8 September 2011

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) strongly condemns the charging of Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye with terrorism by the Ethiopian regime on the 7th of September 2011.  charge these journalists with terrorism represents a gross miscarriage of justice and as such these charges should be dropped immediately.

Charging Mr. Persson and Mr Schibbye with terrorism is indicative of how far the Ethiopian regime is willing to go to discourage journalists from uncovering the collective punishment, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Ethiopia regime against the people of Ogaden.

The Ethiopian regime also charged local journalists Woubshet Taye and Reeyot Alemu with terrorism simply for exercising their profession.

These acts, along with acts of violence perpetrated against civilians by this regime, should be a clear signal to the world that Ethiopia is not a democracy and in fact has become a single party dictatorship holding the citizens of Sub- Saharan Africa’s second most populous country hostage.

The ONLF stands in solidarity with those journalists wrongfully detained and Charged by the Ethiopian regime and we call on the international community to bear pressure on this regime for their release.

The ONLF urges democratic donor nations in particular to recognize that their interests are best served by promoting a government in Ethiopia that applies democratic principles and respects the individual and collective rights of people it governs, including the right to self-determination.

A policy of quiet diplomatic pressure conducted in order to safeguard security interests is simply not working in Ethiopia and is not sustainable.  Eventually, those same security interests will be undermined as this regime moves closer and closer to developing allies who have no regard for rule of law and civil or human rights. As such, a line must be drawn somewhere. The assault on the press presents such an opportunity for democratic donor nations if they are willing to take it.

Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)


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