Washington based ESAT Journalist and an activist given ultimatum by Ethiopian government

July 5,2016

Two members of Washington based Ethiopian Satellite Television, ESAT, are given ultimatum by the security chief of Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) led Ethiopian government.

Journalist Sisay Agena and activist Tamagne Beyene were not directly contacted, according to ESAT report. The ultimatum came through their family members who live in Ethiopia , added the report. Sisay Agena

Getachew Assefa who is an executive committee member of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and chief of Ethiopian government security and intelligence issued the ultimatum to family members Sisay and Tamagne – in Ethiopia.

Threatening a family with life for political and journalistic activity of a family member sounds much like holding a family member for a political ransom, something unprecedented in Ethiopia at least officially.

Sisay Agena is journalist with a very high journalistic standard by all measures and professional etiquette. While in Ethiopia, he was running a weekly Amharic news paper “Etop” – which was one of the news papers with a fairly good circulation in Addis Ababa and other parts of Ethiopia. In Washington, where he is based now, he is in charge of two popular Television programs of Ethiopian Satellite Television ; “Yesamintu Engida” and “Ye Hasab Menged” – among many other things that he is involved in. He has also published a book ,Yekalitiwu Mengist, which essentially recounts experiences of repression under TPLF governmnt.

Tamagne BeyeneTamage Beyene – is one of the most celebrated and respected Ethiopians. He was a comedian when he was in Ethiopia.
He is currently an activist and also runs talk show at Ethiopian Satellite Television.

The intent of Ethiopian government in sending the ultimatum to family members of Sisay and Tamagne is to silence their voice.

Sisay and Tamagne wrote an open letter to the security chief in return to the ultimatum which was given to their respective family members; they sternly defied the threat and vowed to continue their opposition to repression in Ethiopia – according to ESAT report.

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