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Birtukan’s release in perspective

By Yilma Bekele

Opposition leader Bertukan Mideksa has been released from Kaliti jail after spending six hundred forty four days, one hundred forty of it in {www:solitary confinement}. We are happy she is reunited with her family and loved ones.

She was thrown into a rat infested jail not because she committed some dastardly crime but for the simple reason of demanding justice and the rule of law in her homeland. Bertukan was what is called a ‘political prisoner.’

The fact that she was the leader of the largest political party and the country was in the process of holding general elections was a {www:factor} in her imprisonment. Her determination to participate in the election process and her {www:overwhelming} popularity with the public was a cause of concern for those in power.

They solved their {www:dilemma} by the only way they know. Bribe, blackmail, jail, exile or kill are the options the TPLF regime brings to the table. They choose jailing in Birtukan’s case.

That it was the wrong choice has been made clear during her two years stay. Her imprisonment became a ‘cause celebre’ for the Ethiopian people. Her {www:incarceration} highlighted the absence of rule of law in Ethiopia. Chairman Birtukan became a rallying point. Her plight was discussed in the US Congress, European Parliament, Noble Prize Committee, Sakharov Prize and many other international awards. What the regime did to her became the {www:symbol} of what is wrong in Ethiopia.

Her freedom should be seen as a beginning of what is to come. Birtukan is but one of the many Ethiopian citizens languishing in Woyane jail because they were deemed to be a ‘threat’ to the ethnic regime. There are thousands of nameless Ethiopians still in jail. Today, as we celebrate the release of Birtukan let us not forget those thousands left behind.

We are not thankful to the regime nor do we see it in a different light. The release of one individual does not wash off the crimes against eighty million people. We know she was released because her country people would not stop invoking her name and her cause in every gathering.

If those in power think that her release would stop the struggle for freedom they are sadly mistaken. If they think releasing one of many will change how we look at our jailers they need to go back and study history. We assure them that the quest for freedom cannot be satisfied by some symbolic act or public relations {www:gimmick}.

Welcome home Chairman Birtukan; we have a lot of unfinished business awaiting us.

16 thoughts on “Birtukan’s release in perspective

  1. Meles-the-coward lost the battle although he caged her until he stole the election. Birtukan is the people’s heroine. No one even among the 547 donkeys’ under the shepherd Abba DULLA earn this respect and honor. Meles can be feared but he cannot earn the respect Birtukan heroically earned. Killing children make you feared but do not make you respectable. Birtukan the HEROIONE!

  2. ETV’s report about the release of Birtukan is very ridiculous and show how the Woyane’s gone mad. The letter requesting for pardon is outrageous and revealed the narssistic disorder of Meles Zenawi. No body with normal mind will accept that Birtukan, who endured two years of imprisonment in those dreadful conditions, willingly write it. On the letter Birtukan almost insulted and degraded herself, if Meles has a healthy mind he should have understood that nobody will take this nonsense seriously. He is trying to show his arrogance and mock Birtukan’s supporters and freedom loving Ethiopians. By doing this, Meles has exposed his pscyhosis and the danger Ethiopans are facing as long as the tyrant is on power.

  3. Hurray!!! Our daughter has been released from jail in the arms of her daughter. But I don’t think she is out of woods yet. The Diablo will have her under his radar at all times watching her every move. She will be harassed, poked and driven crazy every day and night unless she joins one of his hodam coteries. Or unless she quits politics and disappears from the political limelight. If she comes back to haunt him politically no matter how peacefully she conducts her politics, the specter will not hesitate to do harm to her. I will keep praying for her and beg Allah(God) to blanket her from any harm this ruffian and utterly revenant creature from Dedebit.

  4. We all know why Birtukan was in prison again. She is a hero, no one can match her courage. Let her spend some time with here family as they deserve it. I am eagrly waiting to hear her first interview.

