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Friday, March 16, 2007

Friends make emotional appeal for release of Ethiopian hostages

Check back with ETP for more news throughout the day

Also in the news:
[Bomb kills 7 on Mogadishu outskirts] - [Ethiopia urges pressure on Eritrea for missing Ethiopians] - [Trio plan concerts to help fund £20000 for clinic in Ethiopia] - [UN condemns killing of Somali Human rights activist]

[INTERVIEW-Tsvangirai vows to fight Mugabe ] - [Plame to Tell Her Story Before Congress] - [Protesters Clash With Police; Call for Musharraf's Resignation] - [Israel Rejects Palestinian Unity Gov't ] and more of today's top stories!

Ethiopians hold candles during a vigil for Ethiopians that are still missing, yesterday, at the St. Matthews church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Eight Ethiopians who were kidnapped with the Europeans on March 1 are still missing and fears for their safety are growing. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)


Petition to save Eng. Hailu Shawl’s eyesight which is deteriorating due to denial of medical access (Kinijit)

New York City Radio: - Underreported: Suppression of dissent in Ethiopia (Speakers: Dr. Meqdes Mesfin and Ms. Hiwot Nega; March 15, 2007)

Friends make emotional appeal for release of Ethiopian hostages

The Europeans were released in neighbouring Eritrea on Tuesday, 12 days after being abducted at gunpoint with their local guides in northern Ethiopia's Afar region. No word has been heard of the missing eight hostages.

In a related news Eritrea denies Ethiopian charges in Europeans' kidnapping Ethiopia blames Eritrea for masterminding Europeans' kidnapping Friends of eight Ethiopians kidnapped by gunmen with five Europeans freed this week held a candlelit vigil for the captives on Thursday and made an emotional appeal for their safe return.

The Europeans were released in neighbouring Eritrea on Tuesday, 12 days after being abducted at gunpoint with their local guides in northern Ethiopia's remote Afar region. No word has been heard of the missing eight hostages.

"To those who continue to hold the Ethiopians, you have spoken and you have been heard," said Mussie Hailu, chairman of an interfaith peace group, after scores of well-wishers observed a minute's silence outside an Addis Ababa church. "Now put right what is wrong and help them find their way home again."(More...)

Bomb kills 7 on Mogadishu outskirts

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A bomb killed seven civilians on Friday near Somalia's capital Mogadishu in the chaotic Horn of Africa country's latest violence, police said.

"A heavy explosion went off in the eastern part of town. It was a bomb. It killed seven people and injured one lady who lost an arm," said Ibrahim Dini Isak, police chief of Afgooye, an agricultural town on the outskirts of the coastal city.

"It destroyed two homes completely...The victims were refugees who had fled Mogadishu," he told Reuters by telephone.(More...)

Ethiopia urges pressure on Eritrea for missing Ethiopians

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) - Ethiopia on Friday called for international pressure to be applied on Eritrea, which it accuses of holding eight Ethiopians still missing after the release of five European captives this week.

A British embassy group of five people, abducted in the northeast Ethiopian desert on March 1, was released on Tuesday in Eritrea, but eight Ethiopian drivers and guides accompanying them are still missing.

"We have to keep up the pressure. The international community should also put the pressure on the Eritrean government to release the eight Ethiopian hostages," Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman Soloman Abebe told AFP.(More...)

UN condemns killing of Somali Human rights activist

Human rights activists are increasingly the target of attacks in Somalia, a U.N. official said Friday, condemning this week's killing of a leading campaigner.

Isse Abdi Isse, formerly the mayor of Somalia's third largest city, Kismayo, was shot to death by two men Wednesday while he sipped tea near a hotel where he was staying in Mogadishu.

Isse, 46, was the chairman and founder of the Kasima Peace and Development Organization, a rights group based in his southern port city.

"Isse championed human rights causes in the region for many years and his death is undoubtedly a loss to all Somalis who at this time are seeking peace and reconciliation," said Eric Laroche, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Somalia(More...)

Trio plan concerts to help fund £20000 for clinic in Ethiopia

THREE women from Cumbria hope to raise £20,000 to build a clinic in a remote Ethiopian village.

They have planned two acoustic concerts at Bewcastle to help with the fundraising. Guitarists Michael Chapman and Rod Clements, formerly of Lindisfarne, will play at Bewcastle’s Stone Barn next month.

Andru Chapman, from Greenhead, Angie Wareing, from Lanercost and Maddy Prior, from Bewcastle, went on a charity trek to the Simien Mountains in northern Ethiopia in 2004, handing out medicines to local people.(More...)

INTERVIEW-Bruised,defiant Tsvangirai vows to fight Mugabe

"One thing is certain ... that freedom is not cheap" - Morgan Tsvangirai

HARARE, March 16 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's main opposition leader vowed on Friday to keep fighting to end President Robert Mugabe's 27-year rule, saying he would not be intimidated by government threats or police brutality.

"One thing is certain ... that freedom is not cheap," Morgan Tsvangirai told Reuters in an interview at his home shortly after he was released from hospital, where he was treated for injuries he said resulted from a beating in police custody.

"It's only when people lose freedom that they realise how precious the freedom is ... the struggle continues," the 55-year-old MDC leader said as he sat on a couch, his wrist bandaged and a blue beret covering a head wound.(More...)

IFJ Director: Eritrea and Ethiopia creating a lasting legacy of intolerance for free expression

journalists in Eritrea and Ethiopia who have been held for years without trial in deplorable conditions and denied any contact with lawyers or their families.

"Eritrea and Ethiopia are both creating a lasting legacy of human rights abuse and intolerance for free expression that is not just taking a toll on society but also on the health and well being of the journalists they have detained for an unconscionably long time," said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office.

The IFJ sent an open letter to the Swedish Parliament calling on it to facilitate the release of 20 journalists jailed in Ethiopia for periods ranging from more than a year to almost three years and 15 journalists imprisoned in Eritrea for almost six years.(More...)

Also see:
-The IFJ Calls on the Swedish Parliament to Urge Release of Journalists Imprisoned in Ethiopia and Eritrea

Today's Top Stories

-The West can go hang, says Mugabe
-Bloggers turn up heat on Zimbabwe
-Plame to Tell Her Story Before Congress(CIA Officer at Center of Career-Ending Leak to Tell Congress Her Story)
-Israel Rejects Palestinian Unity Gov't
-Russia joins west in turning sanctions screw on Iran
-Official: Fidel On Road To Re-Election(Top Cuban Leader Says Castro Will Be Well Enough To Run For Parliament, 1st Step To Presidency)
-Pope Benedict to make first visit to Latin America
-Protesters Clash With Police; Call for Musharraf's Resignation
-Survey: 40 Pct. in Japan Not Having Sex