Category Archives: News

Straffrihetsdagen: Seminarium gällande handbok för journalisters säkerhet

 

journosafety
Foto: Melody Sundberg

De ger oss våra nyheter och ser till att världen inte är en tyst plats. Ändå mördas fler och fler journalister under sina uppdrag. Den 4 november gjordes erfarenhetsutbyten angående journalisters säkerhet i en förändrad värld. Föreläsare från bland annat Röda Korset, Rory Peck Trust och Svenska Afghanistankommittén diskuterade med åhörarna. Seminariet hölls till följd av att man under våren beslutat att ta fram en säkerhetshandbok för frilansjournalister. Arrangörer för dagen var Kalityfonden och Svenska UNESCO-rådet.

Seminariet hölls i samband med den Internationella dagen för att upphäva straffrihet för brott mot journalister. I en debattartikel av frilansjournalisten Martin Schibbye och Svenska UNESCO-rådets generalsekreterare Mats Djurberg, konstateras det att angreppen mot journalister inte minskar trots att händelserna ger stor internationell uppmärksamhet. Även om det under det senaste decenniet mördats 700 journalister, har ingen dömts i 90 procent av fallen. Det stora antalet ouppklarade fall är mycket oroande eftersom det kan sporra fler att döda journalister.

 

johan_persson
Fotografen Johan Persson understryker vikten av att hålla tät kontakt med frilansare ute i fält.
Foto: Melody Sundberg

Frilansare och representanter från organisationerna berättade om sina erfarenheter från arbete i konfliktfyllda länder, och om vad som idag görs för att stödja frilansjournalister. Ett återkommande ämne var vikten av erfarenhetsutbyte, betydelsen av noggranna förberedelser samt att de som hjälper till runt uppdragen, så kallade fixare, skyddas. Ett bra nätverk och kontaktpersoner som inte bara delger erfarenhet och råd, utan också reagerar snabbt vid nödsituationer, är oumbärligt.

Hotet mot budbäraren kommer alltid att finnas – likaså behovet av journalistiken. Därför behövs strategier för hur man ska ta sig runt hoten. Arbete i konfliktzoner kommer alltid att vara farligt och även om det inte finns en gyllene regel som fungerar för varje plats och situation, finns det fortfarande mycket som kan göras för att öka säkerheten.

En attack mot en journalist är en attack mot demokratin och det fria ordet. Säkerhetshandboken som nu ska sammanställas, kommer att bli en samling av erfarenheter och praktiska tips. Den är menad att vara till hjälp före, under och efter det journalistiska uppdraget, i så väl konfliktzoner, naturkatastrofer som andra hotfulla situationer.

För att projektet ska kunna genomföras kan du bidra genom att förhandsbeställa boken. Läs mer om hur du gör det genom att klicka här. Du är också varmt välkommen att bidra med kapitel, idéer och tankar.

 

Melody Sundberg

  • Tweets från seminariet finner du genom att söka på hashtag #journosafety
  • Fler bilder från seminariet kan ses här:

martin_schibbye_journosafety_2 martin_schibbye_journosafety journosafety_panel journosafety_audience johan_persson_journosafety journosafety2

Bidra till handbok för frilansjournalister

Hej,

Svenska Unescorådet i samarbete med Kalityfonden och Reportrar Utan Gränser tog i våras ett initiativ att ta fram en handbok/antologi med praktiska tips för frilansjournalister.

Arbetet påbörjades på pressfrihetens dag i maj 2014 med ett seminarium med fokus på journalisters säkerhet. Utifrån diskussionerna där föddes idén om att sammanställa och dela med sig av erfarenheter. Berättelserna, tipsen och alla konkreta råd ska samlas i en handbok som ges ut på Pressfrihetens dag i maj 2016. En handbok är ett sätt att konkret göra något framåtblickande och ta vara på erfarenheter som finns för att kunna fortsätta rapportera vilket är det bästa sättet att hedra de fängslade, skjutna och mördade kollegorna.

För att detta projekt ska bli möjligt vill jag i dag erbjuda dig att förbeställa säkerhetshandboken.

Alla som garantibeställer minst 100 böcker á 249 kronor får en logga längst bak i boken på en sida där det står typ: Författaren ansvarar för alla fakta och åsikter i »XXX XXX«. Boken hade dock inte kommit till utan ekonomiskt stöd från (XX-loggor).

Man beställer genom att sätta in pengar på Kalityfondens banggiro. När vi har fått in beställningar på minst 1 000 böcker kör vi igång.
Allt överskott går till Kalityfonden.

