• Sweden's news in English
 
SWEDES CONVICTED IN ETHIOPIA
Jailed Swedish reporters will not appeal verdict

Jailed Swedish reporters will not appeal verdict

Published: 10 Jan 2012 16:07 GMT+01:00

“There is a tradition of pardon and forgiveness in Ethiopia and we choose to put our trust in this tradition,” Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson said in a short statement after reaching their decision.

The deadline to appeal the verdict lapsed at 3pm CET on Tuesday. As neither the prosecutors nor the Swedes have filed an appeal, the sentence will come into force on Wednesday.

According to the two reporters' contact person, Anna Roxwall, they delayed their decision to give the prosecutors as little time as possible to lodge an appeal.

"They have been making up lists for and against. They have also been consulting people who know how this works. And it is a decision that family and friends support. We think it is a good decision," Roxwall told daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

Reporter Martin Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson were arrested in Ethiopia's Ogaden region on July 1st in the company of rebels from the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) after entering Ethiopia from Somalia.

Both journalists had admitted contact with the ONLF and to entering Ethiopia illegally, but rejected terrorism charges, which included accusations that they had received weapons training.

Persson said their meeting the ONLF contacts had been for professional reasons only, as part of an investigation into the activities of Swedish oil company Lundin Oil.

In December Persson and Schibbye were convicted by the Ethiopian court and sentenced to 11 years imprisonment. It was not known until the very last minute whether they would appeal or not.

For a pardoning process to commence, the two Swedes will have to pen a letter to the Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi, according to DN.

They will also need to confess in writing and apologize for entering the country illegally and being in contact with the ONLF.

However, this decision does not change the Swedish government's and foreign ministry's attitude to the verdict.

"We will continue to give support and the aim is to have the two Swedish journalists released," said Anders Jörle of the foreign ministry's information service to DN.

The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

17:37 January 10, 2012 by T.M
Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson: Special Assignment

We suggested in an earlier post that you should go ahead and ask Meles Zenawi for "pardon". By asking for pardon you also win. Think of it this way: Meles has no choice but to pardon you. The other day Bengt Nilsson [the Swedish reporter who embedded with Meles Zenawi's guerrilla group in late-1980s] said that "Ethiopian culture is very different from Sweden, and there's a custom to accept that you are guilty as a prisoner and then appeal for pardon." He is right in that Ethiopian culture is different from Swedish. Every one is aware of that. Our problem is with the latter part of the statement; it is not our custom to abuse someone and demand a pardon. Mr. Meles is once again using a cherished value to suit his diabolic purposes - that is, humiliate someone and pretend justice is running its course and then making a big entrance as pardoner. Read more here in ETHIOPIAN RECYCLER
23:59 January 10, 2012 by be reasonable
hmmm,Well the point is that they have to accept that they have taken part in the charges they are accused of.Otherwise,they wouldn't be granted the pardon they are hallucinating.To be granted pardon,one; you have to admit your guilt, two;you have to formal request pardon explaining that u are regretting with what u did.That time the pardon works.I am one of those who will oppose if they are pardoned with out the formal process.ETHIOPIA IS A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY!...
03:53 January 11, 2012 by Munir Ahmed
FACTS ABOUT "INDEPENDENT REPORTER" MR. SCHIBBEY:

Mr. Schibbey used to be the editor for the magazine "Rebell", the official paper of "RKU", Sweden's Revolutionary Communist Party's youth organisation. Communism á la Marxism Leninism.

Mr. Schibbey and his comrades declared that Sweden only can be reformed by revolution, armed revolution if necessary, and that Stalin's murderous campaigns, terrors equalling Hitler's, were mere fabrications of the ruling class and thus untrue.

As for the concept of democracy, Mr. Schibbey and "RKU" proclaimed that the dictatorship of the proletariat is the ultimate form of democracy.

Obviously Mr. Schibbey deserves a fair trial; nonetheless it seems ironic that Mr. Schibbey now is on the receiving end of a totalitarian Marxist Leninist state's legal system.
Today's headlines
Second baby on the way for Princess Madeleine
Princess Madeleine at the previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Second baby on the way for Princess Madeleine

UPDATED: Sweden's Royal Court has announced that Princess Madeleine is pregnant with the second child of her financier husband Chris O'Neill. READ  

Sweden seeks ban on foreign booze advertising
File photo: Shutterstock.

