Ethiopiques
Why does a country with her own unique alphabet and long history of writing persist to deny citizens the right to freedom of expression in this era of Expression? No other country in Africa may typify this paradox more than Ethiopia. As Leopold Senghor's famous collection of poems entitled "Ethiopiques" remained 'powerful and popular' so does the source of his intriguing title, Ethiopia, in her own ways. In "Ethiopiques", I share Ethiopian views on pertinent issues related to journalism, culture and, of course, the overarching subject of politics.
Mesfin Negash is an Ethiopian journalist living in exile in Sweden. He is one of the journalists accused of "terrorism" in 2011 by the Ethiopian government. The co-founder and first editor-in-chief of an acclaimed Ethiopian newspaper, Addis Neger, he is currently the Managing Editor of Addisnegeronline.com. He is a political science student by training and known for his critical commentaries on significant political and social issues.
  • A silent protest held on July 27th at the Grand Anwar Mosque in Addis Ababa. Photo: youtube user Sefir Islam.
    Silence is Loud

    For eight months Ethiopian Muslims have been protesting against the government’s interference in the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council. Journalist Mesfin Negash examines the ways in which the government has suppressed protesters and religious freedom.

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  • Meles Zenawi
    Dead Until Proven Alive

    In this week’s Ethiopiques column exiled journalist Mesfin Negash discusses the apparent disappearance of Ethiopian president Meles Zenawi, who hasn’t been seen in public for over 50 days. Rumors are Zenawi might be critically ill or even dead.

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  • A protest calling for the release of Ethiopian political prisoners. Photo: flickr user Mira (on the wall). Creative Commons.
    Ethiopia: Home, Bitter Prison

    In this week’s Ethiopiques exiled journalist Mesfin Negash reflects on the ways that Ethiopia – once home, sweet, home – has become “a bitter prison for the majority of Ethiopians, both at home and abroad.”

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  • Internet cafe in Jigjiga, Ethiopia
    Digitized Struggle

    In this week’s “Ethiopiques” column journalist Mesfin Negash examines the challenges and opportunities offered by the internet to activists in Ethiopia.

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  • Photo: Steve Rhodes
    Is it Worth the Risk?

    “Why do writers risk imprisonment or death for an idea?” In this week’s Ethiopiques journalist Mesfin Negash reflects on the risks faced by journalists, activists, and human rights defenders.

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  • UNESCO World Press Freedom Day
    Celebrating Press Freedom in Unfreedom

    Today the world will gather to mark the annual World Press Freedom Day in Tunisia where the Arab Spring was ignited. I am sure the government of Ethiopia will also “celebrate” the WPFD by organizing some kind of communist-style public drama.

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Fearless, Ink.