Search This Blog


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ethiopian Gov't Intensifies Digital Attacks: Human-Rights Watch

(New York) – The Ethiopian government has renewed efforts to silence independent voices abroad by using apparent foreign spyware, Human Rights Watch said today. The Ethiopian authorities should immediately cease digital attacks on journalists, while foreign surveillance technology sellers should investigate alleged abuses linked to their products.
Independent researchers at the Toronto-based research center Citizen Lab on March 9, 2015, reported new attempts by Ethiopia to hack into computers and accounts of Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) employees based in the United States. The attacks bear similarities to earlier attempts to target Ethiopian journalists outside Ethiopia dating back to December 2013. ESAT is an independent, diaspora-run television and radio station.

“Ethiopia’s government has over the past year intensified its assault on media freedom by systematically trying to silence journalists,” said Cynthia Wong, senior Internet researcher at Human Rights Watch. “These digital attacks threaten journalists’ ability to protect the safety of their sources and to avoid retaliation.”

The government has repressed independent media in Ethiopia ahead of the general elections scheduled for May, Human Rights Watch said. Many privately owned print publications heavily self-censor coverage of politically sensitive issues or have shut down. In the last year, at least 22 journalists, bloggers, and publishers have been criminally charged, at least six publications have closed amid a campaign of harassment, and many journalists have fled the country.

Many Ethiopians turn to ESAT and other foreign stations to obtain news and analysis that is independent of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. However, intrusive surveillance of these news organizations undermines their ability to protect sources and further restricts the media environment ahead of the elections. Government authorities have repeatedly intimidated, harassed, and arbitrarily detained sources providing information to ESAT and other foreign stations.

Citizen Lab’s analysis suggests the attacks were carried out with spyware called Remote Control System (RCS) sold by the Italian firm Hacking Team, which sells surveillance and hacking technology. This spyware was allegedly used in previous attempts to infect computers of ESAT employees in December 2013. If successfully installed on a target’s computer, the spyware would allow a government controlling the software access to activity on a computer or phone, including email, files, passwords typed into the device, contact lists, and audio and video from the device’s microphone and camera.

Citizen Lab also found that the spyware used in the attacks against ESAT appeared to have been updated as recently as December 2014. On November 19, a security researcher, Claudio Guarnieri, along with several nongovernmental organizations, publicly released a tool called Detekt, which can be used to scan computers for Hacking Team RCS and other spyware. Citizen Lab’s testing determined that Detekt was able to successfully recognize the version of RCS used in a November attack, but not the version used in a December attack. Citizen Lab concluded that this may indicate that the software had been updated sometime between the two attempts.
These new findings, if accurate, raise serious concerns that Hacking Team has not addressed evidence of abuse of its product by the Ethiopian government and may be continuing to facilitate that abuse through updates or other support, Human Rights Watch said.

Hacking Team states that it sells exclusively to governments, particularly law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The firm told Human Rights Watch in 2014 that “we expect our clients to behave responsibly and within the law as it applies to them” and that the firm will suspend support for its technology if it believes the customer has used it “to facilitate gross human rights abuses” or “who refuse to agree to or comply with provisions in [the company’s] contracts that describe intended use of HT [Hacking Team] software.” Hacking Team has also stated that it has suspended support for their product in the past, in which case the “product soon becomes useless.”

Media reports and research by independent human rights organizations in the past year have documented serious human rights violations by the Ethiopian government that at times have been facilitated by misuse of surveillance powers. Although spyware companies market their products as “lawful intercept” solutions used to fight serious crime or counterterrorism, the Ethiopian government has abused its counterterrorism laws to prosecute bloggers and journalists who merely report on public affairs or politically sensitive issues. Ethiopian laws that authorize surveillance do not adequately protect the right to privacy, due process, and other basic rights, and are inconsistent with international human rights requirements.

Hacking Team previously told Human Rights Watch that “to maintain their confidentiality” the firm does not “confirm or deny the existence of any individual customer or their country location.” On February 25, 2015, Human Rights Watch wrote to the firm to ask whether it has investigated possible abuse of its products by the Ethiopian government to target independent media and hack into ESAT computers. In response, on March 6 a representative of the firm emailed Human Rights Watch that the company “take[s] precautions with every client to assure that they do not abuse our systems, and, we investigate when allegations of misuse arise” and that the firm is “attempting to understand the circumstances in this case.” The company also stated that “it can be quite difficult to get to actual facts particularly since we do not operate surveillance systems in the field for our clients.” Hacking Team raised unspecified questions about the evidence presented to identify the spyware used in these attacks.

Human Rights Watch also asked the company whether contractual provisions to which governmental customers agree address governments’ obligations under international human rights law to protect the right to privacy, freedom of expression, and other human rights. In a separate March 7 response from the firm’s representative, Hacking Team told Human Rights Watch that the use of its technology is “governed by the laws of the countries of our clients,” and sales of its technology are regulated by the Italian Economics Ministry under the Wassenaar Arrangement, a multilateral export controls regime for dual-use technologies. The company stated that it relies “on the International community to enforce its standards for human rights protection.”

The firm has not reported on what, if any, investigation was undertaken in response to the March 2014 Human Rights Watch report discussing how spyware that appeared to be Hacking Team’s RCS was used to target ESAT employees in 2013. In its March 7 response, the company told Human Rights Watch that it will “take appropriate action depending on what we can determine,” but they “do not report the results of our investigation to the press or other groups, because we consider this to be an internal business matter.”

