Change comes from struggle. We shows the struggle towards the violated rights and freedoms by others body. By Behailu M.
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.
Now that large swaths of Africa have become safely democratic, ancient and fragile Ethiopia, where a precarious dictatorship holds sway, is dangerously out of sync with the times. Not much has changed since our last dictator, Mr. Meles, died last August. There have been no major policy changes. The draconian press and antiterrorism laws are still there. There has been no improvement when it comes to press freedom. With a population fast approaching 100 million, Ethiopia, unlike Somalia, is simply too big to ignore or contain with America’s regional proxies.
As Ethiopia goes, so goes the whole Horn of Africa — a region where instability can have major security and humanitarian implications for the United States and Europe. Al Qaeda has a presence here, and hundreds of millions of aid dollars flow into the region while millions of emigrants flow out. In other words, Ethiopia must not be allowed to implode. And it would be irresponsible for the world’s lone superpower to stand by and do nothing.
I propose that the United States impose economic sanctions on Ethiopia (while continuing to extend humanitarian aid without precondition) and impose travel bans on Ethiopian officials implicated in human rights violations. Tyranny is increasingly unsustainable in this post-cold-war era. It is doomed to failure. But it must be prodded to exit the stage with a whimper — not the bang that extremists long for.I am confident that America will eventually do the right thing. After all, the new century is the age of democracy primarily because of the United States. Here in the Ethiopian gulag, this alone is reason enough to pay homage to the land of the brave.
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/25/opinion/letter-from-ethiopias-gulag.html?smid=fb-share&_r=1& By Eskinder Nega, (an Ethiopian journalist and the recipient of the 2012 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, has been imprisoned since September 2011.) A letter to the NYtimes.com on THe Opinion Pages.