Save Saudi teenager from death penalty


This video is about Ethiopian refugees, tortured in Saudi Arabia.

From the Bahrain Freedom Movement:

Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action to highlight the plight of a Saudi national sentenced recently to death for an alleged crime that he had not committed. Ali Mohammad Baqir Al Nimr was seventeen when he allegedly committed these “crimes” including participating in a demonstration against the government, attacking security forces, possessing a machine-gun and armed robbery.

The court has based its decision on [a] signed “confessions” which had been extracted under torture. AI called for investigation into allegations of torture, to observe the rights of Mr Al Nimr who falls within the children category and establish immediately an official moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing death sentences.

Migratory fish in Ethiopia


This video says about itself:

21 January 2014

Thousands of birds that fly south during the European winter migrate to Lake Tana in Ethiopia. It’s the source of the Blue Nile and has a unique ecosystem. More than two thirds of its fish species are unique to the lake. Several of the lake’s islands are also home to ancient Coptic monasteries. But the region’s resources are under threat. A German conservation group is trying to alleviate the situation.

From BirdLife:

Migratory birds? What about migratory fish?

By nairobi.volunteer, Wed, 28/05/2014 – 08:00

Major ‘International Days for…’ play a strong role in supporting the work of conservation networks. There is the International Day for Biological Diversity, the World Environment Day, and of course World Migratory Bird Day. Now, there is also World Fish Migration Day!

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)under its Eastern Afromontane Hotspot programme is funding  is a project in Ethiopia, implemented by the  Addis Abeba University, to empower local fishing communities to sustainably utilize and conserve the (migratory) fish resources of Lake Tana. Lake Tana is an Afromontane Key Biodiversity Area as well as an Important Bird Area.

As part of that project, Addis Abeba University supported the first ever World Fish Migration Day which was celebrated colourfully at the city of Bahir Dar, near the Lake, on Saturday, 24 May 2014. Thousands of people marched on the streets of Bahir Dar voicing the conservation importance of the migratory fish and – specifically – the world’s only remaining Labeobarbus species flock of Lake Tana.

Abebe Getahun, Addis Abeba University’s manager of the Lake Tana project, described the day. “There were brief talks at the beginning of the march marking the day and its official opening, and there was a seminar with a discussion at the end, during which three papers relevant to fish biodiversity conservation were selected and presented. Thousands of leaflets were prepared in the local language and distributed to the public. Banners were also displayed at selected strategic sites in the city. The march was accompanied by the Police Marsh, which provided more visibility to the public and policy makers. Several local and international organizations were involved in sponsoring the event.”

Zewditu Tessema, the CEPF Eastern Afromontane Hotspot project officer in Ethiopia, based at the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (EWNHS, BirdLife in Ethiopia) congratulated the organizers of the event by saying: “This is a good starting point which will have an immense contribution towards the creation of awareness on the conservation of fish species in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa University and the donors are pioneers for the celebration of World Fish Migration Day in Ethiopia.” She continued: “I also congratulate CEPF for creating a legacy for this event, the first of its kind in Ethiopia, and I hope the celebrations will continue, and be marked at a national level with many more awareness creation programmes such as EWNHS‘s own efforts during the celebration of World Environment Day.”

The Lake Tana project runs from January 2014 to June 2015. 

Story by Ato Abebe Getahun

BirdLife International, together with IUCN and the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society, form the Regional Implementation Team that supports CEPF with their investment in the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot.

Read other Eastern Afromontane News

Follow the EAM Hotspot program on Facebook and Twitter

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Free Ethiopian bloggers and journalists


This video says about itself:

27 April 2014

The Ethiopian government has arrested six independent bloggers and a journalist in what human rights group Amnesty International has called a “suffocating grip on freedom of expression”.

Six members of independent blogger and activist group ‘Zone 9′ and a prominent Ethiopian journalist were arrested on Friday in the capital Addis Ababa.

These arrests appear to be yet another alarming round up of opposition or independent voices.

All six bloggers were arrested at night by armed security forces and taken from their homes to the Federal Police Crime Investigation Sector ‘Maikelawi’, where political prisoners are alleged to be held in pre-trial, and sometimes arbitrary detention.

The Zone 9 group who are said to be very critical of government policy and have a strong following on social media had temporarily suspended their activities earlier this year after accusing the government of harassing their members.

Journalist Tesfalem Waldyes who writes independent commentary on political issues for a Ethiopian newspaper was also arrested.

According to Ethiopian journalist Simegnish Yekoye, Waldyes is being denied visitation by friends and family and it’s unclear what prompted his arrest and what charges he is being held under.

Simegnish Yekoye told Al Jazeera she was unaware of why the government had clamped down on journalists and their was growing fear on the future of a free press.

“I am very scared, I don’t know what’s going to happen next,” she said.

Ranked 143 in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, media watchdogs say 49 journalists fled the country between 2007 and 2012 to evade government persecution.

Human rights group Amesty International criticised the arrests, saying “these arrests appear to be yet another alarming round up of opposition or independent voices”.

“The Ethiopian government is tightening its suffocating grip on freedom of expression in a major crackdown which has seen the arrest of numerous independent, critical and opposition voices over the last two days”, Claire Beston, Ethiopia researcher at Amnesty International, said.

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow reporting from Bahir Dar said it was unclear what will happen to the detained journalists.

“There are scores of journalists currently serving between 14 and 27 years in prison with some charged on terrorism offences.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Monday 28th April 2014

ETHIOPIA: Rights groups called on the government today to release six bloggers and three journalists who were arrested last week.

Human Rights Watch urged US Secretary of State John Kerry, who visits Ethiopia today, to add his voice to the call.

Amnesty International noted that 20 members of a political opposition group were also arrested last week.

The rights charity said Ethiopia was tightening “its suffocating grip on freedom of expression.”

This video says about itself:

Zone9 bloggers from Ethiopia (The Kojo Nnamdi Show)

31 January 2014

Conversations about Ethiopian politics are often complicated by internal and external factors. The country is a strong U.S. ally in a tumultuous region, but after what critics termed a “very tightly controlled” election in 2010, several opposition leaders and journalists have been jailed. Still, activists in Ethiopia feel it’s important for their voices to be heard at home and abroad. Kojo sat down with three pro-democracy bloggers during his recent visit to Ethiopia.

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