Without more disclosure of how Hacking Team has addressed potential abuses linked to its business, the strength of its human rights policy will be in question, Human Rights Watch said. 

Sellers of surveillance systems have a responsibility to respect human rights, which includes preventing, mitigating, and addressing abuses linked to its business operations, regardless of whether government customers adequately protect rights.
“Hacking Team should publicly disclose what steps it has taken to avoid abuses of its product such as those alleged against the Ethiopian government,” Wong said. “The company protects the confidentiality of its customers, yet the Ethiopian government appears to use its spyware to compromise the privacy and security of journalists and their sources.” 

Source: Human Rights Watch

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ethiopia's imprisoned #FreeZone9bloggers have not been forgotten : BBC

In April 2014 BBC Trending covered the arrest of six bloggers and three journalists in Ethiopia. The bloggers are part of a group known as Zone 9, and are well known for campaigning around censorship and human rights issues in Ethiopia. Ten months on from their arrest, the hashtag #FreeZone9Bloggers continues to be used in the country as the trials continue.
The Free Zone 9 BloggersThat's not typical - campaigning hashtags often tail off over time. This one is being kept alive by activists both inside and out of Ethiopia who are challenging the government's decision. The total number of tweets is still only in the tens of thousands, but that is enough to be noticed on the global map (Twitter does not produce an official trending topics list for Ethiopia).
Why are they so focussed on social media? It certainly isn't the best way to reach the Ethiopian people: the internet is estimated to reach just over 1% of the population there. But it does allow them to network with the global blogging fraternity and the international media. Recently a blog began in support of the nine prisoners, and to report on the hearings. A campaign video has also been released in which complaints are raised over the conditions of Kalinto prison and Kality prison, where the bloggers are being held.
These complaints include torture, unlawful interrogation tactics and poor living conditions. The Ethiopian Embassy in London told BBC Trending that allegations of torture and unlawful interrogation tactics are unfounded, and that they have taken a series of measures "in collaboration with stakeholders, including civil society, to improve the conditions of prisons". They say the nine individuals are charged with "undermining the constitutional order, inciting violence and advocating the use of force to overthrow the legitimate government." They are also accused of working with an organisation proscribed by the Ethiopian Parliament as a terrorist organisation. However, activists in support of the group maintain that Zone 9's actions were constitutional.
Blog by India Rakusen
Source: BBC

የዛሬ የቂሊንጦ አጭር ቆይታ አብርሃን መጠየቅ ከጀርባ ሰው ያስከትላል (ከኤልያስ ገብሩ ጎዳና )

‹‹ዕድሜያችንን መቼ ሰራንበት፣ ልደት ማክበርም ያስፈራኛል፡፡
እንኳን ተወለድክ ላላችሁኝ በሙሉ ከልብ አመሰግናለሁ››
ጦማሪ እና ጋዜጠኛ በፍቃዱ ኃይሉ
ከዛሬ ከሰዓት በኋላ ከወዳጄ አቤል አለማየሁ ጋር ወደ ቂሊንጦ እስር ቤት አምርተን ነበር፡፡ አካሄዳችን በዞን ሁለት የሚገኙትን አብርሃ ደስታን፣ ጦማሪ እና ጋዜጠኛ በፍቃዱ ኃይሉንና ጦማሪ አጥናፍ ብርሃንን ለመጠየቅ ነው፡፡
የቃሊቲ እና የቂሊንጦ ጸሐይ ከረር ያለች ብትሆንም በቦታው ደርሰን ወደፖሊሶች ለምዝገባ ተጠጋን፡፡ ጠያቂና ተጠያቂ መዝጋቢ የሆነችው ሴት ፖሊስ ‹‹ማንን ነው የምትጠይቀው?›› ብላ አቤልን ጠየቀችው፡፡ በፍቃዱን እና አጥናፍን መሆንኑ ነገራት፡፡ መዘገበችውና ሂድ አለችው፡፡ ‹‹አንተስ ማንን ነው?›› ስትል ጠየቀችኝ፤ ‹‹አብርሃ ደስታን›› አልኳት፡፡ ቀና ብላ አየችኝና ‹‹ቆይ፣ ቁጭ በል›› የሚል መልስ መለሰች፡፡ ሌሎች ሰዎችን መመዝገቧን ቀጠለች፡፡ ‹‹ሰዓት እየሄደ ነው፣ ችግር አለ ወይ?›› አልኳት፡፡ ‹‹አይ ችግር የለም›› ካለች ከተወሰኑ ደቂቃዎች በኋላ ሌላ መዝገብ አምጥታ ፓስፖርቴን መዘገበችው፡፡ (መታወቂያዬ አልታደሰም) ከመዘገበች በኋላም ሌላ የፎርም መሙያ አውጥጣ በድጋሚ መዘገበች፡፡ ይሄንን ስትመዘግብ እኔ እንዳይባት ስላልፈለገች

