did so astonishingly well against the ruling party in the 2005 elections.

Our reporter says that while in jail facing charges of treason, she became even more of a heroine, attracting widespread sympathy as a single mother separated from her baby daughter.

After the opposition leaders were pardoned and released last year, she emerged as the leader of a new coalition, the Union for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), painstakingly stitched together from various opposition groupings to contest elections in 2010.

Mistakes

The government news agency, quoting the ministry of justice, said her pardon had been revoked, since she had denied requesting her pardon.

Ms Birtukan’s problems started when she spoke to journalists abroad about the way the opposition leaders were released, our correspondent says.

She talked about negotiations which had taken place between the opposition and government, with the help of a panel of elders, before their pardon was granted.

The government prefers to lay emphasis on a document signed by the prisoners, regretting any mistakes they had committed and asking for pardon.

This implies that their release was part of a normal judicial process, rather than in any way part of a negotiated political deal.

Mr Berhanu, who was elected mayor of Addis Ababa in 2005 and now lives in the United States, says the aim of the government is to “humiliate” any opposition to its rule.

“What this is doing is to change the nature of the struggle,” he told the BBC’s Network Africa programme.

“There is no other way to freedom and liberty in that country without getting rid of this government.”

  1. Azeb
    | #1

    http://www.eastafro.com/Post/2008/12/29/eritrea-video-tigray-peoples-democratic-movement-fighters-%e2%80%93-field-report/
    http://www.eppfonline.org/
    Free Liberity Lady
    Please, unite all the tigrain against meles.
    let’s join ethiopian people against meles.
    The future of tigrain is doom with meles.
    we have no future against 80 million ethiopian.
    We have to give ethiopian power, they are majority.
    post this video.

  2. AzebAsenafi
    | #2

    http://www.eastafro.com/Post/2008/12/29/eritrea-video-tigray-peoples-democratic-movement-fighters-%e2%80%93-field-report/
    http://www.eppfonline.org/

    Please, unite all the tigrain against meles.
    let’s join ethiopian people against meles.
    The future of tigrain is doom with meles.
    we have no future against 80 million ethiopian.
    We have to give ethiopian power, they are majority.
    post this video.

  3. Tefe
    | #3

    Please, unity is strength all Ethiopian unit people against Meles, African Heatler.
    Call all Human right organizations, Democratic goverments to recognize Meles’e Goverment is African Heatler and let us call up on democratic goverment to put economic and Political sanction on Ethiopia. Ethiopia should be isolated from internation community.
    This the only right measure on Meles’s gov. Meles’s goverment is an empty pocket with bare mind. The backbon for Meles is Alamuhudin.
    Let us fight against heatler and Nazi.

  4. wENDATA
    | #4

    How many times I have to say they are not Ethiopians.T:P:L:F:stands for the greater Tigray.They do not care what we think about them.They are Invaiders.Have you ever saw the owner of all those Companies who owns halv of the Countrys.Do you know how much money they have taken from Bank of Ethiopia and will take for the future.Deavel is better than T:P:L:F:They will never stop disintegrating Ethiopia unless we get rid of them.I am very sorry to say this but the vast majority of the peopel of Tigray is responsible for the destraction of Ethiopia(assab is ours whether we like it or not)Where are the tigrians in diaspora.They never oppose T:P:P:F.But they celebrate the birth of Banda.FREE BIRTUKAN and TEDDY AFRO.VICTORY TO the peopel and death for weyane.

  5. TigrayLady
    | #5

    http://hornofafrica.de/
    http://www.eastafro.comht/Post/2008/12/29/eritrea-video-tigray-peoples-democratic-movement-fighters-%e2%80%93-field-report/
    http://hornofafrica.de/
    http://www.eppfonline.org/
    http://www.eastafro.com

    Free Librity lady
    Please, unite all the tigrain against meles.
    let’s join ethiopian people against meles.
    The future of tigrain is doom with meles.
    we have no future against 80 million ethiopian.
    We have to give ethiopian power, they are majority.

    http://hornofafrica.de/
    in an interview they conducted with the Eritrean News Agency, Mr. Asmelash Abraha, director general of Television Department, and Mr. Girmai Berhe, director general of Radio Department, said that the strenuous efforts made to build media outlets serving the truth and justice which are acceptable at the regional and international level have registered noticeable outcome.

    They also explained that stepped-up endeavors are being exerted to develop programs and that the Eritrean media has become a reliable reference to the parties that cherish truth and justice. Mr. Asmelash and Mr. Girmai pointed out that vigorous efforts are being made to develop human resource capacity, upgrade technical competence, expand infrastructure facilities and programs so as to attain the desired goal of broadcasting competitive and qualitative programs that meet regional and international standard.

    Mr. Asmelash Abraha

    They further indicated that the national media is accomplishing effective tasks in conveying the message of peace and development cooperation, which the people and Government of Eritrea uphold, to the people in the surroundings, as well as in advocating truth and justice. In this respect, the department heads explained that diligent endeavors are being made to enhance the viability and contribution of the national media in reinforcing the development drive, combating cultural invasion and psychological warfare in line with its correct path that has enabled the media outlets to be acceptable, influential and credible at the regional level.

