Tag Archives: Kality

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

 

 

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

 

 

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.