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    Main » 2011 » September » 24 » BORN IN PAIN GROWING IN TOURTUR
    10:52 PM
     Born in pain, growing in torture 
    Six years ago – a predisposed Ethiopian prosecutor accused journalist Eskinder Nega and his 
    wife, Serkalem Fasil, and charged them with genocide and treason. The young couples who love 
    their country and profession were expecting their first child when they were sent to the notorious 
    Kality prison. While in prison, Serkalem gave birth to the couple’s first child and the life of 
    Nafkote Eskinder started in Prison.  The prematurely born Nafkote was severely underweight 
    when he was born due to a deliberately imposed physical and psychological hardship on his 
    mother. The prison doctor ordered to place him in an incubator to save his life, but the heartless 
    prison authorities who have no regard for life denied the newly born baby the only chance to 
    save his life. 
    Six years later, [last week] another predisposed prosecutor accused Eskinder Nega. Though 
    Eskinder Nega has nothing to do with terrorism, this time he was charged with the act of helping 
    terrorist organizations. Well, thanks to God, this time Nafkote Eskinder is a grown boy and he 
    has seen his fifth birth day, but the kality saga once again followed him and he was mentally 
    battered by the callous Ethiopian authorities.  Last Wednesday, when the savage TPLF security 
    forces handcuffed and dragged away his father, five years old Nafkote was wailing in torment 
    and confusion. At the moment, the only words uttered form the crying boy’s mouth was – 
    "Where are you taking my daddy?” He kept on repeating these words until the ugly car that 
    carried his dad disappeared in the direction of ‘Makelawi Prison’ or simply Zenawi’s butcher 
    house.   The criminals never bothered to answer Nafkote’s legitimate question, but make no 
    mistake, Nafkote’s question will be answered!  
    I’m sure most of us have heard the inspiring interview given by Serkalem Fasil after the arrest of 
    her husband. This courageous woman, who has already endured mental and physical abuses in 
    Kality, clearly knew where her husband was going, but when asked about the arrest of her 
    husband; her concern was not actually him, it was the absence of liberty, equality, and democracy 
    in Ethiopia. To her, the arrest of her husband was one little price that they as a family have 
    decided to pay for freedom. She is absolutely right, but let’s not forget that this is a debt to be 
    The Ethiopian security forces are known for their savage killing of children, but at the age of 
    five, Nafkote Eskinder is the youngest known victim of Ethiopia's ruthless crackdown on 
    journalists and political dissidents. Nafkote Ekinder’s life will never be the same. The soft kisses 
    of his mother, the pats on his shoulder and the "I love you” rituals cannot wipe away those 
    horrific  memories from a little boy whose father was snatched by human in-humans right in his 
    face. According to Serkalem, the trauma form that unfortunate day has already started taking its 
    toll on her five years old boy. He has refused to go to his daycare or to even play outside his 
    home. To Serkalem, to hubby Eskinder, and of course to the entire nation, this is a wound that 
    hurts the most.  To some of us especially to those of us who are innocent, Zenawi’s disparcable 
    crime on a five years old boy might seem a random act. Not at all, and this has never been the 
    case because ethnicity and ethnic supremacy have powerfully shaped the formation of the TPLF and its ideology ever since. Everything Meles does has ethnic motivation. To Meles Zenawi and 
    his gangs, there is no difference between Eskinder Nega and his son Nafkote as long as Eskinder 
    is not part of the "Golden Race”.  
    In the last 6 years, we have witnessed horrific cases of extreme violence against innocent citizens 
    including children.  In 2005, we vulnerably agonized as the skulls of our children were pierced 
    by 50 caliber armor-piercing cartridges. In the aftermath of the 2005 election, thousands 
    helplessly watched when their loved ones were rounded and sent to concentration camps. The 
    free world watched and wondered how anyone could be so cruel. But, the obnoxious enemy 
    strikes again and this time the strike casts a dark shadow on the future of  a five years old whose 
    life started  in prison. This is a hateful and malicious act that can be undone only by removing 
    the actors.
    "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in shackles” -  I’m pretty sure if Jacques Rousseau is 
    allowed to read wiki leaks or  if he looks down at the crimes committed by Zenawi’s regime 
    against the Ethiopian people,   I have no doubt that he would change his classic quote to 
    "Ethiopians are born free; and everywhere they are in chains”.  Yes, Ethiopia has never been the 
    land of freedom and arresting citizens has always been the major part of government activity  in 
    Ethiopia, but Ethiopia has never seen a regime that uses one ‘branch’ of the government to 
    institutionalize crime and the other branch to criminalize innocent citizens.  
    I love Fridays. Who doesn’t?  Fridays have that good feeling about the end of the work week, 
    staying up late, sleeping in till you wake up rather than the alarm waking you up, and of course 
    there is a that gleaming night life for party animals. After all, it’s ‘TGI’ – "Thanks God its 
    Friday”.  I love Fridays for all of the above, but lately, especially, in the past two years, it is the 
    true voice of freedom from Ethiopia by the name Eskinder Nega that had me fall in love with 
    Friday all over again. His lucid, substantive, and incisive articles on ethiomedia have literally 
    made me love Fridays and start the Friday count down on Wednesday. I can forget many things, 
    but I can never forget Eskinder’s thought provoking articles that start with substance and finish 
    with a classic message  . . .  "Fight tyranny from your PC”. Yes, that is all Eskinder did! He 
    fought tyranny with no fear what so ever! 