Beställ genom att sätta in valfri summa på konto 924 996 3597
(clearingnummer: 89011).
Ange betalningsmottagare »Kalityfonden- säkbok«.

  • Handboken ska vara ett stöd vid arbete i konfliktzoner, naturkatastrofer och vid hotfulla situationer. Boken ska vara till hjälp både före, under och efter arbete i fält.
  • Vill du eller din organisation bidra med ett kapitel, med tankar om ett ämne du tycker är det viktigaste så är du välkommen.
  • Har du idéer till kortare ensidesgrejer, mikrotips, så är det också välkommet för att göra boken bläddervänlig.

UPPDATERING: Svenska UNESCO rådet har redan beställt 100 böcker och likaså FOJO.

Allt gott,
Martin Schibbye

 

 

Texter av fängslade Dawit Isaak översätts till tre språk

Den 23 september för 13 år sedan fängslades journalisten och författaren Dawit Isaak i Eritrea. Nu kommer flera av hans texter, samlade i en bok, att översättas med stöd från Kalityfonden och Svenska Akademien.

Boken Hopp – Historien om Moses och Mannas kärlek & andra texter innehåller journalistiska texter från tidningen Setit, som Dawit arbetade för fram till 2001, debutboken Bana – en kärleksberättelse från 1988, samt en teaterpjäs. När Hopp gavs ut 2010 var det första gången ett urval av Dawits prosa, journalistik och dramatik översatts till svenska. Nu kommer boken även att översättas till engelska, franska och tyska.

Dawit är författare och journalist – en person som vill nå ut med sina ord. Idag är han fängslad och bestulen på sin yttrandefrihet, men genom översättningarna kommer en del av hans yttrandefrihet att ges honom tillbaka. Fler kommer att få möjligheten att lära känna Dawit och hans personlighet. En fängslad journalist får aldrig glömmas bort.

Hopp
kommer att ges ut genom Internationella PEN-klubbens projekt Publishers Circle där flertalet förlag ingår. Målet med översättningarna är att texterna ska nå EU, Afrikanska unionen och olika opinionsbildare. Boken kommer att ges ut i begränsad upplaga under 2015.

Översättningarna sker med stöd från Kalityfonden och Svenska Akademien.

Melody Sundberg

 

Blogged about human rights – Jailed for 100 days today

Today, 100 days has passed since six bloggers and three journalists were arrested in Ethiopia. The bloggers, Befeqadu Hailu, Atnaf Berahane, Mahlet Fantahun, Zelalem Kiberet, Natnael Feleke and Abel Wabela, are members of an independent blogger and activist group called Zone 9. Tesfalem Waldyes and Edom Kassaye are freelancing journalists and Asmamaw Hailegiorgis are senior editor.

Zone 9 Bloggers and Journalists

Ethiopia is with its almost 94 million population the second most populated country in Africa. Nevertheless, it does not according to an interview with Endalkachew Chala by Global Voices, have an independent daily newspaper or independent media. There was a need of an alternative voice and the Zone 9:ers therefore began blogging and using social media to write on subjects related to human rights. The name of the group, Zone 9, refers to the zones of the notorious Ethiopian Kality prison, where political prisoners and journalists are being held. The prison has eight zones, but the ninth “zone” refers to the rest of Ethiopia. Even if being outside of the prison walls – you are never truly free; any freethinking individual may be arrested. The bloggers wanted to be the voice of this ninth zone.

In the interview, Endalkachew says that the group had campaigns about respecting the constitution, stopping censorship and respecting the right to demonstrate. The group also visited political prisoners, such as journalists Eskinder Nega and Reeyot Alemu. They wanted to bring the publics’ attention to them by using social media. Zone 9 decided to collaborate with NGO:s – human right organizations – about the situation in Ethiopia regarding human rights and freedom of expression. They wanted to do a report and invited Ethiopian journalists to report and document about the repression they were facing while working as journalists. Despite the fact that what the group did was constitutional, the government of Ethiopia labeled it a crime. The group had all ready been facing surveillance because of their work – but now the surveillance by the government worsened. The government feared that the groups’ activities could lead to the people of Ethiopia beginning to ask critical questions. The group were threatened and told that they should stop with what they were doing. However, the Zone 9:ers did not stop because they knew that what they did was not only good – but also constitutional. They continued but the harassment and surveillance intensified. Eventually, the group was forced to go inactive. Seven months later they continued their blogging – but got arrested just after two days.