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

More Than 200 Migrants Feared Dead After Boats Sink in Mediterranean

By VICE News
February 11, 2015 | 1:16 pm
More than 200 migrants are missing in the Mediterranean sea after the motorboats they were traveling in sank, the UN refugee agency says.
Nine people were saved after four days at sea, but a further 203 were "swallowed up," Carlotta Sami, the UNHCR spokeswoman in Italy, said on Twitter.
She called the incident a "horrible and enormous tragedy."
The two boats departed from the Libyan coast on Saturday, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Lauren Jolles, UNHCR officer for Southern Europe, criticised Operation Triton — Europe's Mediterranean border patrol — for lacking a "core mandate" of saving human lives.
"We are shocked by the news of the death of another 203 migrants and refugees," she said in a statement.
She added: "The Operation Triton does not have as its core mandate of saving human lives and therefore can not be the answer of which is urgently needed."
Triton was brought into replace Operation Mare Nostrum, the Italian government's program of maritime patrols, which ended last year to warnings from refugee experts that the death toll could soar. The EU operation, run by the bloc's border agency Frontex, covers a much reduced search area and is mandated with border surveillance rather than search and rescue.
Nils Muiznieks, human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe, also denounced Triton's inadequacy, saying the loss of life could have been avoided.
The news comes just days after 29 migrants died after their inflatable raft capsized near the Italian island of Lampedusa. 22 of those died from hypothermia after being picked up by a rescue vessel.
More than 165,000 undocumented migrants tried to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in the first nine months of 2014, accroding to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, compared with 60,000 for the whole of 2013. Almost half of the 2014 migrants were Syrians and Eritreans.
At least 3,000 died or went missing at sea in 2014, according to UNCHR estimates, compared to over 600 in 2013.
Main image: Migrants are picked up by an Italian navy patrol in December. Image via the Italian navy.

Monday, February 9, 2015

C'est ENCORE en Lampedusa! Plus de 20 migrants morts de froid.

Des gardes-côtes italiens ont retrouvé en mer Méditerranée plus de vingt migrants morts de froid, lors du sauvetage d'une embarcation sur laquelle se trouvaient plus d'une centaine de personnes.
Plus de vingt migrants sont morts de froid sur une embarcation qui a été secourue dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi par des gardes-côtes italiens, a annoncé, lundi 9 février, une source médicale à l'AFP. Selon les médias italiens, le total des morts pourrait atteindre 25 à 27 personnes.
"Il y a beaucoup de morts, certainement plus de vingt", a déclaré un médecin du centre des urgences de l'île italienne de Lampedusa, où ont été transférés lundi après-midi une centaine de survivants, dont certains hospitalisés pour hypothermie. "Nous avons dans le centre six jeunes souffrant d'une forte hypothermie et on tente d'organiser leur transport par hélicoptère" vers des hôpitaux mieux équipés, a ajouté le médecin.
L'alerte avait été donnée dimanche après-midi par les migrants à l'aide d'un téléphone satellitaire. Le centre opérationnel des gardes-côtes a dépêché sur place deux navires marchands qui se trouvaient dans la zone, ainsi que deux vedettes parties de Lampedusa, qui ont secouru les migrants dimanche vers 21 h GMT.

Source: France24 Avec AFP

Friday, January 16, 2015

Khaled Idris Bahray, The 20-year-old Eritrean Refugee, was allegedly killed by Racists in Germany

Killing of Eritrean refugee in Dresden exposes racial tensions in Germany

RIP, the late Khaled Idris Bahray 1995-2015
Anti-immigration sentiment highlighted after 25,000 rally in support of far-right Pegida movement on night of murder. t was 8pm on Monday when Khaled Idris Bahray told his seven flatmates he was popping out to buy some cigarettes from the Netto supermarket about 100 metres away from his flat in a prefab high-rise in the south of Dresden.
The 20-year-old Eritrean said he wouldn’t be long. But a few hours later he still hadn’t returned. “We assumed he’d gone to stay with some other friends nearby,” said his flatmate, Abdulrezak Suleman. “So we weren’t really worried.”
But around 7.40 the following morning, other residents in the six-storey building found his body slumped in the inner courtyard of the housing estate.
According to his flatmates, in reports that the police will not confirm, he was covered in blood, with at least one deep cut visible on his body. Rigor mortis had already set in. “He was lying on his back, and had blood coming out of his nose and mouth, with drops of blood leading towards the door as if he’d tried to get in, but not made it, and drops on the grass,” said Abdulatif, 23, a fellow Eritrean who lives nearby but had spent that night in Bahray’s flat.
Hmm not surprisingly, Police say No Foul Play!
The police had first said there seemed to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding the young Muslim’s death, saying in their initial statement that on first appearance “there are no indications of foul play”. But just hours later they confirmed the results of the postmortem showed that Bahray had been unlawfully killed in what appears to have been a vicious knife attack.
“We now have evidence to confirm that a stab from a knife was the cause of his injuries,” said Dieter Kroll, president of Dresden police. “We can exclude the possibility that this was an accident. It is murder.”
Dresden police have launched a murder investigation in the east German city that has been making headlines recently for its anti-immigrant rallies, which, on the night of Bahray’s death, attracted a record number of 25,000 supporters. Tensions in the city have been high in the 12 weeks since the rallies began, with a reported increase in racist attacks.
I want to earn some money and send to Mom, Bahray

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Nearly 3,500 Migrants reportedly died in 2014 alone while crossing the Mediterranean: UNHCR

