• Sweden edition
 
SWEDES JAILED IN ETHIOPIA
Swedish journalists denied Ethiopia entry

Swedish journalists denied Ethiopia entry

Published: 10 Oct 2011 08:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Oct 2011 08:27 GMT+02:00

Swedish journalists have been denied visas to Ethiopia to cover the trial of Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson who are charged with terrorism and face the prospect of long prison sentences.

"If Swedish journalists are not allowed into the country we won't find out what has happened," author Ola Larsmo, chair of writers' association Swedish Pen, told the Dagens Nyheter daily.

Sveriges Radio, Sveriges Television, TV4, Dagens Nyheter and the TT news agency have all applied for visas to cover the trial.

The trial is scheduled to begin on October 18th.

The two freelance reporters Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson were arrested in the beginning of July, in the Ogaden province of Ethiopia, bordering on Somalia, and charged with terror crimes.

The two journalists had entered the country illegally and were in the company of the region’s ONLF guerrillas at the time of their arrest.

From the beginning the pair have been adamant that they are innocent of terrorist charges.

Recently there has been speculation in the Swedish media whether the two were in the country to report on Lundin Petroleum, a Swedish oil and mining company, at the time of their arrest.

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt has been criticised recently for his handling of the case.

Last Thursday Bildt rejected any claims that his previous involvement with Lundin Petroleum would have any impact on dealings with Ethiopia in the reporters' case.

“Why would it? There is no conceivable reason for that. I don’t believe that Lundin Petroleum is in that area but even if they were, it would be totally irrelevant,” Bildt said.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

09:21 October 10, 2011 by OUIJA
Perhaps, Ethipia did not want the usual Swedish media circus. One more case for Carl Bildt. Read his blog.
09:57 October 10, 2011 by DAVID T
The two journalists had entered the country illegally and were in the company of the region's ONLF guerrillas at the time of their arrest. Not a leg to stand on really - if you can't do the time don't do the crime.
10:15 October 10, 2011 by OUIJA
They were in the company of the ONLF guerrillas because they wanted to teach them how to make Swedish meatballs and use them as bullets.
11:13 October 10, 2011 by RobinHood
A trial in a near dictatorship like Ethiopia is not a trial in the traditional meaning of the word. The judge has received his instructions, and the verdict and sentence has already been decided. It is hardly surprising Ethiopia would prefer as few journalists as possible around to watch the charade unfold, and may find it necesary to hold the trial in secrecy if it attracts too much international attention.

The sentence will be stiff (perhaps death) to ensure Sweden must pay a very large amount of "aid" before the prisoners are released "on humanitarian grounds". The longer the sentence, the more "aid" will be necessary, so the judge will be instructed to throw the book at them.

Bildt has very little influence over the process, until the negotiation stage begins. People who think he does, are naive. Right now, he is reshuffling his budgets to find the several million dollars he will need soon. In Ethiopia, numerous politicians and judges are busy leafing through Ferrari brochures, and preparing their Swiss bank accounts for a large deposit of Swedish "aid".
11:31 October 10, 2011 by muscle
meanwhile, in south of sweden, nothing is happening.
16:34 October 10, 2011 by philster61
Why would anybody want to go to Ethiopia in the first place?
21:25 October 10, 2011 by Omicron
This is a minor testimony to the "democracy" that is flourishing in Ethiopia. Western leaders beginning with Clinton and Tony Blair were praising this democracy and the murderous regime of Meles Zenawi for quite some time and still some Western countries are not interested to speak against the widespread human rights abuse going on in the country since the junta came to power through the barrel of a gun an dwith a blessing of USA in 1991. The Meles regime has committed genocide in Gambella, Ogaden and Oromia as documented by various human rights organizations such as Genocide Watch. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are not allowed to visit Ethiopia. There is wanton destruction of human life and the environment by the current minority regime in Ethiopia since the junta took power in 1991. The number of tortured, disappeared or murdered Ethiopians by the security of Meles has now reached many thousands. There is no free press and free journalists are in essence all incarcerated or forced to leave the country. Even musicians who sing about Ethiopia are intimidated by the countries ruling minority regime. Some were murdered by the junta. This is a reckless government that implants a bomb and kill its own citizens to accuse opposition politicians as recently revealed by Wikileaks, from a secret document of US Embassy files. As a result I am not impressed by the refusal of visa to free media by this tribalist junta in Addis; they have a hidden secret and feared something will leak again. But time is not on their side as the wind from Arab spring will blow towards Ethiopia soon.
21:39 October 11, 2011 by OUIJA
Wait until the sentece is given. The circus will start because the show must go on and on and on, like in the case of Dawit Isaak
Today's headlines
Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV
Grossed out Ica woman at Easter dinner. Screengrab from Ica

Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV

A Swedish supermarket has decided to withdraw its Easter commercial, after Christians complained it made a mockery of communion - "They crossed the line." Sweden's advertising watchdog will now look into the case. READ () »

Dismemberment killer gets sentence cut
The search and rescue operation in northern Sweden. File photo: TT

Dismemberment killer gets sentence cut

The 22-year-old man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend in northern Sweden had his sentence reduced on Wednesday, in part due to his "peculiar personality". READ () »

School gas leak sends 25 to hospital

School gas leak sends 25 to hospital

An elementary school in southern Sweden was evacuated on Wednesday and dozens of pupils were taken to hospital after the smell of gas spread through the rooms. READ () »

Swedes vote for country's nicest cock
The Flymen Church weathercock in all its newly gilded glory. Photo: TT

Swedes vote for country's nicest cock

A Swedish churchwarden has reacted with joy upon finding out the parish has Sweden's nicest weathercock. READ () »

Greens push rich tax to finance schools
Per Bolund of The Greens. File photo: TT

Greens push rich tax to finance schools

Sweden's third largest party The Greens revealed its shadow budget on Wednesday, targeting schools and youth employment. High earners would have to pitch in more. READ () »

Holiday status updates 'not a burglary risk'
Ibiza, you say? File photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Holiday status updates 'not a burglary risk'

Mythbusting Swedish researchers have found no link between gushing about your upcoming holiday online and returning to an emptied house. They told The Local that a trip to Ikea could be much more dangerous. READ () »

Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft
The people in this picture are not those from the story. Photo: TT

Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft

A woman in Gothenburg who accused a beggar of robbing her has been charged with fraud and false accusations. READ () »

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
Photo: Kungahuset

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess

Sweden's royal family has set the date for the baptism of Princess Leonore. READ () »

The Local List
Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

With Swedish Game of Thrones fans frothing at the mouth at the season four premiere, The Local revisits its list of ten reasons why the hit books and show are (probably) based in Sweden. READ () »

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers
The Kockums Malmö shipyard and FMV headquarters. Files: TT

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers

After the Swedish military raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp, a military expert tells The Local why recent Russian aggression means Sweden's Saab needs to take control of national submarine production. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Advertisement:
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
Society
'Blondes have more brains': Swedish study
TT
Society
VIDEO: Leaked 'Save Slussen' film goes viral
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching, March 28-30
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

745
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com