The bloggers and journalists were taken to the Maekelawi Police Station, the federal detention center in Addis Ababa. The center is a place known for torture, poor detention conditions and unlawful interrogation tactics. Several court hearings took place during which the prosecutors failed to present any evidence. According to the blog Zone9ers ‘trial’, this pre-trial procedure “is (a) procedure of keeping people in custody before the start of their trial. In common law tradition it is called remand. It is assumed remand prisoners are not guilty until proven otherwise but in Ethiopian justice system most of the time it is the inverse – you are guilty until proven otherwise.”

Recently, the bloggers and journalists mentioned were formally charged with terrorism acts and another blogger, Solyana Shimeles, was charged in absentia. The bloggers are according to Article 19 accused of associating with Ginbot 7 and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), organizations banned as terrorist networks. However, the bloggers and journalists were openly critical to the outlawed groups and deny association with them. The bloggers are also charged for organising to destabilize the country and for attending a digital security training using an open source software, Security in a Box. The software are being used by journalists and human rights defenders to protect their anonymity, according to the mentioned interview with Henry Maina for Article 19. They were also accused of working with foreign human rights organizations, according to Committee to Protect Journalists.

The charged bloggers and journalists have been transferred to the Kality prison, and their trial begins tomorrow, on August 4.

Ethiopia – A country where dissent is silenced

Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered by Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Eritrea and Djibouti. Ethiopia is one of the greatest violators of freedom of expression. According to Al Jazeera, at least 41 journalists have fled repression during the past five years, and the country currently ranks 143 in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index . What happened to the bloggers and journalists is not uncommon in a country where dissent and freethinking is being suppressed. The anti-terrorism law enacted 2009, has according to mentioned Article19 article been used to prosecute 22 journalists and bloggers: “This law contains unacceptably broad definitions for ‘terrorist acts’ and grants the government almost unlimited powers to spy on and harass human rights defenders,” says Maina. The law has been widely criticized.

The Huffington Post writes that the country is operating a sophisticated monitoring and filtering system for the Internet. In an interview by BilisummaaTV Oromia, Endalkachew is being asked why the Ethiopian gonverment is so concerned about a few bloggers considering the fact that only about 1.5 percent is connected to the Internet. Endalkachew states that change often comes from the cities – and most internet users are in the cities. If one is controlling what information people recieves, one can avoid possible critizism.

Massive support

The arrests has sparked an outrage and the hashtag #FreeZone9Bloggers is circulating in social media. July 31, Global Voices held a Tweethathon where people all over the world could show their support for the detainees. In July, 41 organizations, such as Amnesty International, Article 19 Eastern Africa, Committee to Protect Journalists and Human Rights Watch called for the release of the bloggers and journalists. When the bloggers had been detained for 90 days, anyone who wanted could send messages of support which were posted on this website. Yesterday, an event called ZoneLight was held in DC August 2. Candles were lit in support and devotion.

The bloggers motto are “we blog because we care”.

Today, 100 days has passed. Let us never forget, let us never give up.
Let us continue showing that we care for them. They cared for us.

Melody Sundberg

 

 

Säkerhetshandbok för journalister – En början till förändring

Varje år förföljs, hotas, skadas, fängslas och dödas journalister över hela världen. Många förändringar krävs för att göra det journalistiska yrket säkrare. Som en början hölls i samband med Pressfrihetsdagen den 6 maj i år ett seminarium om journalisters säkerhet.

Under seminariet presenterade frilansjournalisten Martin Schibbye bland annat en idé om en säkerhetshandbok för journalister. Det är tänkt att handboken ska vara en hjälp i att planera och genomföra de riskfyllda uppdragen. Den bör vara praktiskt utformad och förutom viktiga råd och tips innehålla erfarenhetsberättelser. Innehållet bör vidare behandla allt ifrån packlistor till hur man lägger tryckförband och information om vad som händer vid en minexplosion. Det är också en fördel om boken är användbar även för andra grupper än journalister, såsom backpackers och turister.

Målet är att boken ska fungera som ett stöd under journalistiskt arbete i konfliktzoner. Att lära sig av andras erfarenheter är en av de viktigaste delarna till att göra arbetet säkrare. En av de viktigaste delarna kommer därför att bli journalisternas egna berättelser, där man delar med sig av erfarenheter – både från då det gått bra och då det gått mindre bra.  Erfarenheter både från före, under och efter ett uppdrag är värdefulla.