GENEVA (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency on Wednesday warned that the international community was losing its focus on saving lives amid confusion among coastal nations and regional blocs over how to respond to the growing number of people making risky sea journeys in search of asylum or migration.
Group  risking their lives to reach Europe from North Africa
With preparations under way for the opening today in Geneva of UNHCR's 2014 High Commissioner's Dialogue – an informal policy discussion forum whose focus this year is "Protection at Sea" – UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said some governments were increasingly seeing keeping foreigners out as being a higher priority than upholding asylum.
"This is a mistake, and precisely the wrong reaction for an era in which record numbers of people are fleeing wars," Guterres said. "Security and immigration management are concerns for any country, but policies must be designed in a way that human lives do not end up becoming collateral damage."
The clandestine nature of these sea crossings makes reliable comparisons with previous years difficult, but available data points to 2014 being a record high. According to estimates from coastal authorities and information from confirmed interdictions and other monitoring, at least 348,000 people have risked such journeys worldwide since the start of January. Historically, a principal driver has been migration, but this year the number of asylum-seekers involved has grown.
Europe, facing conflicts to its south (Libya), east (Ukraine) and south-east (Syria/Iraq) is seeing the largest number of sea arrivals. Although not all are people needing asylum, more than 207,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean since the start of January – almost three times the previous known high of about 70,000 in 2011, when the Libyan civil war was in full swing. For the first time, people from refugee-producing countries (mainly Syria and Eritrea) have in 2014 become a major component in this tragic flow, accounting for almost 50 per cent of the total.
In addition to the Mediterranean, there are at least three other major sea routes in use today both by migrants and people fleeing conflict or persecution. In the Horn of Africa region 82,680 people crossed the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea in the first 11 months of this year en route mainly from Ethiopia and Somalia to Yemen or onwards to Saudi Arabia and the countries of the Persian Gulf.
In Southeast Asia, an estimated 54,000 people have undertaken sea crossings so far in 2014, most of them departing from Bangladesh or Myanmar and heading to Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia. In the Caribbean, at least 4,775 people are known to have taken to boats in the first 11 months, hoping to flee poverty or in search of asylum.
And many die or fall victim to international organized crime in the process of making these journeys. Worldwide, UNHCR has received information of 4,272 reported deaths this year. This includes 3,419 on the Mediterranean – making it the deadliest route of all. In Southeast Asia, an estimated 540 people have died in their attempts to cross the Bay of Bengal.
In the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, at least 242 lives had been lost by December 8, while in the Caribbean the reported number of dead or missing as of the start of December was 71. People smuggling networks are meanwhile flourishing, operating with impunity in areas of instability or conflict, and profiting from human desperation.
Guterres said that by focusing on isolated elements to a problem that by its nature is multi-layered and transnational – often involving routes that stretch across multiple borders and over thousands of kilometres – governments were finding themselves unable to either stem the flow or stop people dying along the journey.
"You can't stop a person who is fleeing for their life by deterrence, without escalating the dangers even more," said Guterres. "The real root causes have to be addressed, and this means looking at why people are fleeing, what prevents them from seeking asylum by safer means, and what can be done to crack down on the criminal networks that prosper from this, while at the same time protecting their victims. It also means having proper systems to deal with arrivals and distinguish real refugees from those who are not."
This year's High Commissioner's Dialogue gathers representatives of governments, non-governmental organisations, coast guard and, academics as well as representatives from partner international organisations. It is being held in Geneva's Palais des Nations over today and Thursday.

Source: UNHCR

Monday, December 8, 2014

Yemen migrant boat carrying Ethiopians sinks killing 70 : BBC

Migrants waiting to board a boat to Yemen in DjiboutiThe irony is that these migrants are from one of the countries who boasts to score 'double-digit growth' consecutively over the last decade. Why would anybody risks her/his precious lives in such a tragic manner says volumes about the real desperation and frustration of these young people back home. This isn't an isolated incident; it becomes a norm now a days. Last month, UN released a report about the ever increasing number of Ethiopian migrants who are crossing red-sea, knowing the risk, to reach Yemen. Are there any explanation from the government and its apologists to clarify these contradictory realities, absolutely NOT! They will blame the desperate migrant who are victims of a system which forced them to make such desperate decisions. My thoughts goes to those who lost their lives and their bereaved families.    
A boat carrying African migrants has sunk off Yemen's western coast, killing 70 people, Yemeni officials say.
The boat, carrying mostly Ethiopian migrants, sank off Yemen's al-Makha port due to strong winds and rough waves, security officials said.
Tens of thousands attempt to cross the Red Sea into Yemen every year, often in rickety, overcrowded vessels. Hundreds have died making the journey.
Yemen is viewed by many migrants as a gateway to the Middle East or Europe.
The latest sinking occurred on Saturday, with reports of the incident emerging on Sunday.
The Red Sea crossing between the Horn of Africa and Yemen is one of the world's major migration routes, BBC Arab affairs editor Alan Johnston says.
File photo:  Illegal Somali and Ethiopian migrants wait to embark on boats on a voyage to Yemen on Shinbivale beach, 17 kms, east of Bosasso, Somalia, 7 September 2007Migrants dream of finding jobs and better lives in rich places like Saudi Arabia - but they are in the hands of unscrupulous people smugglers and, too often, never reach the Yemeni shore, our correspondent adds.
In October, the UN refugee agency said that more than 200 people had died at sea in 2014 while attempting to reach Yemen.
"There have been frequent reports of mistreatment, abuse, rape and torture, and the increasingly cruel measures being adopted by smuggling rings seem to account for the increase in deaths at sea," the UN said at the time.
 Source: BBC

Saturday, November 22, 2014

We have no asylum-seekers in Ethiopia: Eritrea's U.N. Ambassador

Unaccompanied Eritrean refugee children in Ethiopia
Eritrea’s top diplomat to the United Nations says the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has committed a “conceptual mistake” in a report, which stated that in the past 37 days more than 6,000 Eritreans had claimed asylum in neighboring Ethiopia.

The U.N. refugee agency said Eritrea’s renewed conscription drive was to blame for the sharp increase in the number of youths fleeing the country.

