Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ethiopian Dissident Journalist Detained & Released at Speed of Light, But Why?

Ethiopia's Ministry of Justice released Temesghen Desalegn, editor of Feteh, from Kality Prison in Addis Ababa, the capital, on August 28 2012 at around 3 p.m. and dropped the charges it filed against him in unprecedented manner.  Desalegn was jailed days after the death of the country's Prime Minister, who was best known as a predator of the press, disclosed to the public after so much secrecy and conflicting reports by the ruling part. All of these charges the Prosecutor filed against the last remaining critical journalist in Ethiopia, might sound ridiculous in some part of the world; but in Ethiopia they're high profile crimes which could have put Desalegn in Kality however the same people who accused him of trying to incite violence among the general public, made a U turn and dropped all these charges which have never happened before. Sorry, just a slip-of -tongue; the same thing happened to the American journalist who was detained and released in less than 48 hours  last July. 
I'm glad that these two journalists don't have to go through all the nightmare, hundreds of fellow prisoners of conscious are being through. But, I can't help but to wonder why such preferential treatments are being given from a country with such a terrible human rights records. Hmm, maybe, is it some kind of charm offensive by Berket Simon to get sympathy for his deceased colleague/friend, who is trying refute all the allegation that business is as usual in Ethiopia post Meles Zenawi? Or the status quo will return after the staged drama of the funeral is undertaken and eventually you know the usual...
I hope this 'gesture' is 'genuine', will be extended to fellow Ethiopian and Swedish journalists, opposition figures/members and others who are being incarcerated for the crimes they didn't commit. One of my wishes for the coming Ethiopian New Year (which is 2005) alias Enqutatsh is that the old-guards learn from their unforgivable mistakes by releasing all prisoners of conscious in the country, make a reconciliation with the Ethiopian people and opposition parties at home and abroad so that to create a better place for all of us to live. I don't think, it's too early to make such wishes.         

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Queries for my tiny-mini Blog scored 317% Increase! Google

I got the following mail on Tuesday August 25th 2012 from Google web-masters with a subject line " Big traffic change for top URL".   
Search results clicks for have increased significantly.
This message is not indicative of any problem in your site. It is simply to inform you that the number of clicks that one of your pages receives has increased recently. If you have just added new content, this may indicate that it has become more popular on Google. The number of clicks that your site receives from Google can change from day to day for a variety of factors, including automatic algorithm updates.

I know this particular article was one of the most popular ones ever since I published it on my blog last year in November, but I never thought it would score such unprecedented number of queries just in 24 hours (250 just in between August 25-26/2012) on Google's search engine. My wild guess is that this tribute is visited mainly by those millions of poor Ethiopians and Somalians, who are widowed/orphaned/bereaved/starved/raped/imprisoned, have become nostalgic of this peace-loving, very kind, genuine, visionary, democratic, inspirational, etc "leader" who passed away recently. Our  ''beloved'' and "benevolent" Prime Minister also will be missed Ethiopian and Swedish prisoners of conscious in Kality and other jails in Ethiopia including those who are charged in absentia for treason/terrorism. By the way, how are Moammer Qaddafi, Saddam Hussien, Adolf Hitler, Mobutu Sese Seko, Joseph Stalin and millions of your roommates doing? I hope they're making you comfortable at home and there are vacant rooms for your friends, you know, in Eritrea, the SudanEgypt, YemenSaudi-Arabia, Syria, Bahrain, Zimbabwe, Guinea-Bissau, RussiaAzerbaijan, Iran etc. so that you guys can have Tyrants-alumni and leave us alone in peace here. 
Enjoy your stay
one of your loyal worshipers from planet Earth.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Two of Ethiopia's most hated Patriarchs gone in a week – Divine intervention or just a Coincidence?

