Monday, January 30, 2012

I wish I was born White

Yes, I wish was born white so I don't have to flee my 'home' country leaving behind my family, friends and everything I have to live in 'freedom' in a country where I wasn't welcome. Otherwise, I don't have any problem with my skin color; of course it often times asks for troubles and raises eyebrows at the doorsteps of fancy restaurants, bars and even just average food stores. I would discuss about skin color and its negative consequences sometime in the future. Tonight, I just want to provoke thoughts about the tales of the prisoners of two countries namely Sweden my 'host' country for 8yrs which's home is home to Johan Persson & Martin Schibbye and Ethiopia my 'homeland' and a prison for two of my Swedish colleagues.
Isn't that an amazing coincidence??? Let me return back to the main issue which's why I wish I was born white, I may sound harsh but I've noticed quite such a big media outcry from the international mainstream press in general and their Swedish counterparts in particular ever since Johan & Marin were arrested last year in July. I published two articles about this issue on my blog in October urging all media outlets not to forget about the plights of Ethiopian journalists who're being charged with the same crimes and might even face harsh prison terms. However, little has changed as far as the discrepancies of attention given towards these prisoners of conscience from two different countries by media outlets, human rights and free speech groups. There's a huge support at home and abroad for the duo Swedes whereas their 114 Ethiopian counterparts are almost forgotten by the world in general and by their own kin in particular. Isn't it funny that we Ethiopians who reside in Stockholm, took to the street without permission from the police to protest against the December 2011 trial on Johan & Martin but we kept quite when the kangaroo court in Addis sentenced them from 14years to life imprisonment and death sentence on January 19, 2012. I approached about this issue to a few of my contacts who've a lot bigger authority, resources and networks than me but the response was lukewarm so, I set up my own petition which demands the immediate and unconditional release of all Ethiopian & Swedish prisoners of conscience and utilized various social networks (FaceBook, twitter, paltalk, e-mail, etc) to solicit petitioners but unfortunately the response was below my expectations. Yesterday, Kelsey Crow created a petition after he read New York Times writer's piece by Nicolas Kristof and the response is amazing just in 24hours almost 2000 people put their signature to demand the release of the two Swedes (by the way there're already more than 3 petitions sites set up for the release of Martin Schibbye & Johan Persson). Do you know how many people signed for 114 Ethiopian journalists & opposing groups to be released in the last 10days? only 74 until I was writing this piece. I even attached a 2mins video clip above to get sympathy for these forgotten Ethiopian prisoners of conscience. I wasn't surprised at all by the big number of petitioners who demand Meles Zenaw to release the pair Swedes; I'm rather upset and shocked by the disdain and apathy of officials & public figures of diaspora Ethiopian opposition parties, civic organizations, business etc who have all the resources and time to spend to expose the crimes committed against our citizens by the regime they despise everyday. I was on one of the 'current affairs' discussion on-line forums a couple of minutes ago to share the petition's website, oh no, oh no, to add an insult to the matter, the things they were 'discussing' made me sick and left the room immediately. I couldn't believe people are bickering with each other on some trivial matters while their compatriots are languishing in one of the worst prisons in the world for the crimes they didn't commit; this's a disgrace to humanity.

1 comment:

  1. kikiki...amhara wedzi neftegana..all terrarist in prisen now.swiden, esknder alle...what yuo doe nating.Malese is hiro...oki.wraite nating kan chenge.we will prisen alle, if we wante kikiki