Eskinder Nega: Letter From Ethiopia’s Gulag (The New York Times)

The author of the following letter, Eskinder Nega, is the recipient of the 2012 PEN America's Freedom to Write Award. (Photo: His wife Serkalem Fasil at the PEN award gala in NYC on May 1st, 2012/Tadias file)

The New York Times

By Eskinder Nega

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — I AM jailed, with around 200 other inmates, in a wide hall that looks like a warehouse. For all of us, there are only three toilets. Most of the inmates sleep on the floor, which has never been swept. About 1,000 prisoners share the small open space here at Kaliti Prison. One can guess our fate if a communicable disease breaks out.

I’ve never conspired to overthrow the government; all I did was report on the Arab Spring and suggest that something similar might happen in Ethiopia if the authoritarian regime didn’t reform. The state’s main evidence against me was a YouTube video of me, saying this at a public meeting. I also dared to question the government’s ludicrous claim that jailed journalists were terrorists.

Read more at The New York Times.

EU urges Ethiopia to release journalists, revise terror law (Reuters)
EU Delegation Denied Access to Imprisoned Journalists in Ethiopia (TADIAS)

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