  5. We all know why Birtukan was in prison again. She is a hero, no one can match her courage. Let her spend some time with here family as they deserve it. I am eagrly waiting to hear her first interview.

  6. I read on one Website the reason of her release.Who cares, we know why she is released and we are happy she did.There are thousends of innocent nameless Ethiopians in jail, do you think they will get this chance?
    Pardon? We all know that she is innocent of any wrongdoing as she said, but why now ? As everybody remember her arrest was to divert attention from Somalia and her release is to divert peoples attention from the fake parliament issue and others, Ethiopian people are aware of what he is trying to do and this is a thinking of a confused street smart.

  7. I wish Birtukan a great reunion with her family. She is truly a shining star. Meles lost again. Couple weeks ago in Columbia and now again. What choice has he got but to release her? He said she broke the pardon law and talked at length at Columbia. That was not the case. She has been his hostage to get what he wanted from the West. When he thought the West is really displeased he had to release her. Simply watch the renewed interest of the West to resolve the Somali situation currently. Meles believes the West might want to use him. He is not a trusted ally and anymore. He can not cheat this time again. He has to repeal the press law and the law affecting operations of NGO at least. There should be a room for a look at another angle as well. It could even be the Chinese twisting his arm.

    Meles is a coward! Birtukan is a heroin ! Let us all Celebrate her release!

    Now let us all be the voices of those that remain in Meles’s dungeon !

    Long live the struggle for freedom! The apartheid regime will fail!


  9. Thank God she is out.
    The glory goes not to men byt to the LORD.
    We are not free until freedom reigns in the whole land of Ethiopia.Up to this point, there is no free speech in Ethiopia,no freedom of protection before the law for political opponents.The judicial system is the most politicized and partisian institution. I demand the rights of our citizens,regardless of their political view, to be respected.I ask the government to stop jaming news outlets and censor of the enternet. I continue to demand that,All citizens without any coercion must be permitted to participate in the political life of their country.The Ethiopian public through sacrifice made it clear they will not settle for less until freedom, law, justice and liberal democracy reigns in the land.

  10. The only thing I want to see in my life more than anything is Burtikan to sit in high court bench and hearing all Meles crimes standing in front of her shackled both his hands and legs and across his west. And she sends him to DEDEBIT to be HUNGED UPSIDE DOWN ALONG WITH AZEB GOLA. That is the only satisfaction I will get the most.

  11. Meles bullied Burte ! their should no doubt whatsoever. The treacherous fox managed to rob her dignity, by simply torturing her mentally and psychically. And planned to get dirty political millage out of it, at least from his shameless financiers an backers from the west.

  12. Com’on lets stop Meles this Meles that. As all dectetor or do, he has a signed paper. for little meles he got a joker card for the lady she is back home. Who is the looser in this political game?? Ethiopia is the looser. Meles was aimed at from all direction. Whereever he goes it was a nightmare for him. The world was almost changing its out look about meles. Even he would have a hard time on his begging spree. No more hard time. Even now he has a bargaining chip when it comes for begging. We got to wait till a hero is born.

  13. You all seem to have missed a big point here. Meles knows no one would believe the confession made by Birtukan. That is not his aim either. The aim is to humilate her, and humilate her, he did. If one is fighting for freedom, it is better to be prepared to die for the cause, if not stay out. What the saga has demonstrated is, no one seems to be prepared to pay the price for freedom – life. Having a young child, or an elderly mum is no excuse in the face of fight for freedom and dignity. As long as people remain half hearted about paying the ultimate sacrifice, Meles remains in power. I can’t see light at the end of the tunnel. That is the sad truth of the matter.

  14. It is not the might that kept melese in power,it is not his western backers that makes a difference but the idifferece and non involvement of so called Ethio.intellectuals that made the little man to pie on us.

    Death to the YENGDILIG mihur!
    Death to theselfish and self seeking who puts social respectivelity befor love of his country.
    Ethiopia neeeds not your education,Ethiopia needs only wiling heart from those who mean business.

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