But Eritrea's U.N. ambassador, Girma Asmerom, dismissed the report as a calculated effort to undermine the government by creating disaffection among its population. He said Eritrean citizens migrate just like other nationals, which he said is a global phenomenon.
“The U.N. has to do its bit of homework, because there are no asylum-seekers in Ethiopia,” said Asmerom. “We do not understand why they are

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Influx of Migrants from Ethiopia to Yemen increased dramatically

"In September - the most recent month for which statistics have been released - the Nairobi-based Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS) reported 12,768 arrivals - predominantly from Ethiopia. It was more than double the figure for September 2013 and represented the single largest monthly influx on record."
SANAA, 20 November 2014 (IRIN) - Yemen's security crisis is leading to a rapid expansion in the people smuggling trade, with thousands of migrants from the Horn of Africa desperate to use the country as a gateway to Saudi Arabia.
On 21 September, Houthi rebels - a Zaydi Shiite Muslim group based in the north of the country - seized control of the capital Sana'a after a battle with the army and Sunni Islamists.

Three cabinet overhauls in less than two months and ongoing clashes in many regions have thrown the country into a state of limbo. The UN Security Council and the US also recently complicated matters by imposing sanctions on former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and two senior Houthi military commanders.

While most Yemenis bemoan the chaos, for people smugglers opportunity knocks. Thousands more African migrants seeking to reach Saudi Arabia

The Late Ethiopian Literary Gaint Hailu Gemoraw 'Why I Write? The Basic Motive of My Literary Work'

Hailu Gebereyohannes alias known as in his pen-name Hailu Gemoraw, a renown Ethiopian Poet; Writer; philosopher has passed away at the age of 71 here in Sweden on November 9, 2014. He spent almost of half of his life in exile; first he went to China on scholarship but he was evicted due to research proposal "how anarchism is affecting China's literature". He then sought asylum in Norway but he went to Sweden to finish his Doctoral Studies about China. Norway denied Gemoraw his residency and work permit for being away from the country for more than two years. As a result he was forced to seek asylum in Sweden where he suffered and finally died. It's an honor for me to brought up reading his books and it's very sad that his literary and humanistic contributions have never been recognized or valued. Thank you Gemoraw for opening up my eyes to literature world. I hope, your caring and clean soul finally will rest in peace after such a long long and long suffering. 
As the old "Gibbon's" saying goes " …Encompassed on all sides by the enemies of their religion; the Ethiopians slept near a thousand years, forgetful of the world by whom they were forgotten ", the innocent Ethiopians have been isolated for several centuries from the rest of the world, just to face the brutals of harsh & bitter poverty at the expense of their rich natural resources & the source of world original history.  Due to Her "Geo-political" position situated at the most sensitive zone of the globe, Ethiopia has suffered an immense mass of suppression by outside forces. As a conscious Ethiopian, that is wounded & bleeded from the early age of my Younghood, I don't have any available means to protect my Country from such horrible atrocities except that crying on behalf of Ethiopia and its suffering people.
The whole motive of my writings is based on trying to express their (i.e.Ethiopia & Her people) agony in a literary form. Therefore, the Amharic Poem below is embodied with an actual text that express the soul of my motive – "….to cry aloud the bitter conditions of their miserable life & express their deepest agony on their behalf, — to the whole world in general and to the conscious class of Our People (Ethiopians) in particular as well!!. Their non-stop brutal problems are still missing them now too!!! Thus, my cry through my "PEN" will continue too!! Thank You All!!!
Source: Debteraw

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

እውቁ ገጣሚ፤ጽሃፊ፤ባለቅኔ፤ ገሞራው ከአርባ ዓመት ስደት በኋላ ዐረፈ

... እንደ ኪሩብ ሁሉ - ክንፍ አካል ቢኖረኝ፣
መች እጠበስ ነበር - በዚህ ዓለም በቃኝ፣
ስላጣሁ ብቻ ነው - መሸሻ መድረሻ
በዚች በሽት ዓለም - የኖርኩ እንደውሻ ...፣"
"... በሥጋዬ ብቻ ውጪ - ሀገር እስካለሁ፣
እወቁልኝ በርግጥ - አልኖርኩም ሞቻለሁ! ...
ኃይሉ (ገሞራው)

