March 23, 2012

Ogaden: Media Regulation Violations Condemned

An Ethiopia-based journalists group has called for the international community and media to be allowed to report on the conditions of the Ogaden people in Ethiopia. They also demand freedom for two Swedish journalists who were sentenced to eleven years imprisonment in December 2011 on charges of unlawful entry into Ethiopia and support of terrorist activity.

Below is an article published by Qorahay Media Journalists Group (QMJG):

 

The Journalist Group called Qorahay Media Journalists Group (QMJG) is a not-for-profit independent journalist organization that is free from any kind of political views, and whose objective is to educate people about the ongoing crisis in the Ogaden. They advocate justice and the improvement and respect of basic human rights for the people of the Ogaden. The Ethiopian government’s strategy in the Ogaden is based on: thought-out economic blockade, political marginalization and use of vicious military force to restrain all legitimate demands from the population including the right to self-determination.

 

This Journalist group is a worldwide movement and it has directors all over the world. The directors and the working journalists are located all over Europe, Africa, Australia and America. This group’s goal is to expand the knowledge among the other Somali Medias, that there is no such thing as rightful media in the Ogaden that can report about the ongoing crises in the Ogaden. 


As we all know lately in the media, especially in the Somali media world, there has been news going around that is saying most of the Somali businesses MUST pay an amount of money to the Ethiopian government. In this way, they are tricking Somali businesses to buy their share in this so-called pond that the Ethiopians are building. All the Somali businesses open in the Ethiopia/Ogaden areas have been told to pay for and buy this share or else their businesses won’t stay open for much longer. This has become an eye opener for the world; to force people to pay for and buy something they don’t want.

 

This is showing that the Somali people are under the Ethiopian “iron hand”. Most of the businesses forced to pay have been media businesses and money transferring businesses.

 

[...]


A part in the false propaganda that is being spread is about a place called Jail Ogaden. That is the biggest jail in the Ogaden area and is located in the city Jigjga. The people that are detained in Jail Ogaden currently are ten times more than the jail was built for.

 

• Many people in there haven’t been charged for crimes; they have been forgotten in there. 
•   There are sick people in there that have not been given the right to see a doctor.

•   Many people have died in there and their families have not been informed; many of the families still thinks that their loved ones in there are still alive.

 

OMJG have met people that have survived Jail Ogaden; they have shared really horrible and heartbreaking stories with us, saying that the things that are going on in Jail Ogaden include harassments, unlawful detentions, raping and other countless acts of torture. The survivors call Jail Ogaden hell on earth.

 

Today our society depends on the media to tell us what’s happening around the globe and the latest news from every corner. Unfortunately there are NO reports coming out about what’s happening every day in Ogaden.

 

We realized or saw that some of the Somali media disobeys or misbehaves, and more specifically they do not obey or follow the rules, regulations and guidelines of the media world.

 

[…]

 

• Qorahay Media group are criticizing all the Somali media that are working for Ethiopia […]

• We are strongly criticizing everyone that is spreading these false rumors and that is using their journalist status wrongly and for their own purpose.

• We are strongly criticizing the way Ethiopia is acting towards the innocent Ogaden people and the way they are disrespecting the Ogaden people’s basic human rights.

• We are also demanding the Ethiopian Government to give journalists the right to enter Ogaden and report from there. Therefore we are demanding those involved to immediately release the two Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye & Johan Persson. These two journalists have been sent to prison wrongly, and without any proof of them doing anything outside the law.

• We also strongly criticizing the killings of innocent journalists in Somalia who are only working and doing their duties as journalists. We are demanding the people doing these wrongful deeds to STOP!

 

• We are demonstrating to all media worldwide to take part in demanding Ethiopia to give the world media the right to enter Ogaden and uncover the hidden genocide!

• We are also demonstrating to the Somali media to support their Ogaden brothers and sisters and to try and enter Ogaden like Jaamac Nuur, a Somali journalist working Al-Jazeera did in 2008. He made this documentary which opened the world’s eyes to what is going on in the Ogaden.

• Qorahay Media Journalists Group (QMJG) is asking for the help and support from all other media outlets and general people. It's important that we stand together as one and support each other through these difficult times, in order to strengthen one another and to achieve greatness and create solutions!