What a pity, what a pity, what a pity
                                                Gone Meles Zenawi, without tasting Kality. (Agust 21, 2012-Stockholm, Sweden).
I'm neither religious nor a conspiracy theorist. However I can't help but contemplate about the power of some divinity which allowed two of Ethiopia's most controversial/hated political/religous figures, who were alleged by many as the architects of the polarization of ethnic division among Ethiopians, to go one after another as they came in just a matter of days. I don't know them personally, but met them from afar while I was working at

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stockholm Went Rainbow Last Week

The Annual Stockholm Gay Pride Parade held for 15th time here in the capital on Saturday (August 4th, 2012) with glitter, carnival, flamboyant costumes and strong political statements. The festival which was started last week on Tuesday (July 31st 2012) and was organized by The Stockholm Pride organization fetched hundreds of thousands of local LGBT groups, merry makers, tourists, and a few LGBT activists at home and from abroad. This year's festival hosted various seminars, debates, photo exhibitions, concerts during the whole week and raised issues related to LGBT asylum seekers, sexuality and gender, HIV/Aids, violence against women etc. This year's theme was tillsamans which means together, didn't go without controversy. According to Justice Party's on-line magazine, the latest issue of the magazine QX quoted festival manager Alf Kjeller as saying "Pride will be an arena for the entire community, we should not be political," and eventually quiet a good number local disgruntled LGBTQ activists aka Anarchists (mainly working class/unemployed/low-income earners & the youth) distanced themselves from it by holding their own Parade outside the official Gay Parade House downtown at small cafe to show their protest against the inclusion of authorities which deport LGBT asylum seekers to gay hostile countries and companies that make profits out of these deportations. These local activist didn't participate in this year's Parade due to the organizers' indifference to English Defense League's rally which took place later the same afternoon. The organizers, however, rejected these allegations adding that this year's motto is 'togetherness' so everybody's value is welcomed. Even though, some critics accused this annual event's original meaning of fighting against discrimination of LGBT group was hijacked by a financial stunt for high income earners, a  rather a gross and ostentatious show of tasteless exhibitionism and not being a forum to raise awareness and understanding about the issues of LGBTQ community; there were a few activists from Iran and Russia which made a statement about the ongoing harassment and killings of LGBT groups in those respective countries.

PS. Thanks for borrowing the camera (mine is destroyed by an angry SL bus-driver last month) and RFSL's Newcomers asylum-group for offering Pride's free entrance ticket; otherwise I wouldn't be able to capture these moments in real time. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

No Racists on Our Streets! Sweden's Anti-Fascism & Racism Activists.

The rally held here in Stockholm on August 4th 2012 by The English Defense League (EDL) and its host and sister group calling themselves the Swedish Defense League (SDL), was outnumbered by hundreds of local Anti-racist & Anti-Fascist activists/protesters. Less than hundred EDL members, the far-right anti Muslim & Immigration, along with its sisters groups from Denmark, Germany, Finland and the US Tea Party movement were participated at this rally in connection with the annual Stockholm Gay Parade claiming to defend local LGBT groups as well as natives from the threats of Islam/Jihad.
However, more than 200 local Anti-racism & Fascism activists categorically rejected the alleged threat of Islam and said it has been used as a pretext to promote racist agenda in Europe, Austraila and Americas against against refugees/immigrant. Local activists were chanting slogans like EDL go to Hell, No Racists on Our Streets during the whole time. To avoid confrontation between the two opposing groups police cordoned off for more than 2hrs the Norra Stora Bantorget square where EDL and its supporters held the rally and the counter demonstration by local activists on the other side of the streets. There was heavy local Police (Civil & Uniformed) presence and security was tight. The Police blocked all the roads leading to Norra Bantorget so I had to walk more than 20 minutes to get a closer look at the EDL's rally which otherwise would have taken me less than a minute. Even though the rally was finished without much violence as feared; one particualr guy (the one with blue shirt on picture 5) from EDL has been pushing, provoking and smacking trumpets of the anti-racism activists several times while I was there. “English Defence League” was launched in Luton, England in an attempt to mobilize an anti-muslim sentiment as a movement on the streets. The Local, an on-line magazine, quoted a statement by a group associated to the meeting “Stockholm was chosen for the Global Counter Jihad rally because of the actions of an Iraqi-born Swedish citizen, Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, who travelled to central Stockholm on December 11, 2010 in order to commit mass murder”.