    Eskinder is a man of courage who was born with passion for freedom long before he became a 
    journalist.  He was here in the US like most of us, but when the comfort of western life kept most 
    of us here in Europe and America, his love of freedom, his desire to fight, and his determination 
    to be free on his own land took back to Ethiopia. He knew there would be no passion in life if he 
    never fought for what he loved. And what he loved was freedom, not a pile of money, land or 
    party positions from a corrupt regime.  
    The two young heroes, Eskinder Nega and Andualem Arage knew for sure there was danger in 
    their way. They knew they were on the radar of a vicious dictator, most importantly, they knew 
    they were walking on the path of death. But, they courageously kept on fighting because they 
    believed what death inflicts on them and on their loved ones is by far less than what their death 
    inflicts on the enemy.  Andualem and Eskinder are born with a natural desire to resist oppression 
    and they are the unadulterated brands of past and present Ethiopian heroism.  Evidently, what I said so far might sound strange and bizarre to a coward that thinks with his 
    legs, but this is exactly what Andualem Argae said a day after his arrest. When he was asked by 
    the federal judge to comment on his arrest, this is what Andualem said- "I don’t care what this 
    court does, even if I get the death penalty!  I know this drama is staged to perpetuate oppression 
    by weakening opposition parties”  When asked-  "don’t you believe in the independence of this 
    court” by the fuming  judge, Andulalem uttered what could be his last word in Zenawi’s political 
    court-  I don’t believe it is! Forget the savage agazis, or for that matter the entire security 
    apparatus of the regime, this is the voice of freedom, passion, and determination that no force on 
    earth can silence. We will be free because we have millions of Eskinders and Andulems in all 
    corners of Ethiopia. The freedom sound of the tireless voices of Eskinder Nega and Anualem 
    Arage is the price we as a society pay for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 
    Eskinder Nega’s sharp and focused articles have attracted many Ethiopians including 
    supporters of the repressive regime.  In fact, some of the regime’s apologists have responded 
    to him very harshly, but the far-sighted Eskinder knew very well that he did not have to agree 
    with them to defend them from the injustice and the humiliation that they ignorantly seem to 
    enjoy. What Meles Zenawi and his gangs don’t understand is that, the invincible spirit of 
    Eskinder Nega and Andulaem Arage is bound to uproot 20 years of ethnic dictatorship in 
    Ethiopia. No matter what Zenawi does and no matter how many he arrests or kills; Andualem 
    and Eskinder have rung the last bell, and we will never rest until we put dictatorship to rest. 
    Journalist Eskinder Nega and UDJ leader Andualem Arage are both young and staunch 
    advocates of non-violent struggle. Debebe Eshetu is an accomplished artist and political activist.  
    Reeyot Alemu is a young teacher and a columnist, and Bekele Gerba is a college professor. Jesus 
    Christ! Why would these people would even think of committing an act of terror?  What do these 
    individuals have in common?  Religion, ideology, or what? Terrorism is the tactic of demanding 
    what you want at gun point. However, every crime committed at gun point is not an act of terror 
    because there is fanaticism, ideology, religion, and weapon of destruction behind every act of 
    terror.  In fact, if anybody is a terrorist in Ethiopia, it must be ideologue Meles Zenawi himself 
    who uses force practically for everything he does. 
     I don’t think Reeyot’s parents knew each other when Debebe Eshetu acted in "Shaft in Africa”. 
    Eskinder Nega may have been a toddler or may not have been born when the "Gang of Seven” 
    entered that infamous Dedebit wilderness. Andualem Arage, Bekele Gerba, and Woubshet Taye 
    are people who lived most of their life in Zenawi’s lawless Ethiopia. If these citizens of different 
    age group and profession have anything in common, it must be their indomitable spirit and their 
    thirst for freedom. Trust me, the word "Freedom” has the same meaning to the Ethiopian regime 
    as the word "Al Qaeda” has to the US administration. Freedom and democracy have never come 
    and will never come from the government. The true sources of freedom and democracy are the 
    people, people life Eskinder Nega, Andualem Arage, Woubshet Taye, Reeyot Alemu, Debebe 
    Eshetu and many other unsung heroes.  
    Our most destructive fear, the one that we have been wrestling with is the fear of TPLF’s false 
    image of invincibility— which ironically is the easiest thing to do if we get our house in 
    order.We live in a world where there is fear; in fact, there is no human being that does not get 
    frightened when she/he faces danger.  The famous American psychiatrist Karl Menninger said: "Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out” Yes, fear is educated and it has 
    been the vital curriculum of the TPLF regime in the last 20 years. Thanks to Eskinder Nega and 
    Andualem Arage, they have educated out the fear from us. These two heroes taught us to face 
    our fear, not to avoid it.  They restored in us that original Ethiopian courage- which is the 
    courage to conquer fear when we face danger. This is the greatest message of 2004 from 
    Eskinder Nega and Andualem Arage. There is more peace, reason, valor, and compassion in 
    these two young heroes than there is hatred, ignorance, and violence in Meles Zenawi and his 
    cronies.   This alone is a guarantee that we shall win! 
    My heart moves for Eskinder Nega, Andualem Arage, Debebe Eshetu, Wubshet Taye, Reeyot 
    Alemu and for every hero, every survivor of Zenawi’s horrible crime, and every citizen of 
    Ethiopia. May God bless Ethiopia- We shall overcome
    Views: 677 | Added by: dani | Rating: 5.0/1
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