በኢትዮጵያ የሥነ-ጽሑፍ ታዋቂ የነበረው ደራሲ፣ ገጣሚና ባለቅኔ ኃይሉ ገብረዮሐንስ (ገሞራው) እሁድ ጥቅምት 30 ቀን 2007 .. (ኖቨምበር 92014) በስደት በሚኖርባት ስዊድን ዋና ከተማ ስቶክሆልም በ71 ዓመቱ ከዚህ ዓለም ተለየ። ሥርዓተ ቀብሩ በስዊድን እንደሚፈፀም ታወቀ። 
ከጥንት ጀምሮ ስናየው የኖርነው፡
ሲነድ ሲቃጠል የሚስቅ እሳት ነው። 
ይህንን ስንኝ ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ ያነበብኩት ስምንት ወይም ዘጠኝ ቢሆነኝ ነው። ኃይሉ ገሞራው  መጽሃፎች የቤታችን መጽሃፍት መደርደሪያ ካጣበቡት መካከል በቅድሚያ ይጠቀሳሉ።  የረከተ መርገም ረቂቅ እንደወረደ፡ በገሞራው ወይም በሌላ አርታኢ በቀይ ብርዕእርማቶች፡ ከገጽ እስከ ገጽ ተገጥጠውበት ነበር። የኃይሉ ገሞራው መጽሃፍት፡  አማርኛ ስነጽሁፍ ጋር አስተዋውቀኛል ብል ማጋነን አይሆንም። ከዘመናት በኋላ እዚህ፡ ስዊድን በስደት በ2004 ዓም የኢትዮጵያ  አዲስ ዓመት አከባበር ላይ ፡  ርቀት፡ ይህን እውቅ ደራሲ ለማየት ችያለሁ። እንዳለመታደል ሆኖ፡ተቀራርበን ለማውጋት አልቻልንም። ባለበት የጤንነት ችግር ምክንያት ዝግጅቱ ሳይፈጸም ወደ ቤቱ ሄደ፡ ከዛ በኋላም ለመገናኘት እድሉ አልተፈጠረም። የኛ ነገር በጅ የያዙት ወርቅ ሆነና እንጂ፡ የኃይሉ ገሞራውን ለትውልድ የሚተላለ፡ ወደር የሌለው ትምህርት እና እድሜ የጠገበ የስነጽሁፍ ክህሎት በተለያየ መንገድ ማቆየት በቻልን ነበር። ምን ዋጋ አለው፡ ጅብ ከሄደ ሆነ ነገሩ። ጋሽ ኃይሉ በምድር ለሰባት አስርት ዓመታት በቆየህባቸው ጊዚያት ደስታን የተነፈገችው ንጽሁ ነፍስህ በሰላም ትረፍ።(የጸሃፊው ማስታወሻ)
በአዲስ አበባ እስጢፋኖስ ቤተክርስቲያን አካባቢ በኢትዮጵያ አቆጣጠር በ1935 .. ከእናቱ ከወ/ሮ አመለወርቅ ሀብተወልድ እና ከአባቱ ከመሪጌታ ገብረዮሐንስ ተሰማ የተወለደው ደራሲ፣ ገጣሚና ባለቅኔ ኃይሉ ገብረዮሐንስ (ገሞራው) ትምህርቱን የጀመረው

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nearly 40,000 Eritreans risked their lives to reach Europe by boat only this year: UNHCR

GENEVA, November 14 (UNHCR) The UN refugee agency on Friday said the number of asylum-seekers in Europe from Eritrea over the first 10 months of this year has risen threefold compared to the same period in 2013. In Ethiopia and Sudan, neighboring Eritrea, the number of Eritrean refugees has also increased sharply.
"So far this year, nearly 37,000 Eritreans have sought refuge in Europe, compared to almost 13,000 during the same period last year. Most asylum requests have been lodged in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland, with the vast majority of the Eritreans having arrived by boat across the Mediterranean," UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told journalists in Geneva.
"Our office in Italy reports that 22 per cent of the people arriving by boat are Eritrean, a total of nearly 34,000 people this year. This makes Eritreans the second

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

የማራኪ መጽሄት ባለቤት ጋዜጠኛ ሚሊዮን ሹሩቤ በስደት በሚኖርበት ናይሮቢ ኬንያ ህይወቱ አለፈ

በስደት ላይ ሞት እንዴት ያሳዝናል።  አገሩም ላይ ሳይደላው፡ በስደት ላይ እንደወጣ ለቀረው የሙያ አጋራችን ነፍስህ በሰላም ትረፍ።  የህውሃትን ወከባ እና አፈና አመለጥኩ ሲል በዚህ መልኩ መሞት ግን ህይወት አንዳንዴ ለምን በጣም ብዙ ጊዜ በየዋሃን ላይ እንደምትጨክን ያሳያል። የሚሊዮን ሞት ለቤተሰቡ እና ለሙያ አጋሮቹ ምን ያህል ከባድ እንደሆነ ከራሴ ልምድ አውቀዋለሁ። ወይ ነዶ ስደት ለወሬ አይመችም። ለሚሊዮን ቤተሰቦች፡ወዳጆች እና የሙያ ባልደረቦች መጽናናቱን ይሰጣችሁ ዘንድ ምኞቴን እየገለጽኩ ይህ በስልጣን ላይ ያለው መንግስት ወይ ልብ ይስጠው ወይ ደግሞ መጨረሻውን ያቅርበው፡ አሜን።
ከሞቱ አሟሟቱ ካገሩ በወጣ በወር ከአስር ቀኑ በሞት ያጣነው ጋዜጠኛ ሚሊየን ሹርቤ የመጨረሳዎቹ ቀናት
ጋዜጠኛ ሚሊዮን በመጨረሻዎቹ ሰዓታት…
የሚሊዮን አሟሟት እንዳስረዳችሁ ለጠየቃችሁኝ …

ጋዜጠኛ ሚሊዮን ሹሩቤ በኢትዮጵያ ነጻ ፕሬስ ከ
12 አመት በላይ የሰራ ወጣት ጋዜጠኛ “ነበር”፡፡ በነሃሴ ወር ውስጥ በመንግስት ወከባ ህይወቱን ከእስር ለማትረፍ ተሰዶ ወደሀገሩ በሳጥን ለመመለስ እየጠበቀ ያለ ወጣት ኢትዮጵያዊ ጋዜጠኛ…ሚሊዮን፡፡ ተስፋ የነበረው ስደተኛ ጋዜጠኛ የመልካም ባህሪ እና ስብእና ባለቤት የነበረው ሚሊዮን፣ ስለሀገሩ ፍቅር ብዙ መሰናክሎችን ሊጋፈጥ ስደትን መርጦ ባሰበበት ሳይሆን በታሰበለት ሊኖር የተገደደው ሚሊ እንደወጣ በሰው ሀገር ልጄን እህቶቼን ቤተሰቦቼን ሃገሬን እንዳለ በድንገት

