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Jailed Swedes to stay in Ethiopian custody

Rebecca Martin · 18 Aug 2011, 06:50

Published: 18 Aug 2011 06:50 GMT+02:00

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“We can confirm that the court granted police another 28 days to investigate the case,” said head of foreign ministry information department, Anders Jörle, to The Local.

The 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.

They have been held in an Ethiopian prison since the beginning of July.

Following the pair’s arrest, Sweden has refrained from open criticism of Ethiopia. Considering the sensitive situation, it is thought that critical comments may cause more harm than doing good.

Several journalists' organisations have lodged complaints against the Swedes' situation.

The Swedish Union of Journalists (Svenska journalistförbundet - SJF) and Swedish Union of Photographers (Svenska Fotografers Förbund) have demanded their release.

The United States-based international journalist organisation CPJ, and Reporters without Borders have also made similar demands.

But on Wednesday it was decided the two reporters should yet again be remanded in custody for another 28 days, pending the ongoing preliminary police investigation against them.

Story continues below…

According to Jörle of the ministry, the Swedish ambassador to Ethiopia, Jens Odlander, still is granted access to see the two reporters on a regular basis and visits them once a week.

“Under the circumstances they are in good spirits,” he told The Local,

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:23 August 18, 2011 by Munir Ahmed
Opportunist reporters should do their homework before crossing border illegally with Islamic terrorists who massacre civilians.

Ogaden (ONLF) Islamic terrorist massacres, ignored by $$$ hungry Swedish reporters:




19:15 August 18, 2011 by Hayat

It is sad to observe 18th century colonial mentality in the 21 century by some people. The two Swedes have been red-handedly captured while sneaking into the territory of a sovereign country alongside terrorists under the cover of darkness. The terrorist groups that the Swedes have been in fond of were cruel primitive criminals with the reputation of slaughtering innocent humans like animals. There is NO acceptable international law or permissible social norm to justify their enormous breach. Some Swedish and other "international activists" have rushed into making biased and lampoon conclusive statements without regard to the law. Those self anointed "African experts" or "advocates" have made at times laughable unscrupulous demands and presented silly analysis. Let the readers of this News Paper know that the two Swedish have committed serious offences not only by aiding and abating a barbaric armed group that is preying on the innocent but also broke the law of a sovereign country.

In the mean time, I admire the Ethiopia government for treating the accused humanly and for granting them due process rights; and, I hope, the circumstance will insure their wellness.

Again, I ask the Swedish people to show sympathy to Dawit Isaac - one of their citizens that has been languishing and dying in the notorious Eritrean Era-Ero prison for over 10 years with out due process.
20:34 August 18, 2011 by Geesi Ciilan
Good day to Swedish people and the family of the Two honourable Journalists.

The two Swedish Journalists are heroes,not only freedom lovers but freedom workers as well.They are true Swedish heroes they put themselves at risk to challenge the WORST DICTATOR OF AFRICA,Butcher Zenawin,who has a desire to kill as many as millions of Ogadenis,Oromos,Amharas,Gambellas,Afars,etc I call to Ogadenis to build a statue of Liberty for the two Swedish Journalist of Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye for their honor and publish our history books to decorate our hearts and minds our of grand-grand sons, they truly worth. And my message to the Media to give an award their heroic activity they did, because they set a new record.

The Agame Tigres who their dream is to eliminate every person on Horn of Africa except their barbaric tribe of the minority greedy of Tigre to live on East Africa.

Thanks to God, Christains,Muslims are working side by side to bring an end this corrupt Leadership Regime of Tigre Liberation Front(TPLF).

The Ogaden Crackdown helped no the Agame Regime but fueled the fire and the desire of the people to have self-determination,fortunately the time numbered Regime will pay the price and the HORN of Africa will enjoy the long awaited dream of peace,liberty and dignity like any other countries in the World.

What do you call a regime, who is killing,raping,torturing ,and burning villages of the people they claim their own,ney they are really Imperialists whom their intention is to steal natural resources of the other and protect the Aid and West Journalists to operate freely to hide the GENOCIDE IN OGADEN We know historically the oppressor gone and the oppressed left to the earth.
23:18 August 18, 2011 by Molla
Geesi Ciilan

I wonder why an Eritrean likes to comment on this issue? Your country Eritrea/Aretera is run by a lunatic who doesn't care about his own people, yet you come here and comment on other peoples' issues.

Even your fellow country man Dawit Isaac, is languishing in Eritrean prison for over 10 years without any legal representation, yet you come here to talk about two journalists who crossed a border of a sovereign country illegally. Shame!!!
11:38 August 19, 2011 by Geesi Ciilan

My name reflects my nationality and my mother tongue, Somali,Geesi=brave but as you are illegal occupier and you are jeaulous about my English and do not know my language.My homeland is Ogadenia and that is why I am speaking about it.I am doing my job nobody is doing for me,you highlanders are an-invited guest and you are here to colonize us when it is not a right time to colonize a nation ie 21st century we do not share culture,religion,and language.You are here to kill,rape,torture and burn villages and I am here to stand between you and my people as you are acting as cannibals and hungry hyenas. You want to feed your kids and leave ogaden children to starve to death. What kind a human you are! You make yourself rich stealing the natural resources of Ogadenia and Oromia as well and left the owners impoverished what kind a human you are! You created terror among my people for making Janjawit lik malitia,you exploit food aid from WFP and feed whoever kills his nuclear family as I refused to do as Somali proverb goes:( "Waad baahan tahay loo ma bakhti cuna ) Do not eat the dead because you are hungry ,you arrested me and forced me to abonden my school.What kind a human you are!
20:40 August 19, 2011 by Hayat
Remedan Kereem

THE Two Swedish Journalists are in good hand - getting due process. Again, I admire the Ethiopian government for following the country's constitution and doing it prudently under difficult circumstances.

THE underlying long overdue quest of the good people of Swedish should raise is asking due process for the innocent Swedish citizen journalist DAWIT ISAAC.

The Swedish journalist ha been rotting in the notorious Era-Ero prison with out due process for over ten years. Dawit's suffering for free expression exemplifies the enormous prices enlightened citizens are paying so that we could be a bit freer.

In a 21st century in which freedom of expressing is a basic tenet, Dawit has been silenced by the thuggish despot in Eritrea. And he is locked not only from airing democratic views to the freedom loving people but also from his wife, children and his loved ones for over 10 years. IT is saddening to observe the Swedish government and people have chosen to remain silent while its citizen's inherent right is violated.


13:12 August 20, 2011 by Xaaji wiilwaal
Unless they have extremely short memory, suffer amnesia or do not remember their own history, The tigeree tribe ruling Ethiopia understands that: toddy's freedom fighter in Ethiopia is tomorrow's ruler. They must stop the GENOCIDE in Ogaden and implement free and fair elections so that we can all have peace.
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