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EU to press Ethiopia over Swedish journalists

TT/Rebecca Martin · 24 Jan 2012, 08:13

Published: 24 Jan 2012 08:13 GMT+01:00

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“Our message that the Swedes should be freed immediately will be conveyed by commissioner Andris Piebalg,” said Maja Kocilancic, spokesperson for Catherine Ashton to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN)

“It is the same that we said in our statement after the verdict – that the Swedes should be released at once.”

Piebalgs will be meeting Zenawi during the two closing days of the African Union summit meeting, which was opened in Addis Ababa on Monday.

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt's right hand man, Frank Belfrage, will also be attending the meeting but the ministry was not willing to disclose whether Belfrage will broach the subject with the Ethiopians.

“Work is being carried out. But we will not elaborate on the talks that we are conducting,” said ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle to DN.

However, there are still differing opinions on whether putting pressure on the Ethiopian government may have the opposite effect and be detrimental to the Swedes.

According to DN, a government-produced film about the case of the two Swedes was shown on state TV in Ethiopia, in which the regime defended its right to convict foreign journalists in contact with terrorist groups like the ONLF.

Among other things, the film featured prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s demand to release Schibbye and Persson, which was called “indirect colonialism” by the country’s ministry for communications, reports the paper.

Story continues below…

In the film, a spokesperson from the Ethiopian foreign ministry made it clear that he government has no intention to fold to pressure from the west, according to DN.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:26 January 24, 2012 by robban70226
Why? It is obvious that they where convicted guilty, Is it proper for Sweden to get into the internal affairs of another country???

I wonder what will Sweden do if Thei Somalian government do the same with some criminal Somalians living in Sweden, the knife cuts both ways...
10:54 January 24, 2012 by Munir Ahmed



"We are organizing/paying private terrorist army to [illegally] cross into Ethiopia..."

"ONLF terrorist tactics are disgusting, but it's not our job to morally judge them..."
12:57 January 24, 2012 by RobinHood

If you seriously believe two left wing Swedish journalists are actually international terrorists, I have some magic beans I would like to sell you.
16:17 January 24, 2012 by Munir Ahmed
Why don't racist EU also press Sweden to release all Africans in immigration prison?


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.
17:45 January 24, 2012 by sinew
"It is the same that we said in our statement after the verdict - that the Swedes should be released at once." quot from the news page, Ethiopia is a sovereign country and has a jurisdiction to try any suspected criminal in her Jurisdiction. EU cannot tell us what to do on our rule of Law Matters , our court which Ruled over these Swedish journalist is LAW ABIDING BENCH. We respect EU's but we don want them to tell us what to do on our sovereign matters. I have red about the Ethiopia Journalist that had been illegally locked behind empty room suspected for Terrorism in Spain on Addiss Zemen, none of the cross border journalist group pressed any issue about that journalist , so as our P.Ministerial said, white peoples blood and black peoples blood is both RED, there is no way they can be treated differently in black African country.All are equal before the law. If they wanna tell us what to do on our legal system, they better get....... We are sovereign.
23:58 January 24, 2012 by h2m
ethiopia and the rest of the members of the club of dictators understand only the language of threat. cut the fund they will go into their kneel
07:20 January 25, 2012 by sinew
It is not ABT Ethiopian government is dictator that their journalist has been arrested and prosecuted, it is coz the Ethiopian law is Violated and it is up to government, any where on the world, to safeguard the laws are respected.
13:22 January 25, 2012 by Munir Ahmed
Resume of murderous Somali (ONLF) terrorists ignored by Swedish reporters & EU.

BBC NEWS: 74 Chinese & Ethiopian oil workers machine-gunned asleep in bed


REUTERS NEWS: UN workers ambushed, killed, kidnapped

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