Desperation of two Ethiopian journalists

first_imgNews – “Petros” and “Yohannes” are not their real names, which were not used for their protection. Organisation It has gone on for three years. They have lived far from their country for three years without seeing an end to an ordeal that began in Ethiopia with repeated imprisonment, constant harassment by the authorities, threats and finally acceptance that they would have to go into exile. Since then, Yohannes and Petros have lived in Yemen, enduring an existence of daily trials and tribulations, and above all indifference. This is their story, and their cry of alarm.Thanks to their strength of character, adversity has not got the better of them, or at least not yet. They continue to fight as best they can, with the energy and resolve of those who no longer have anything to lose. They give interviews to any media that want to listen, they send off appeals for help in all directions and above all they continue to demonstrate a determination to pull through. Their descriptions of their last moments in Ethiopia are deeply moving and the after-effects are there as evidence. Petros’ diabetes is much worse and Yohannes is now almost paralysed. They were persecuted mainly because of what they wrote, which was regarded as “critical and unacceptable” by the authorities. The two journalists decided to leave in 2005 after a major crackdown on the privately-owned press and opposition in the wake of that year’s presidential election. “I preferred to risk drowning at sea to falling into the clutches of the Ethiopian authorities again,” Yohannes said.More tribulations“Imagine being at sea, everyone jammed together, hands tied behind our backs, often beaten and tormented by hunger and thirst,” says Petros, who still cannot believe he survived that crossing of the Gulf of Aden, a cemetery for many seeking exile. It is estimated that 590 people drowned trying to cross the gulf by boat in 2008 and that even more, 1,400 died in 2007. Petros and Yohannes tried and succeeded “by the grace of God.” They thought they had put the worst behind them but their arrival in Yemen brought more tribulations. What with health problems, the dangers of the street, harassment by the Yemeni police, makeshift accommodation and the urgent need for treatment – Petros and Yohannes now have one overriding goal, to leave Yemen and find a more hospitable country. “Meanwhile, we have to hold on and keep asking for help,” says Yohannes, who hopes one day to see light at the end of the tunnel. RSF_en April 28, 2009 – Updated on January 25, 2016 Desperation of two Ethiopian journalists Help by sharing this informationlast_img read more