6 mins read

27 January 2017
Wondimu Mekonnen: London

The Ealing Amnesty Group has recently declared that it has adopted Eskinder Nega as a focus for campaigning in 2017. This must be highly appreciated by the freedom and peace-loving citizens of the world. We hope other Groups also adopt other journalists, such as Journalist Temesgen Desalegn, whose health is currently seriously damaged in captivity in Zeway Prison.

On 27 Friday 2017, Ealing Amnesty Group held a successful vigil in front of 17th Princess Gate, London, from where the diplomatic mission of the jailers of Eskinder Nega currently operate in Britain.


A good number of banners bearing the logo of Amnesty International and a pictures of Eskinder Nega were printed and brought by the group and distributed to each protester to hold up.

Unlike the “Ethiopians-only” protesters who are normally managed by the presence of heavy Police Force, required to demonstrate across the Knightsbridge road in front of the Embassy, this vigil started at about 2:00 p.m inside the compound, which of course sent the Embassy staff to their uncomfortable state of mind. It is actually a good idea for the Police to allow holding vigils in the compound, as in the past, at times demonstrators spilled over to the main road and blocked the road causing serious traffic jams. The nervous Embassy staff called the police, who arrived at once, only to see few peaceful protesters quietly standing up with banners up, doing nothing violent or anything to worry about. The Police just looked at the peaceful demonstrators and left without any word.

Read Aloud:   Voice of Amhara Daily Ethiopian News September 20, 2017

Slowly a good number of Ethiopians started joining the vigil with flags and bigger Eskinder Nega’s picture, which read: “Journalism is not terrorism”. The organisers appreciated that picture, and started intermingling, conversing and sharing information about Eskinder and other prisoners of conscience. As the number started a bit swelling, again the nervous embassy staff called the Police. Two Policemen on motorcycles arrived to check out, only to find that the protesters were peacefully standing there holding up the banners that demanded the freedom of Eskinder Nega. They too disappeared without the roaring sound of their motorcycle on their way out.


The protesters came as far as from Glasgow, Scotland, and other cities to take part on the vigil.

Towards the end, one of the human rights advocates, Mr Zelealem Tessama took megaphone and addressed Amnesty International and the protesters how significant that vigil was for Serkalem Fasil, Eskinder’s wife and Nafkot son.

Read Aloud:   Ethiopia sees Muslim anti-government violence during holy period; threats of protests on Eid

Serkalem Fasil is a journalist too, former co-publisher of the newspapers Wenchif, Asqual, Menilik, and Satenaw with her husband, Eskinder Nega. In November 2005, she was arrested along with thirteen other reporters, including her husband, Eskinder Nega, after publishing articles critical of the Ethiopian government’s actions during the May 2005 parliamentary elections, where the regime was completely defeated, getting zero vote in Addis Ababa the capital, but refused to leave power, using its military muscle. They were all charged with “treason, outrages against the Constitution and incitement to armed conspiracy”. Nafkot, Serkalem and Eskinder’s son was born in captivity. Baby Nafkot, mother Serkalem and father Eskinder were released on 10 April 2007, under “presidential pardon”.

Eskinder was rearrested in June 2012, for the 7th time, and was sentenced to 18 years in prison for terrorism offences, after he criticised the Ethiopian brutal regime that stayed in power after losing election and called for freedom of expression in speeches in articles. Any criticism of the Ethiopian regime, dominated by the former terrorists (1), the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), is defined as “terrorism” by the human rights abusers of Ethiopia that terrorises its own citizens. Millions have now being vanished into exile, to be refugees across the globe, including here in Britain. Serkalem and her son, Nafkot too are the recent addition to the wave Ethiopian refugees, now in exile, starting life in the USA. Journalist Eskinder still remains in captivity in a rat-, cockroach-, and flea-infested cell.

Read Aloud:   BBN Breaking News October 4, 2016

Eskinder is a recipient of the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, Golden Pen Award of Freedom and Amnesty International designated him a prisoner of conscience.

The vigil was concluded by one of the organisers, Ms Phillips, who thanks the vigil attendants and encouraged on networking in the future, working together and taking part on both Ethiopian and Amnesty International activities to secure the freedom of Eskinder Nega and other prisoners of conscience.

The vigil was peacefully dispersed at 4:00 p.m. with a vote of thanks to the Ealing Amnesty Group.


(1)  https://www.trackingterrorism.org/group/tigray-peoples-liberation-front-tplf

1 Comment

  1. AMNESTY is really not reporting the extent the foreign aid is contributing to the ongoing death of innocent Ethiopians, with justice not being served .

    Ethiopians got rid of Mengistu’s communist government because Ethiopians didnot want to pay any foreign debt to the Russia or other foreign countries that were previously Soviet Union.Ethiopians are not getting rid of the current government just yet? Do you really believe few million shintam Agames/TPLF are able to govern 100 million people with power, if the people don’t have a reason to let these Agames stay in power? the reason is the same reason as the peopel had to let Mengistu stay for 17 years finally throwing him out when the Soviet support dried up with the Soviet collapsing in the late 80’s .

    See what happens if the current Ethiopian government stops getting foreign aid / loan.. TPLF/agame will be thrown out with it’s foreign debt .Ethiopia will change it’s name back to Abyssinia and Africa will change it’s name back to AkuBella before paying these enormous debt that is being accumulated in the name of globalization.
    Even Security Council of UN cannopt force Ethiopians to pay back the debt if the name Ethiopia doesnot exist. Abyssinians can say “what debt?”

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