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.         

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