Joe Michael (20 Feb.2009) If a Head of State, a country’s Prime Minister tells media and his people that arresting opposition leader is good for democracy, there is no question that his government is on the wrong side of history. No matter from which point of view you are looking at it, a government that jails a peaceful opposition leader for not saying sorry about a statement that she has made is clearly a tyranny.
In his recent press conference, the most lunatic and dictator PM of Ethiopia told local and international reporters that he has arrested the peaceful opposition leader to send a clear message to other politicians that the rule of law applies to everyone. He boldly added that her arrest would strengthen the democracy process in the country. The PM also stated that the opposition leader could have not been arrested had she said sorry about a statement she had made regarding the pardon that was given to her by the government approximately two years ago.
What’s witty is the fact that the regime it self has been illegitimately arresting, torturing, and killing its citizens by disregarding the rule of law. Politicians, entrepreneurs, students, artists, philanthropists, journalist, teachers, tourists, etc. have been arrested in different occasions simply because they have different political views or because they have criticized the regime.
Recently, on what many political analysts described it as unlawful kidnap, government agents abducted the opposition leader Ms. Birtukan Mideksa from a street, without any court paper or legal notice, and throw her into jail. Her crime was refusing to say sorry for a statement she has made about the controversial pardon that was facilitated by the local elders.
Since her arrest, the PM and his government has been under scrutiny by the donor countries that have been intensely pressuring for her immediate release. United States, the biggest donor of Ethiopia is also aware of the problem and stated that it’s following the case closely. Few weeks ago, a number of U.S. lawmakers wrote letter to the PM requesting the immediate release of Ms. Mideksa.
As President Obama said on his inauguration speech, the Ethiopian government that has been arresting and killing its political opponents to clinch power should realize that it is standing on the wrong side of history. Repression, imprisonment, torture of political prisoners, and violation of the most fundamental human rights of people could only lead to destruction. All political prisoners must be freed and they must be freed now!