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ethiopian Court Sentenced Three Magazine owners in Absentia: RSF

Lomi magazine, Enque magazine, Fact magazine, Jano magazine, Lomi magazine, and Afro-Times newspaperThey fled the country before the trial and were convicted in absentia
Ethiopia’s federal supreme court yesterday sentenced three magazine owners in absentia to more than three years in prison on charges of “inciting violent revolts, printing and distributing unfounded rumours and conspiring to unlawfully abolish the constitutional system of the country.”
The three, who fled the country when the prosecution was mooted, are Addis Guday publisher Endalkachew Tesfaye, Lomi publisher Gizaw Taye and Fact publisher Fatuma Nuriya. Their jail terms range from three years and three months to three years and eleven months.
Ethiopia’s justice ministry announced in August that it was bringing criminal charges against these three magazines and three other weeklies – Enqu, Jano and Afro-Times.
“The sentences imposed on these three magazine owners are shocking,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. “The clearly outrageous grounds for their conviction are indicative of how a very authoritarian regime is manipulating the justice system. This type of persecution amounts to banning independent media in Ethiopia altogether.”
The authorities have been stepping up their persecution of news and information providers for the past several months. Six bloggers and three journalists (including an Addis Guday reporter) have been held since April. After repeated postponements, their trial is now scheduled for 15 October.
In June, 18 journalists were fired from Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO), the main state-owned broadcaster in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region, for supposedly having “narrow political views.” The dismissal order came from the government.
Ethiopia is ranked 143rd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

Source: RSF

Monday, September 29, 2014

Almost 40,000 Migrants Lost their Lives Crossing Borders/Seas Since 2000: IOM

Mediterranean Sea alone did cost over 22,000 migrants' lives since 2000 sounds like almost 4 thousand faceless and nameless fellow human-beings had lost their lives unnecessarily every year since 2000 while trying to escape - persecution, killing, or poverty. They were somebody's sisters brothers daughters or sons and now they are just statistics. Unfortunately, thanks to the the rise of anti-migrant right wing parties all over the industrialized world, the death toll of migrants seems to rise even more in the coming years. Every country which tightens its borders and does everything to prevent immigrants from entering its "sovereign land", is a complicit to this human tragedy unfolding everyday from Australia, to the US; from South Africa to Italy; from Saudi-Arabia to Libya.  
Geneva - IOM today (29/9/2014) released “Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost During Migration,” the world’s most comprehensive tally to date of migrant fatalities across land and sea.
With a count surpassing 40,000 victims since 2000, IOM calls on all the world’s governments to address what it describes as “an epidemic of crime and victimization.”
“Our message is blunt: migrants are dying who need not,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing, “It is time to do more than count the number of victims. It is time to

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Number of Syrian Kurds fleeing to Turkey nears 140,000: UNHCR

GENEVA. September 23 (UNHCR) The UN refugee agency on Tuesday said more than 138,000 refugees, mainly ethnic Kurds fleeing militant threats to towns and villages in northern Syria, have crossed into southern Turkey since Friday.
The latest arrivals passed through the two remaining open border points at Yumurtalik and the crossing east of Murstipinar/Akmanak.
UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming said the Turkish authorities had told the refugee agency that they are now managing the entry of refugees through two border points (previously nine) in three phases: security checks in order to maintain the civilian character of asylum; health checks, including measles and polio vaccination for very young children; and registration.
Mobile registration centres, large trucks donated by UNHCR and complete with computers, biometric and photographic equipment, are operating in the border crossing of Yumurtalik and in the yard of a primary school of Namik Kemal, Suruc.
Registration is also being carried out by government officials at a boarding school in Onbirnisan, in Suruc district hosting an estimated 50,000 refugees, as well as the Suruc town center less than 15 kilometers from the Syrian border.
Once registered, refugees receive an ID card, which provides access to free health care services in Turkish clinics, as well as other aid provided by local municipalities, non-governmental organizations and other aid agencies. The card is a critical document that also shows refugees have the temporary protection of the Turkish government.
"UNHCR field staff are visiting the border areas and areas hosting refugees on a daily basis, assessing urgent needs and coordinating the response among other humanitarian actors," Fleming said.
"Our field staff report the majority of new arrivals are women, children and the elderly, who arrive exhausted having walked several kilometers to safety on a dusty, rough road, with their luggage. Some of the elderly and disabled are carried to safety by relatives, their wheel chairs hopelessly unsuited to the rough terrain," she added.
On arrival, the refugees are given water before being transported to a registration point. The Turkish Red Crescent has set up a medical observation tent for injured refugees and more than 290 Syrians were taken to the Suruc hospital by ambulances over the weekend.
The refugee agency has already provided tens of thousands of relief items blankets, sleeping mats, jerry cans and plastic sheets to help in the response, coordinated by the government of Turkey. More aid is on the way.
UNHCR's Fleming said the first in a series of airlifts bringing aid for up to 200,000 people is expected to arrive in Turkey, from Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday afternoon. Another three flights from Amman and Copenhagen are expected to follow later in the week.
Many refugees are sheltering with relatives and friends, while others are staying in schools, wedding halls, mosques or other buildings. The Turkish government has set up two transit centres for 10,000 people each at Suleymansah Park in Mursitpinar and Onbirnisan, in Suruc, with support from UNHCR. The government also continues its work on two new camps already under way Derik Camp in Mardin and Islahiye camp also with UNHCR support.
Source: UNHCR