    They went on to say that the national media is presently broadcasting in all the languages of the country and a number of others in the surrounding countries through introducing up-to-date technology, putting in place advanced infrastructure facilities and expanding airtime coverage, as well as increasing the days of publication. Besides, progress has been made as regards developing manpower capacity to effectively utilize the newly introduced technology, they added.

    Mr. Girmai Berhe

    Noting that the Ministry of Information is giving top priority to the development of human resource, the department heads stated that efforts are being exerted to set up a competent Journalism Training Center. Moreover, they pointed out that expansion of coverage and airtime would visibly increase in the year 2009, and that new programs focusing on education, the youth and development matters would be introduced. Likewise, additional programs on entertainment and panel discussion would be launched, thus leading to 24-hour airtime increase in the national media, Mr. Asmelash and Mr. Girmai elaborated.

    They further indicated that the bilateral understanding and cooperation with various media organizations and countries would be reinforced as regards program exchange, training and technical cooperation.

  6. heny and meaza
    | #6

    ALL ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE FIGHT NAZI MELES WEYANNE HE IS THE MOST WORESTTTTTTTTT MAN

  7. teodros kiros
    | #7

    Ethiopia
    ethiopians@tecolahagos.com Tuesday, December 30, 2008
    HOME NEWS PRESS CULTURE EDITORIAL ARCHIVES CONTACT US

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    WE MUST RESIST THE IMPRISONMENT OF OUR LEADERS BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY

    By Teodros Kiros (PhD)

    ——————————————————————————–

    Enough is enough, the people must say. We cannot take it anymore.

    God, please speak.

    God please speak sense to our leaders, who are taking away our existential rights, to choose our leaders, to organize our people, to fight for their rights. Our rights are being chipped away. Our ears are muffled with unbearable pain. Our eyes are shattered by misery. Our mouths are being denied their rights to speak, through our leaders.

    Dear God, speak, please speak, and save our historical nation, from entering into a civil war that we cannot afford.

    We have patiently waited for change. We continue to silently bare the pangs of hunger. Our mothers cannot nurse their babies. Our fathers, permanently unemployed, squander their days at Bars, wishing that the pain will go away by the power of Tej and Tela. Our young bodies bored and hopeless take it on reckless sex, to only discover that our bodies are now ravished by AIDS, and let it be we say, let the body part company from the soul, so that when we are gone, we shall meet God to purify us from pain, hunger and hopelessness.

    I leave the legality of Ms. Birtukan’s right to recant or not recant, to our able lawyers, as important as the question might be. That is not what concerns me here.

    My concern goes deeper, to the marrow of the bones. If our leaders, who are peacefully organizing the people to demand change cannot exercise that right, what rights are then allowed them by the constitution? Should not the rights of the people who are coming in record numbers to listen to their leaders, count for something, or is the democracy that the regime never fails to mention, a democracy that listen only to those who sing its praises?

    I say to the people, this time we must resist the intimidation of our leaders by marching on every street, every road, and every corner within Ethiopia and its Diaspora.

    Resisting regimes which do not respect our leaders are simultaneously violating our existential and legal rights.

    We will be remiss if we do not resist Ms. Birtukan’s right by the right constitutional measure of protest at the right time, for the right reason, at the right place, and for the absolutely right reason.

    I must add, we must do this in millions, and Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia must take the lead, and put the Ethiopian people toward rendezvous with victory.

    Teodros Kiros (PhD) December 29, 2008

  8. Yeshihareg
    | #8

    Beating elderly man and a woman is not a human behaviour in any nation. What you can learn from this is the country is run by insane beasts.

    Is the it the medal for professor Mesfin who served the country through out his life selflessly?

    Shame on every Ethiopian who is not feeling this and not ready for action to get rid of the wild sick animals.

  9. Yeshihareg
    | #9

    Beating elderly man and a woman is not a human behaviour in any nation. What you can learn from this is the country is run by insane beasts.

    Is it the medal for professor Mesfin who served the country through out his life selflessly?

    Shame on every Ethiopian who is not feeling this and get ready to get read of this sick wild animals.

  10. | #10

    People of Ethiopia: if there is anyone who believed the constitution that was written in the bush’s of aiga by Legesse Z and his gangsters then you might as well believe believe Bush’s WMD claim in Iraq. Legesse Z and his gang-ho weyane dreamed the distruction of Ethiopia while their were in the aiga jungle and they are implementing the rule of the jungle with the backing of western powers; god save Ethiopia from the scavengers weyane and their Eritrean masters/advisors!

  11. | #11

    The Dedebit Mafia and the Eritrean Segenety Mafia are fleecing the nation. These two clans are rejects of the Ethiopian and Eritrean peoples and have to be eliminated. These clans have already brought destruction, devastation and mayhem and a swift action is needed to cure the cancer amongst us.

  12. elmo
    | #12

    What’s up with these idiotic pictures ABUGIDA?
    You are better than “them” and stop acting stupid. I don’t think this fits you at all. Please please remove the your photoshop version birtukan/jail from the front page.

  13. SiesuHill
    | #13

    AlmazSiesu Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    December 31st, 2008 at 5:02 pm
    A Woyane Holland meeting Fiasco: A Woyane Ambassador, his TPLF cadres vs concerned Ethiopians (an actual fist fight followed).
    http://www.eastafro.com/video/holland.html

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