Ethiopian Prisoner of Conscience Birtukan Mideksa Released!

Birtukan Mideksa

Birtukan Mideksa ©AI

Amnesty International welcomed Birtukan Mideksa’s release from prison yesterday. The leader of the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) opposition party in Ethiopia, Birtukan Mideksa has a long history of speaking out against the Government of Ethiopia.  In the aftermath of the potentially corrupt 2005 elections, in which the ruling Ethiopian People’s Democratic Revolutionary Front (EPRDF) retained control, she was one of many CUD officials who refuse to take office and participated in mass demonstrations.  The protests were violently dispersed by police: 187 people were shot dead and 765 others were wounded.  Birtukan Mideksa was arrested for the first time in November 2005, charged with treason and sentenced to life in prison.  After being held for 18 months, she signed a letter of apology and was released.  The other terms of her pardon remain unclear.

 On 28 December 2008, Birtukan was arrested for a second time, after speaking at a public meeting in Sweden regarding the process and terms of her previous release. The Government gave her three days to retract her statement, and when she refused, arrested her again.  Much of her sentence was spent in solitary confinement, and she was also not allowed to see her 4 year-old daughter until mid-April, 2009.

 Birtukan Mideksa’s case was featured in Amnesty International’s 2009 Global Write-A-Thon, during which thousands of people from around the world petitioned for her release by sending letters to the Government of Ethiopia. The organization Free Birtukan has also been campaigning tirelessly for her release.

 Learn more about other priority cases, and sign up for the Global Write-a-thon!

Elizabeth Stitt, Campaign for Individuals at Risk, contributed to this post.

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4 thoughts on “Ethiopian Prisoner of Conscience Birtukan Mideksa Released!

  1. There are still thousands of Birtkan Mideksa in the Meles Regim Prisons and graves.

    So, let us speak loud for all of them, and their remains.

    Free dome is god's given and no one has the right to take it away from everybody.

    So, let us stand to fight against this out of date crime!

  2. There are still thousands of Birtkan Mideksa in the Meles Regim Prisons and graves.

    So, let us speak loud for all of them, and their remains.

    Free dome is god’s given and no one has the right to take it away from everybody.

    So, let us stand to fight against this out of date crime!

  3. Enviar un enorme abrazo
    Cuando estamos conscientes de que nuestros actos han sido hechos por amor a la humanidad ,por el deseo de vivir en un mundo mas justo y solidario, no debemos sentirnos acorralados ni solos, ya que muchos fuera esperamos justicia y seguiremos trabajando por ella el resto de nuestras vidas sin olvidar jamas a quienes hoy están privados de Libertad por esta causa tan noble y digna como es la lucha por los Derechos Humanos.
    Un abrazo desde Chile

    Dios la bendiga

    Cuando camino solo encuentro oscuridad
    Miradas perdidas en el horizonte
    Miradas que que buscan respuestas
    Miradas de niños y niñas
    Que no son distintas a la de los padres
    Que buscan el auxilio la misericordia
    Esperando a un Dios ausente
    Sin comprender la razón
    De haber nacido tan lejos de la felicidad
    Como si fueran estorbo
    Solo dolor y desesperanza
    Cuando la noche acaba
    No se sabe si es el día
    El que llega acompañarlos
    porque es te llaga vació
    Ya no hay esperanza
    Solo lunas sin vida

    (Candelaria)

    Liza Garri

  4. Enviar un enorme abrazo
    Cuando estamos conscientes de que nuestros actos han sido hechos por amor a la humanidad ,por el deseo de vivir en un mundo mas justo y solidario, no debemos sentirnos acorralados ni solos, ya que muchos fuera esperamos justicia y seguiremos trabajando por ella el resto de nuestras vidas sin olvidar jamas a quienes hoy están privados de Libertad por esta causa tan noble y digna como es la lucha por los Derechos Humanos.
    Un abrazo desde Chile

    Dios la bendiga

    Cuando camino solo encuentro oscuridad
    Miradas perdidas en el horizonte
    Miradas que que buscan respuestas
    Miradas de niños y niñas
    Que no son distintas a la de los padres
    Que buscan el auxilio la misericordia
    Esperando a un Dios ausente
    Sin comprender la razón
    De haber nacido tan lejos de la felicidad
    Como si fueran estorbo
    Solo dolor y desesperanza
    Cuando la noche acaba
    No se sabe si es el día
    El que llega acompañarlos
    porque es te llaga vació
    Ya no hay esperanza
    Solo lunas sin vida

    (Candelaria)

    Liza Garri