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Dear Friends,

We are very best stock trading website for beginners pleased to inform you that Mesfin Woldemariam and 37 of his fellow prisoners of conscience have been freed on Thursday, July 20 although he still faces a possible prison term for an incitement charge that dates back to 2001.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to those of you who stood by us during the past 20 difficult months and did all you could to secure the release of our father and grand father. We are also deeply touched by the expression of support and messages of congratulation that we have received from many of you upon his release.

We are confident that you will continue to support the ideals he always stood and was detained for - respect for human life, liberty and the entrenchment of the rule of law. Your continued engagement in those respects may lead to the release of all prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia and extend to their loved ones the joy that we are currently experiencing.


 
Prisoner of Conscience Sentenced to Life

News Flash

Ethiopia's high court on Monday sentenced Professor Mesfin to life imprisonment for outrage against the constitution, after the prosecution had asked for the death penalty.
 
Ethiopia's prominent human rights defender Mesfin Woldemariam, is 76 and suffers from a worsening and painful spinal complaint.
 
 

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Message From Qaliti Prison
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

Message From Qaliti Prison

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Prof. Mesfin To Be Honored

With The Heinz R. Pagels Human Rights Of Scientists Award

Mesfin Woldemariam, Ethiopian geographer and prominent human rights defender. Professor Mesfin, who taught from many years at Addis Adaba University, is well known for bringing the widespread famine in Ethiopia to the worlds attention in the early 1970s, and he has continued to do research on the causes and consequences of famine. His work has led to his arrest several times. After peacefully expressing his political opinions on the contested elections in Ethiopia in 2005, he was arrested and charged with crimes that carry the death penalty. Although seriously ill with a pulmonary condition (for which he was recently hospitalized for several days), he has been in confinement since November 2005 and has been denied legal counsel for his trial.

Prof. Mesfin is being honored by the Academy for his leadership in advocating for the disadvantaged and in promoting human rights, civil society, and a peaceful transition to democracy.

 

Professor Mesfin Wolde Mariam is an internationally renowned academic and human rights defender, advocate for social justice and a champion of his people, demanding a responsible and accountable system of governance for Ethiopia. He is a Senior Fulbright Scholar, a Scholar At Risk  Fellow, an alumnus of Clark University, who was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Studies by his alma mater in 2002. This website is created to honor the work of Professor Mesfin who has been a staunch champion of his people for over fifty years, and to be a resource for all those who seek clarity in the details, on the current situation in Ethiopia.

 
 


Professor Mesfin Wolde-Mariam was arrested on November 1, 2005 in Addis Ababa during a brutal massive and systematic crackdown on political dissent.

He is currently held at the Kaliti Central Prison by the ruling regime of Ethiopia,
The criminalization of politics
, the silencing of the media, and the severe limitation of civic organizations in Ethiopia, combined with continued unrest in the schools, the rural and urban areas have made for an extremely tense situation in the entire country. Professor Mesfin, along with his compatriots make up the group of about 130 political, and civic society leaders along with members of the media, who are facing the grave charges of "treason" and "genocide" among others.

Many months have passed since Mesfin Wolde Mariam, the father of all three of us, and grandfather of Semra Kristos, Kokeb, Tinsaè and Oscar has been incarcerated. We miss him terribly and would love to see him home.  

No less important is our utmost respect, concern and commitment for the principles he has so staunchly promoted for longer than any one of us has been around. We cannot say enough how exhilarating it has been to know that our work has been really easy. We have never felt that we needed to stand up for him, or come to his rescue in any manner. His record does that impeccably. If anything, we feel that the kindness and generosity that we have received from not just our friends but from complete strangers, and not just during encounters, but from them having sought us out, reached out to us, and extended of themselves, is by itself a testament to the respect that he has earned for his effective promotion of human rights, the democratic process, and the rule of law in Ethiopia.  

While it is not our purpose to go through his accomplishments, (and there are many), we are at the present moment concerned for several reasons and felt that we needed our own information outlet for setting the record straight on several issues. This had never been important to us in the past since, as stated above, the record has always been clear. Currently however, we realize that the political stalemate that exists in Ethiopia creates an extremely tense situation where no major player is safe. Specifically, the prisoners of conscience including Mesfin Wolde Mariam are leaders who believed in and promoted the concept of the non-violent popular social movement that swept up the nation so successfully. Following their arrest and detention facing the charges of “treason”, “genocide” and others, these leaders of the opposition, the media and civic organizations find themselves living in abhorrent conditions.  

With this backdrop, we find to our dismay that even some of the most learned among us have missed the whole point of why Mesfin, along with some of the best of Ethiopia’s sons and daughters, have gone this far to press for the people’s freedom, the respect for human rights and the democratic process through peaceful means. We are extremely concerned about some who advocate for armed struggle and sectarian politics, all in the name of what Mesfin and his colleagues stand for. This is a tragedy, and a misrepresentation. 

It matters not whether this is inadvertent or with malicious intent. However, this is extremely disturbing for the following reasons. First and foremost, we take serious exception to such misrepresentation when Mesfin Wolde Mariam and his colleagues who have risked it all, and gave so much to this movement are indisposed, and others have free reign in the name of the same movement. We find this atrocious. In addition, for anyone who has any concern about the safety of any of these prisoners, or for that matter for the safety of anyone living in Ethiopia and promoting democracy in such an environment, it would have been unimaginable to even think of promoting the cause of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, while simultaneously advancing a sectarian agenda, or questioning the appropriateness of the non-violent movement.  
In short, to have seized the opportunity and the audience from those who happen to be silenced temporarily by detention in the prisons of Ethiopia, and then to promote sectarian politics and armed struggle (to replace the non-violent, non sectarian movement for democracy and respect for human rights) is in effect colluding with the ethnic based politics that Mesfin and his colleagues are standing up against. 

So Abbabba, we love you and care so much not just about your welfare (as important as that is to us), but also about everything that you stand for. We miss you every day and wish that we could have heard your voice, or been with you as you turn 76 years old this month.  

As we mentioned above, our job is very easy. We are using your own words and your own deeds in these pages to let it be known, once and for all, what Mesfin does and does not advocate for… 

 With love, and in awe,

 Meqdes, Zesemayat and Teghegne Mesfin  

April 2006

 

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 Prisoners Of Conscience

 
     INTERVIEWS

Interview with Dr. Meqdes Mesfin source:EthiopiaFirst.com

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Medical Concern- Prisoner of Conscience: Prof. Mesfin Woldemariamn
(Source: Amnesty International)

 

To Mesfin W/Mariam:
the single most important Ethiopian academic and intellectual of our time

(Source: Seminawork)

 

Prof. Mesfin on the
2005 elections
...
(Source: Zethiopia)

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