Är du journalist är du välkommen att bidra med dina erfarenheter till säkerhetshandboken. Du kan vända dig till Svenska Unescorådet för mer information. De nås på adressen u.infounesco@gov.se . Bidraget bör vara inlämnat senast den 1 oktober 2014, eftersom boken kommer att lanseras under Pressfrihetsdagen i Stockholm den 3 maj 2015. Martin Schibbye är redaktör för boken. Ditt bidrag är mycket välkommet! Läs mer här.

Under seminariet diskuterades också andra vägar att gå för att göra arbetet säkrare. Något som togs upp är att kompetensen måste ökas. Den kompetens och erfarenhet som redan finns bör utnyttjas till fullo, och den måste tas till vara på och tillgängliggöras. Likaså måste riskanalyserna förbättras. De standardformulär för riskanalyser som finns bör jämföras och förbättras. Det måste också klargöras vem man larmar i en nödsituation, och ett internationellt skyddsombud – fungerande som kontaktperson för frilansare – vore värdefullt. Vill du läsa mer om vad som diskuterades under seminariet finns en längre sammanfattning här.

Slutligen behövs fler diskussioner och seminarier i ämnet. Det finns mycket som kan göras för att förbättra säkerheten för journalister. Även små förändringar kan göra stor skillnad. Det finns mycket som måste klargöras och konkretiseras, och ansvarsfrågor måste klaras upp. Den tänkta handboken är en början till förändring.

Martin Schibbyes inledning från seminariet finns att läsa här. Du kan också läsa UNESCO:s rapport World trends in Freedom of Expresson and Media Development här.

Melody Sundberg

Jailing of the innocent is now a reality

aljazeera_staff
Jailed Al Jazeera journalists. Picture source: Al Jazeera.

 

It has happened. Again.

Once again, relatives waiting anxiously.
Once again, a courtroom packed with journalists covering a verdict. A verdict affecting so many.
Once again are journalists, simply for doing their jobs, sentenced to prison.

As their sentences was declared, the faces of those present turned white. Tears began falling down the faces of their relatives, and everyone following the verdict at Twitter was stunned; for Al Jazeeras Baher Mohamed was sentenced to ten years, and Peter Greste and Mohamed Fahmy to seven.

What crime had these journalists committed? What kind of crime gave these harsh prison terms?

The answer is that they had done nothing more than giving us our news.

They had covered protests.They had reported from the happenings after president Mohamed Morsi had been removed from power.

Still, in trials, they were accused of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to broadcast “false news” about the situation in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood had supported the former president and had been declared a terrorist organization.

Apparently, interviewing some persons, but not others, will get you locked up behind bars.

So called evidence has been presented. According to Al Jazeera, it included a music video and footage from reports with nothing to do with the case. That the journalists have been cutting their raw footage using a video-editing software has by Egyptian “media experts” been viewed as modification. During each trial, the judge has been wearing sunglasses, and the journalists have been forced to sit in cages. Baher Mohamed received an additional three years for having a spent shell in his pocket. He had found it on the ground during one of the protests.

Many of us have been asking ourselves what kind of sick joke these trials are, but whatever you want to call it, it is something that has robbed the freedom of the innocent.

How this can happen – again – is beyond comprehension. These convictions are a crackdown on press freedom, which is fundamental to democracy and human rights. It sends a grim message to all journalists, bloggers and dissenters, that no one is safe.

These sentences are an attack on freedom of speech, a freedom of speech that belongs to all of us. This affects everyone. The sentences are an alarming sign of a negative trend, a plague, spreading across the globe. To silence journalists and freethinkers is to violate one of our most basic human rights; the right to freely express ourselves through speech, thought, writing, film or photography.

In other words – it is an violation of our right to be free.

But still, there is light. The jailings has sparked an outrage. Thousands are protesting in solidarity with the jailed journalists, and the sentences are being condemned in news, blogs and social media. The campaign #freeajstaff has been going on since the arrests, and it will continue until the journalists are free.

The fight has turned global.

Our thoughts are with Peter, Mohamed, Baher and their families.

Melody Sundberg

Don’t miss this documentary about the jailed journalists:

Jailed journalist Eskinder Nega wins Press Freedom award

Imprisoned journalist and prisoner of conscience Eskinder Nega has recently won the World Association of Newspapers’ Golden Pen of Freedom award. The award is given to a person, a group of people, or an institution who in deed or writing has been working in the cause of press freedom.

