EMF – Addis Ababa (29 December 2008) Civilian clothed security picked up UDJ chairwoman Birtukan Midekasa around 2:00 PM today after roughing up 80 year old veteran human rights activist Professor Mesfin Weldemariam. Read also from Awramba Times…Amharic.
Birtukan, who is entangled in a bitter controversy with the EPRDF led government over the content of her release after the infamous treason trial of 2005, refused to recant statements she made during a working visit to Sweden last month. In an open letter released on Friday she maintained that her release from prison could not be reduced to a plain pardon as is being disingenuously alleged by the EPRDF led government ,but is rather a complex outcome of a protracted negotiation between her party and the government mediated by elders.
The pardon board convened an emergency meeting on Saturday to rubber stamp EPRDF’s pronouncement, and civilian clothed security agents picked her up from Prison Fellowship’s office today; where she and Professor Mesfin had gone at the behest of elders who are once again mediating between the EPRDF and the opposition.