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Two sons of opposition figure and activist arrested

May 18, 2013 1 comment

Ethiopian security forces arrested two sons of prominent opposition figure and internet activist Assegid Gebre Selassie in the northern town of Mekele, hauling them off to a remote location without showing a warrant, he told local magazine.
“My two sons are incarcerated at different prisons, one at illegal solitary confinement called 06, which is not even known by legal institutions,” Assegid said. He discovered the location days later, after contacting various responsible bodies, though his permission request to visit them was denied.
Ahferom Assegid and Yemane Assegid were probably detained on a charge of putting their father’s writings online, according to media report. No trial date had been set by late year.
According to the activist, “the security forces did not present an arrest warrant.” One of his sons who suffer from health problems was “not allowed to take his medication with him.”
A one-time TPLF apologist and leader, Assegid later became a firm opponent of the party and is now member of the opposition political party known as Arena Tigray for Democracy and sovereignty. He himself was imprisoned a number of times for his writings about human rights violations, sectarian discrimination, and repression of the political opposition.

Student arrested for facebook post

April 3, 2013 5 comments

A student at Addis Ababa University’s Information Technology Department is being detained by the country’s security services for his Facebook activity. Manyazewal Eshetu has been arrested and charged with criminal defamation after he posted on his Facebook page criticizing the “rampant” corruption at Arba Minch University, according to a report from the Amharic service of Deutsche Welle. The 21-year-old student was picked up from his home in Addis Ababa last Thursday and taken to a prison in Arba Minch town. Though the Facebook posting had been taken down, police said the student made a defamatory statement, attacking individuals such as the university president.
Manyazewal’s guardian told DW his effort to find a way to free the student hasn’t succeeded. The guardian spoke highly of the student who he said has a good school record, participates in different extracurricular activities, and contributes articles for school publications. The guardian added Manyazewal was recently awarded a prize for his outstanding contribution in Ethiopian university student’s sports competition held in Arba Minch town.
Though a number of journalists and opposition figures have been charged with defamation in recent years for voicing their opinions in Ethiopia’s nascent liberal press, this is one of the rare cases in which someone is being targeted for a post on the social network.

Palace to be transformed into cultural center

October 17, 2010 2 comments

The Ras Sehul Michael’s palace, also known as Ras Ghemb, is one of Gondar city’s remaining examples of historically significant architecture. It lends a touch of old majesty to Piassa area where it is located. Now the palace is being transformed into a cultural and study center dedicated to the history of Gondar.

The palace, currently under possession of the department of culture, tourism & information of North Gondar, will soon be accessible for public viewing, it was learnt. Though in reasonable shape, it has been closed to visitors for a significant period of time. Read more…

Categories: News

Two newspapers out of business

September 14, 2008 7 comments

The new Ethiopian year doesn’t augur well for the private press. The rising printing price has caused the closing of two Amharic weeklies, Harambe and Raji. The printing price has gone up by 23 to 39 percents this past week. This is the second increase in three months time.

Even those papers that might manage to weather the storm have to raise the selling price. While Awra Amba Times has been asked for 5373 Birr more for the print of its fifteen thousand copies, Addis Neger has to pay fifteen thousand Birr more for its thirty thousand copies.

While some choose not to believe it, Berhanaselam printing press insists the rise is only related international market.

Categories: News

Alexandria is back

April 13, 2008 1 comment

The relationship between the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Coptic Church of Alexandria has at times been marked by partition, misunderstanding and suspicion.

While much later than many would have liked, the process of rapproachment between the two has begun.Local medias are reporting that the visit by Alexandrian Pope Shinoda III can play an effective role in increasing the understanding and sympathy between the two churches.Here are three reports from ENA.

Alexandrian Pope Shinoda III arrives here

Meles hold talks with Alexandrian Pope Shinoda III

Alexandrian Pope confers with President Girma

Categories: News

George Bush: a good man in Africa

February 16, 2008 2 comments

George Bush may not be a popular figure in his home country but the Guardian says he is something of a hero in our continent where he is now on a visit.Here is the start of the article.

They may not be George Bush’s natural constituency but Rwanda’s prostitutes have good things to say about him.So do poor South Africans abandoned by their quixotic government, and doctors across Africa who otherwise regard the American president as a walking crime against humanity.

Read the rest here.

Categories: News

Oprah the Believer

January 5, 2008 3 comments

This piece by Washington Post’s African-American columnist was written on December 11, weeks before Iowans went into their Caucuses. Yes, it is inreasingly looking the whole idea of America electing a black president seems no longer impossible. 

Is it foolish to think that a nation stained by centuries of slavery and racism is prepared to elect a black president? Rarely phrased so bluntly, that’s the central question posed by Barack Obama’s candidacy — especially for many African American voters, whose doubts are informed by having seen many an oasis turn out to be a mirage.

Categories: News

Julie Mehretu’s City Sitings

November 12, 2007 2 comments

Julie I just wanted to link this New York Times article that details on  how world-class Beaux Arts-style museum in Detroit city is in the process of unerasing from its former ruin and remolding itself  in the hope of attracting new visitors.

It is a story embedded in Diego Rivera’s renowned frescoes “Detroit Industry” (1932-33) at the Detroit Institute of Arts where the the Mexican muralist made murals celebrating workers as the engine of assembly-line production — of cars as well as weapons, airplanes, chemicals and vaccines — in a cycle of frescoes covering four walls of an interior courtyard.

 Julie Mehretu, an Ethiopian-American artist whose personal history entwined with the exhibtion, is addressing Detroit by creating works adjacent to the Rivera frescoes in tandem with the opening of the museum.

As it was stated in the article, born in Ethiopia to an American mother and Ethiopian father who is an economic geographer, Julie lived the immigrant’s experience when her family moved in the late 1970s to East Lansing for her father’s teaching position at Michigan State University. She was 7 years old.

It is very refreshing over there to hear postive news about a people whose roots are from here. Find out more at the NYT.

Categories: News

Kiosk Addis are on thier last legs

November 2, 2007 2 comments

 By B.Mezgebu

The other day, I was looking all over the place for a ‘kiosk’ with the intension of buying a single sheet of lined paper which I needed at the time. Having lived in this city for decades, I was used to purchasing small items like a single cigarette, a single box of matches, razor blades, etc at the many small booths that dotted the city then. Within Addis proper, one needed not to walk more than a couple hundred meters to find one. But that day, I was in for a big surprise from something which all along I had felt but did so only vaguely: the kiosk, as we knew it was disappearing. I walked this side and that side up and down. There were indeed shops galore, but one landmark was missing: that space out of a wall, that widow-like opening was nowhere to be seen. Read more…

Categories: News

Nobel Peace Prize for Al Gore?

October 13, 2007 10 comments

I came across a piece in the Daily Telegraph that raises a question which was in my mind since I heard Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize winning news. What has he done for world peace?

The commentator who see seems to be no fan of Al Gore argues for a need to declare an intenational smugness alert.Read it here.

Categories: News