In his writing, Eskinder criticized Ethiopia’s use of the anti-terrorism legislation. The legislation, which came into effect in 2009,  has been misused many times, and journalists have been claimed to be terrorists. Many of them have been imprisoned. Eskinder had also suggested that something similar to the Arabic Spring might happen in Ethiopia. Arrested in 2011, Eskinder is currently serving a sentence of 18 years in the Kality prison in Addis Ababa.

Both Eskinder and his wife has earlier been imprisoned for their work for justice and press freedom. Eskinder has been jailed nine times. He knew that he was risking another jail sentence – but the love for his people and his country made him continue his work.

He chose not to run – he chose courage. But for this, he and his wife and son payed with his freedom.

Today, he is living under horrifying circumstances in the notorious Kality prison. Most prisoners do not have a bed; they are sleeping at a cold concrete floor. Food is scarce and the water has to be boiled in order to be safe to drink. The prison is full of lice, fleas and rats, and one can often hear the screaming of prisoners being tortured. In a letter to his eight year son, Eskinder writes:

“ … The pain is almost physical. But in this plight of our family is embedded hope of a long suffering people. There is no greater honour. We must bear any pain, travel any distance, climb any mountain, cross any ocean to complete this journey to freedom. Anything less is impoverishment of our soul. God bless you, my son. You will always be in my prayers.” (Source)

eskinder_nega_and_sonEskinder together with his eight-year-old son. Image source: Tadias.

Eskinder stood up for imprisoned journalists, questioned the government and criticized the law. In a world where journalists are claimed to be terrorists – and are being silenced, threatened, harassed and imprisoned – the work of Eskinder Nega is more important than ever. He is a role model for a new generation of young people who sees it their calling to stand up against injustice.

The journalistic deed will continue, because it can never be jailed.

The Golden Pen award is not only an acknowledgement of Eskinder’s journalistic deed, and for enduring more than a thousand days in jail, but it is also an acknowledgement of the importance of press freedom. The award shows that anyone who is defending freedom of expression, and is viewing human rights as something inviolable, is doing something honorable.

Today, Eskinder will know that he is not forgotten. Today, he will know that the world is standing behind him. Today, he will go with his head held high.

Thank you, Eskinder, for fighting for our freedom.

 

Melody Sundberg

The family of Eskinder Nega asked Martin Schibbye to honor Eskinder and accept the award on his behalf. You can read Martins’ speech here.

 

Legal Support for Reeyot Alemu and Eskinder Nega

Reeyot-Alemu-IWMF
Imprisoned journalist Reeyot Alemu. Image source: CPJ.org.

The Kality Foundation supports the Initiative by Media Legal Defence that has launched a fundraising campaign to support its bid to free Ethiopian journalists Eskinder Nega and Reeyot Alemu.

MLDI has brought a legal challenge to the African Commission and Court of Human Rights, the main human rights tribunals at the African Union, asking them to declare that Reeyot and Eskinder’s conviction under Ethiopia’s anti-terrorist laws breaches their human rights and to stop the abuse of anti-terror laws to silence journalists.

While the legal team all give their time and expertise for free, there will be significant costs in attending hearings, translating numerous legal documents and other court-related expenses. MLDI is asking for donations to help cover these costs.

All contributions to the Kality Foundation for the moment will support this initiative. Donate by clicking here. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter. See hashtag #kality

Eskidner-NEgaa-300x150

Imprisoned journalist Eskinder Nega. Image source: Amnesty.org

The situation in Ethiopia regarding press freedom

Theodoros Agera, exiled ethiopian journalist, has written a summary about what has happened regarding press freedom in Ethiopia since the Swedish journalists Schibbye and Persson were released last year.

Background:

Hailemariam Dessalegn who succeeded the late Ethiopian strongman of 22 years, “pardoned” the two Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye & Johan Persson on the eve of Ethiopian New Year (September 10, 2012), after being held in Kality prison for 14 months. Hooray! But Ethiopia’s “New” Premier, is he really New?

Many uniformed and/or complacent observers rushed to praise Ethiopia is opening its doors for democratic reforms and accommodating dissent views following the inaugural of the “new” Prime-minister in the office; as if arresting innocent Ethiopians on dubious charges with doctored evidences and parading them with coerced “confession” on National TV to be released, is a new thing for the ruling party. Well, Ethiopia’s “new” Premier is not short of all what his predecessor had been doing for the last two decades with impunity; dissenting Ethiopians (with political and/or religious views) have met with arrests, killings and harassment by security forces of Ethiopia’s “new” leader not to mention the eviction of thousands of Ethiopians from various regions for speaking Amharic (Ethiopia’s supposedly official language). Voila! No condemnation, no press release, no protest deters the “New”  premier from maintaining the legacy of his mentor.