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Confessions of the Ex-‘Revo’: Befekadu Hailu

They are still indignant, confident and with unwavering devotion for human rights and the rule of law; the usual suspects, the one and the only ones- Zone9bloggers from the notorious Ethiopian prison still pen, criticize and inspire thousands regardless of the hardship they have to go through on a daily basis. I still couldn't believe this piece was written by someone who is being incarcerated for the crimes he didn't commit. Befqadu and his colleagues are critiquing the brutal and vengeful regime knowing that their shackles on their skinny arms and legs will be fastened harsh for such writings. I think, we are the ones who are in jail; THEY- the unbeatable young, fearless and innocent Ethiopians are sacrificing their lives to free us, AMEN!      
There was a time in my life when I used to think a lot about revolution in Ethiopia. In fact, in 2011 during the so called ‘Arab Spring’ I wrote a rejoinder article when Ethiopian democracy activists (especially those who are based in diaspora) planned a ‘Day of Rage’ using

የቀድሞው “የአብዮት አድናቂ” ኑዛዜ በፍቃዱ ዘ ኃይሉ

ወይ ጥንካሬ፡ ወይ ብስለት፡ ወይ የዓላማ ጽናት እንጂ ሌላ ምንም ሊባል አይችልም፡ይህንን የበፍቄን በሳል እና ትንተና የተሞላበት ደብዳቤ ለሚያነብ ሰው፡ በርግጥ፡ አንድ፡ ባልሰራው ወንጀል ቁምስቅሉን ከሚያይ እስረኛ የተጻፈ ነው ብሎ ለማመን እጅግ ይከብዳል። ዛሬም ይጽፋሉ፡ ይተቻሉ ያላንዳች ፍራ፡ ምንም እንኳን እንዲህ ዓይነቱ አልበገር ባይነት ተመርኩዞ በቀለኛውና ጨካኙ መንግስት የነገው ህይወታቸውን እንደሚያጨልመው እና በነዛ ቀጫጭን እጆቻቸው ላይ ያጠለቀውን ካቴና የበለጠ እንደሚያጠብቀው ቢረዱም። የታሰርነው፡ እኛ እንጂ እነሱማ ነጻ ናቸው።  
ርዕሱን  አላስታውሰውም ‘ንጂ እ..አ በ2011 Arab Uprising በመባል የሚታወሰውን አብዮትተከትሎ፣ ኢትዮጵያውያን ፌስቡከኞችም (በተለይ ዲያስፖራ የሚገኙ) ግንቦት 20 ላይ (ልክ በኢሕአዴግ የ20ኛ አገዛዝ ዕድሜ)   “Anger day” በሚል በፌስቡክ አብዮትመጥራታቸውን ተቃውሜ አንዲት ጽሑፍ ጽፌ ነበር፡፡ በዓመቱ ደግሞ ‹‹ አብዮት ወረት ነው›› በሚል ርዕስ በፌስቡክ አብዮት ለማስነሳት ፍላጎት ያላቸው በርካቶች እንዳሉ ገልጬ ነገር ግን ይጎድላቸዋል የሚባሉትንነገሮች ዘርዝሬ ጽፌ ነበር፡፡ በነዚህ ሁለት ጽሑፎች ላይ፣ ላዩን አብዮትን የተቃወምኩ ቢመስልም እውነታው ግን ጽሑፎቹ በተጻፉበትወቅት ሕዝቡም፣ ተቃዋሚ ልሂቃኑም፣ ሁኔታዎቹም ለአብዮት ዝግጁ አይደሉም የሚል ዝንባሌ ማሳየቱ ነበር፡፡
ከሌላ ዓመት በኋላደግሞ ‹‹ስለለውጥ›› በሚል ርዕስ ተከታታይ ጽሑፎችን በ‹‹ዞን 9›› ላይ በግል ተነሳሽነት ማስፈር ጀምሬ ነበር፡፡ ጽሑፉን የጀመርኩት ‹‹ኢሕአዴግ ሥልጣኑን በምርጫ ይለቃል?›› በሚል ጥያቄ ነበር፡፡ ‹‹አይለቅም›› የምልባቸውን ምክንያቶች ካስቀመጥኩ በኋላ የለውጥ አማራጭ የምላቸውን (አብዮት፣ሰላማዊ አለመታዘዝ /civil disobedience/ የመሳሰሉትን) በየዘርፉ እየቀነጫጨብኩ ለማሳየት ነበር ዓላማዬ ከዚያም ‹‹የለውጥ ፍርሃት››፣ ‹‹የሥርዓት ለውጥ እና ሃይማኖት››፣ ‹‹የ1966ቱ የኢትዮጵያ አብዮት እና የማኅበራት ሚና›› የሚሉ ርዕሶችን በማንሳት በሐሳቦቹ ላይ በሐቀኝነት ለመከራከር ጥረት አድርጌያለሁ (ከዚህ በላይ አልገፋሁበትም እንጂ)፡፡ በበኩሌ ስለአብዮት በደንብ ያነበብኩትም፣ ያሰብኩትም፣ የጻፍኩትም፣ የተረዳሁትም ያኔ ነበር፡፡ ያኔ በአብዮት ላይ የነበረኝ እምነት ተሸርሽሮ ግማሽ ደርሶ ነበር፡፡ ተንጠፍጥፎ ያለቀው ግን