July 2, 2012

Ogaden: Freedom of The Press Deteriorating

The Ogaden National Liberation Front denounces the dire conditions of the freedom of the press in Ethiopia, one year after the arrest of two Swedish journalists.

Below is an article published by the Ogaden National Liberation Front:

One year ago, the Ethiopian army shot and then illegally detained Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson, two Swedish journalists who went to Ogaden in order to investigate and report on the role of Lundin Oil in the gross human rights abuses committed by the Ethiopian Army against civilian agro-pastoral population.

The Ogaden National Liberation Army considers the two journalists as prisoners of conscience, who were imprisoned because of their belief in free expression and pursuit of truth. The Ethiopian government has destroyed long ago all free media in Ogaden, and is now dismantling the few remaining free press in the rest of Ethiopia.

The harsh and unprecedented treatment of Mr. Schibbye and Mr. Persson is intended to dissuade any more attempt by the international and local press to ever again attempt to report in a free and independent manner in Ogaden and the rest of Ethiopia. Just recently, the Ethiopian government imprisoned Mr. Peter Heinleinfor just trying to report on the demonstrations by Muslims in Addis Ababa, after the regime tried to impose a new sect on Ethiopian Muslims. Such extreme measures are indicative of a paranoid regime that knows it days are numbered.

ONLF send its deeply felt sympathies to Martin Schibbye, Johan Persson and their families.

Finally, ONLF calls upon the international community to stop looking the other way about the travesty of justice and abuse of human rights in Ethiopia.