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Monday, February 12, 2007

Marchers Call for the release of prisoners of conscience

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news: [Meles named 17th worst dictator] - [The plight of Ethiopian journalists] - [Amharic - radical journeys] - [BBC: Heavy blasts rock Somali capital] - [Emigrants in Sioux Falls pray for Ethiopian prisoners]

International: [Stolen kids turned into terrifying killers] - [N. Korea Talks In "Final Phase"] - [House Democrats to vote on anti-war bill] - [EU approves sanctions against Iran] - [Grammy vignettes: Ludacris gives to O'Reilly] and more of today's top stories!

(Picture courtesy of EMF) Political unrest in Ethiopia had Metro Atlantans protesting Sunday evening. On February 19, the protestors say, the Ethiopian government may sentence its political opponents to death. Mesfin Wolde Mariam, 77, who earned his Master's Degree in 1957 at what is now Clark Atlanta University, is among leaders who could face the death penalty. (More on this below)



'Free Ethiopia’s Prisoners of Conscience'

[Action Center] - [Resource Center]


Meles named 17th worst dictator

ETP - A widely-circulated American publication has listed Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as one of world's worst dictators along side Kim Jong-Il of North Korea, Sayyid Ali Khamenei of Iran, Hu Jintao of China, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Than Shwe of Burma and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

Prime Minister Meles has moved up one spot to No. 17 in this year's list. The Ethiopian leader was placed 18th last year.

The listing was drawn up by PARADE magazine which is distributed by more than 380 newspapers in the U.S including - The New York Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, to name a few. The magazine has a circulation number of 32 Million. The listing is based in part on reports of various international human rights organizations and watchdog organizations that track abuses of power.

Others on the list include Isayas Afewerki of Eritrea, Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Choummaly Sayasone of Laos, Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.

The longest ruling leader on the list of 20 is Qaddafi, who has been in power since 1969. The oldest of the rulers is King Abudllah who is 83, and the youngest King Mswati III of Swaziland who is 38, the report said. [See List]

Marchers Call for the release of prisoners of conscience

Political unrest in the east African nation of Ethiopia had Metro Atlantans protesting Sunday evening, calling for freedom.

The demonstrators, at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change, drew symbolic connections between the political issues facing today's Ethiopia and the historic civil rights era struggle in America.

On February 19, the protestors say, the Ethiopian government may sentence the political opponents to death. Mesfin Wolde Mariam, 77, who earned his Master's Degree in 1957 at what is now Clark Atlanta University, is among leaders who may face the death penalty.(More...)

Emigrants in Sioux Falls pray for Ethiopian prisoners

Ethiopian emigrants gathered Saturday in Sioux Falls to pray for prisoners of conscience facing the death penalty in their native country.

The 131 defendants are mostly journalists or members of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy party, which opposes Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. They were arrested as protesters of a disputed May 2005 election and charged with crimes including high treason and attempted genocide.

Amnesty International has called for the prisoners' release. The organization said last year that the genocide allegations include "causing fear and harm to an ethnic group, and harming members of the ruling party by excluding them from social events and funerals."(More...)


(A POEM by Tewodros Abebe)


The plight of Ethiopian journalists

According to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Ethiopian government has incarcerated more journalists than any other country in the world. Today there are around 100 Ethiopian refugee journalists around the world, three in Yemen. Yemen Times met with one of them, Daniel Gezahegen.

“I was an editor in chief of a known newspaper in my country. I was an activist and one of the communities known people. Most of all I was a dignified freeman. Today I am an unknown refugee in a foreign country who is surviving on charity, and I don’t know what happened to my wife and little girl” expressed Daneil Gezahegen sadly, while showing me an outdated photo of his daughter, the only remaining link his has with his family.

Gezahegen was the editor in chief of Mogad, an Amharic language newspaper in Addis Ababa. He was one of the many opposition journalists arrested by the Ethiopian regime in the last few years. (More...)

Heavy blasts rock Somali capital

Three people have been killed and several wounded during six explosions in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

A BBC correspondent says the early morning attacks are the heaviest since Islamists were defeated by government troops backed by Ethiopia.

Heavy shelling was also reported on Sunday night near Villa Somalia, President Abdullahi Yusuf's residence in the south of the capital.

The African Union is trying to send a peacekeeping force to Somalia. (More...)

Abedi gets CAF honour

Ghana football legend, Abedi Ayew Pele has been honoured by the Confederation of African Football for his outstanding contribution to African football.

Abedi and eleven other African players received the honour on the occasion of CAF's Golden Jubilee.

The former Black Stars captain for six-year period and capped 67 times for Ghana is considered the greatest football player in his country's history, and among the best in Africa.

Abedi holds the record for most appearances at the Nations Cup Finals, beating even the legendary Roger Milla of Cameroon to the record.(More...)

Today's Top Stories

-Stolen kids turned into terrifying killers (Warlords forcing children in conflicts around the world to become killing machines)
-House Democrats to vote on anti-war bill
-N. Korea Talks In "Final Phase" (Envoys Struggle To Finalize Agreement On Nuclear Program)
-Let go of Cold War mentality, US defence chief tells Putin
-Bombs kill at least 80 people in Iraq
-EU approves sanctions against Iran
-Analysis: Portugal's abortion rethink
-Grammy vignettes: (Ludacris gives a special shout-out to Oprah and O'Reilly)