An open letter to Professor Aleme Eshete -December 23, 2008

From Obo Arada Shawl

I have read your article entitled “Hagos, the Cuban Missile Crisis and his deportation…” that was posted at website of December 14, 2008. You seem to be surprised for not knowing how Hagos G.Y was deported and how his “comrades” of the time had betrayed him. We all should understand that his friends not only had betrayed Hagos but they have also betrayed the Ethiopian Revolution in general and the true cause of the Ethiopian Student Movement in particular.

At the time, Hagos G. Y. wrote about the two-headed hydra before he abandoned the Ethiopian Revolutionary Struggle. I do not know to this day whether his reference to the two-headed hydra was to the mythological serpent or the plant hydra? በአፍዋ በልታ በአፍዋ የምትተፋ

Since Hagos left the student movement, the two-headed struggle had continued to this day albeit in a different form.

On the one hand, there is the hydra, which re-grows a portion of its own body even after it has lost or injured. Examples in these categories including friends of Hagos, are plenty.

While on the other hand, there is the hydra plant, which regenerates its stems, leaves, and flowers so long as its roots are not destroyed. Thanks to people such as DEBTERAW EPRP is such an example.

In your article you said the following:
“As a historian and researcher I have been engaged for over 40 years in Ethiopian studies and publications. For a good part of my life I have also been engaged as an activist in the defence of human rights, in Ethiopia and in particular since my exile in Italy in 1986.”

I am writing to condemn in the strongest terms possible against Ethiopian Human Rights activists and to demand the freedom of EPRP leaders. The so-called Ethiopian Human Rights organizations including the founding chairman, professor Mesfin Wolde Mariam have denied knowing Tsegaye G. Medhin, DEBTERAW. Personally Zeru Kihshen (I presume he was your friend) told me about Mesfin’s total denial having known a person by the name of Tsegaye G. M.

EPRP has been vilified in propaganda dissemination by the DERG, Woyane, Shaebia, other groups/organizations and other media groups (the party) as “anarchist”, “socialist”, “agents of imperialism” etc. & etc.

Its members have been criminalized for defending themselves when TPLF declared war on them besieging their base with the largest military operation in guerrilla history and attacking them. That was when DEBTERAW was captured and held incommunicado until today in the dungeons of Tigrai.

This is outrageous, though consistent with rulers of Ethiopia’s anti-democracy policies towards genuine indigenous political parties. The EPRDF is still carrying policies anti-democracy in the name of democracy. አኢትዮጵያ የሰራልሽ ቀርቶ የገደለሽ በላ፡ እሰከ መቸ?

Some high-ranking collective leadership members including Debteraw are not only imprisoned but also held incommunicado since 1991. The EPRP recognized DEBTERAW as prominent PERSONALITY IN THE HISTORY of the organization. In the eyes of his enemies DEBTERAW is classified as “dangerous”. There is severe discrimination and persecution against DEBTERAW and his EPRP. WHY?

The case of EPRP leadership has been in the open since 1991. The prisoners were not even brought to trial let alone released.

What I don’t understand and what is unbelievable is the reason why and how the Human Rights Chairman of professor MWM became ignorant of the whereabouts and why people like you who are historians, researchers and defenders of human rights remain silent on these prisoners.

DEBTERAW is a shining example of what is going wrong in our country. I think it is a fact that again and again, that the voices of activists like you don’t become part and part of the equation when individuals liberties are tramped over.

I am aware of your contribution toward Preserving and Protecting Ethiopian interests and resources, though not for rehabilitation. Why are we so silent about the case of DEBTERAW? Should we wait another 40 years to know?


Published in: on December 24, 2008 at 9:46 pm  Comments (99)