Jailed Swedes ‘hopeful’ of swift release

Jailed Swedes 'hopeful' of swift release
The two Swedish reporters jailed in Ethiopia are hopeful they will be released soon, according to the Swedish embassy in Addis Ababa.

“They are feeling OK and are being treated appropriately,” said ambassador Jens Odlander to news agency TT.

The Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson were arrested and injured in the closed border area Ogaden, on July 1st, when caught in a battle between Ethiopian government forces and the ONLF guerrilla.

Since the beginning of July they have been held by in an Ethiopian prison. On Thursday it was decided they should be remanded in custody for another 28 days, pending the ongoing preliminary investigation against them.

Odlander visited the two Swedes in jail on Friday morning and delivered books and private correspondence from the Swedes’ families.

According to the embassy the two men were in good spirits. They are being treated for their injuries but the embassy is planning to have one of their own doctors examine them.

Odlander also said that both men have access to fresh fruit and vegetables.

“Through the police they can buy supplies from street vendors,” he said.

Odlander also said that the two reporters are adamant they have not committed any terrorism crimes.

“They are constantly trying to prove that they are just reporters. However, they have admitted to entering the country illegally,” Odlander told TT.

Despite the seriousness of the allegations and the fact that the Swedes face another 28 days in custody, both are convinced they will be released.

Both Schibbye and Persson repudiate having been filmed with weapons in their hands.

“They deny that profusely,” Odlander told TT.

Odlander’s visit was the fourth sine the men were jailed. The ambassador has been promised that he be allowed to visit them every Friday.

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