Here are the recaps of the crackdown in Ethiopia since Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson where released last year:

Sept. 25, 2012: Court in Ethiopia orders “confiscation” of Eskinder Nega’s house and his wife’s car.

October 5, 2012: Ethiopian Police in the capital, Addis Ababa, briefly detained  Marthe Van Der Wolf, a reporter of U.S. government-funded broadcaster VOA as she was covering a protest by members of Ethiopia’s Muslim community.

November 21, 2012: UN panel on Human Rights urged the Ethiopian government to release immediately dissident award winning blogger Eskinder Nega and adequately compensate him.

December 18 2012: Sixteen members of the European Parliament (MEPs) wrote an open letter to Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn calling for the immediate release of the independent journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega, who was condemned  to 18 years in prison under the country’s controversial 2009 anti-terrorism law.

January 2013: CPJ ranked Ethiopia 3rd in the world for forcing its 49 Journalists  into exile in five years because of intimidation and repression.

January 8, 2013: In a ruling that lasted five minutes, the Ethiopian Court of Cassation rejected an appeal filed on January 8, 2012 on behalf of award-winning journalist Reeyot Alemu.

January 10, 2013: Ethiopia sanctioned The Addis Times magazine after being published for only four months  while its predecessor, Fitih ,was subjected to an avalanche of legal proceedings before being closed for good by the authorities in August 2012.

January 17 2013:  Ethiopian security authorities arrested Solomon Kebede, managing editor of the now-defunct paper Ye Muslimoch Guday (“Muslim Affairs”), and took him to the Maekelawi federal detention center for covering Muslims’ protest.

February 8, 2013: The Ethiopian Federal High Court of Addis Ababa, revived three charges against Temesghen Dessalegn , former chief editor of the now-defunct Feteh, and one against the general manager of Mastewal Publishing, a company that formerly printed Feteh.

April 10, 2013: Kality prison authorities have threatened Reeyot Alemu with solitary confinement for two months as punishment for alleged bad behavior toward them and threatening to publicize human rights violations by prison guards.

April 19, 2013: Woubshet Taye, former deputy editor of the Amharic-language weekly Awramba Times, was transferred to a detention centre in Ziway, 130 km southeast of the capital, Addis Ababa.

May 1, 2013: After delaying a decision on seven occasions, Ethiopia’s Supreme Court upholds Eskinder Nega’s 18 years sentence.

May 16, 2013: Ethiopian Journalist arrested over article about the late PM’s wife.

May 30, 2013: Ethiopian authorities detained  Muluken Tesfaw, a reporter for the private weekly Ethio-Mihdar, who sought to interview people evicted from their homes in a region where the government is building a contentious hydro-electric dam on the Blue Nile.

August 2, 2013: Ethiopian security officials in Addis Ababa, arrested two journalists who have been covering Ethiopian Muslims’ protest for the last one year.

September 2, 2013: Editor of the now defunct Awarambatimes Journalist Woubshet Taye  who was sentenced to 14 years of jail term with terrorism charges, has received a flat ‘rejection letter’ from the “new” administration of Hailemariam Desalegn.

Compiled by: Theodros Arega, exiled dissident journalist/blogger who fled from Ethiopia in 2005 and is staying in Sweden since then.

“Tell the world what you have seen”

The statement made by Martin Schibbye in the  video above was made at the day that he and Johan Persson arrived to Sweden after being released from the Kality prison. English captions are available.

On the eve of June 28th 2011, we put everything at stake by illegally crossing the border from Somalia into Ethiopia. After months of research, planning and failed attempts, we were finally on our way to report on how the ruthless hunt for oil effected the population of the isolated and conflict-ridden Ogaden region. Five days later we lay wounded in the desert sand, shot and captured by the Ethiopian army. When our initial reportage died, another story began. A story about lawlessness, propaganda and global politics. After a Kafkaesque trial we were sentenced to eleven years in prison for terrorism. And we were far from alone. Our cellmates were journalists, writers and politicians persecuted for not bowing down to dictatorship. Our reportage about oil was transformed into a story about ink, and our daily lives turned into a fight for survival inside the notorious Kality prison in Addis Ababa. Exposed to deadly diseases, daily beatings and fierce repression – deprived of our shoelaces and our freedom of speech – we fought to preserve the most valuable thing of all: the freedom to determine who you are and what you believe.

This is when we promised to help other journalists in the same situation. This is when the Kality foundation was created.

Martin and Johan