Sweden seeks ban on foreign booze advertising

Two powerful Swedish lobby groups have turned to the European Commission to try and get a complete ban on alcohol advertising on television, after it emerged some channels were dodging the ban by being registered abroad. READ  

Video
Video: The best & worst of Swedish Christmas
Tom says he is a big fan of the food. Photo: The Local

Video: The best & worst of Swedish Christmas

What's the best thing about Christmas in Sweden? The worst? And perhaps most importantly, the tastiest? The Local's Paul O'Mahony hits the Old Town's Christmas market as the first snow of the season falls to find out more. READ  

Swedish 'butcher' murderer gets 16 years
Forensic experts examine the scene where the victim's body was dumped in Askersund. Photo: Pavel Koubek/TT

Swedish 'butcher' murderer gets 16 years

A Swedish woman who killed and then hacked up a female love rival has been sentenced to 16 years in prison and also ordered to pay damages to the victim's family. READ  

Minecraft creator beats Beyonce in mansion bid
Markus Persson created hit game Minecraft. Photo: TT

Minecraft creator beats Beyonce in mansion bid

Swedish billionaire Markus Persson is reported to have outbid the likes of Jay-Z and Beyonce with his half billion kronor offer ($70 million) for a 2,000-square-metre Beverly Hills mansion. READ  

Bildt works as babysitter on Swedish reality show
Carl Bildt. Photo: Sergei Chuzavkov/AP

Bildt works as babysitter on Swedish reality show

Former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has been given a cautious thumbs up for his child-minding abilities after appearing on a Swedish Celebrity Babysitter show. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish Christmas ham
The traditional Christmas ham. Photo: Max Holmberg/Flickr

How to make Swedish Christmas ham

Every year Swedes devour the Christmas ham - or julskinka - with relish, with an estimated 7,000 tonnes sold annually. But just how do you prepare this succulent delight? Fear no more as The Local finds out. READ  

Ikea packs up furniture sales in Russia

Ikea packs up furniture sales in Russia

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has called a temporary halt on sales of its kitchen furniture and appliances in Russia as it couldn't cope with the extra demand brought on by the fall in the Russian rouble. READ  

Trio kills dog after failed robbery attempt
File photo: Bertil Ericsson/TT

Trio kills dog after failed robbery attempt

Police in northern Sweden are on the hunt for three men who assaulted a dog owner and then kicked his pet dog to death, in what was reportedly a failed mugging attempt. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: December 18th to 25th
National
'Unprecedented' Russian activity: Armed Forces
Society
Interview: The Local chats with Melinda Gates
Society
VIDEO: Stockholmers try out some Swedish tongue twisters
Society
Eight things to do when it gets dark in Umeå
Blog updates

19 December

Editor’s Blog, December 19th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Father Time has taken another week from us, but never fear – good old Father..." READ »

 

17 December

An Exclusive Interview with Melinda Gates (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"This week Nobel peace Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi urged the world to “globalize compassion”, as he..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Inside Sweden's first 'light therapy' school
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: December 17th
Estelle through the years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Society
Why are there so many 100-year-olds in one Swedish town?
Society
Is it time to better celebrate Sweden's diverse identity?
Gallery
Property of the week: Huddinge
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
CATCH UP: Russian plane in Baltic near-miss drama
Lifestyle
How my compass drew me to Sweden
National
The man whose memory you need to remember
Gallery
People-watching: December 13th - 14th
Sponsored Article
How to get your own office anywhere in the world
Politics
'Our party will stand alone': Stefan Löfven
Society
The Local chats to Ruben Östlund, director of Golden Globe nominated Force Majeure
Lifestyle
Ten things to know before a Swedish party
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: December 12th to 19th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The 2014 Nobel Banquet
National
The Local's guide to the Nobel Prizes 2014
Education
Introducing... Education in Stockholm
Society
The Swedish Christmas market with a twist
Lifestyle
Why do so many Swedes have tattoos?
Society
Get 20% off Swedish Christmas decorations
National
Dewani family: We only heard half the story
Business & Money
Business in Stockholm: 'efficiency is money'
Gallery
Property of the week: Östermalm
National
Meet the Swedes hosting festive feasts for 'lonely' guests
Gallery
TIMELINE: Swedish honeymoon killing murder trial
Gallery
People-watching: December 7th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: What's it like to fly planes in Sweden?
National
Submarine hunters 'robbed' of reward cash
National
The Local's Countdown to Christmas
National
'Dangerous' USB charger recalled in Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's King and Queen wrap up France tour
National
Analysis: Should Snowden get asylum in Sweden?
National
Swedish schoolboy in female saint role row
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's political crisis unfolds
Gallery
People-watching: December 3rd
National
What happened to Sweden's ice bucket cash?
Lifestyle
Top Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
SIS: the thinking behind globalised learning
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Family life in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

810
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options