Outcry from human rights organizations and activists to pressure government of Ethiopia to disclose the whereabouts to Temesgen Desalegne, Ethiopian journalist, bear some fruit. His sibling and his mother were not allowed to visit him for well over a month and security forces refused even to disclose his location and conditions.
Human rights advocates and Ethiopian activists launched #whereisTemesgen campaign on twitter this past week.
Authorities even refused to disclose if Temesgen is in Zeway prison, where he is detained.
His brother Alamirew Desalegne is relived now that Temesgen is alive, at least. His agonized mother, Fanaye Yirdaw, could get some sigh undoubtedly. According to voice of America Amharic service, his brother was allowed to see him only for five minutes and in the presence of around seven police men. Their presence was apparently to monitor conversation between Temesgen Desalegne and his brother – the conversation that actually lasted for less than five minutes.
His mother didn’t see him. In a phone conversation with VOA Amharic service, she says she is not feeling well and she wants her son released as anything could happen to her. She added that her son already finished his prison term and pleads for authorities, understandably Tigray People Liberation Front’s leaders, to release her son.
There was report that Temesgen has got a severe medical condition, believed to be related to torture and inhuman treatment in prison, and he is not getting the medical attention he badly needs.
He was arrested in connection with critical article he wrote some three years ago and was sentenced to serve three years in prison because of it. Although he completed his prison term, government refused to release him. Last month two other journalists, Anania Sori and Elias Gebru, were thrown to jail.
Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Ethiopia among in the category of worst place for journalists.