Friday, January 13, 2012


ELP Information Bulletin (12th January 2012) Dear Friends ELP has been sent the
following e-mail concerning two journalists investigating eco-destruction and human
rights abuses in the Horn of Africa.

Swedish journalist Martin Schibbye and Swedish press photographer
Johan Persson had entered the Ogaden region in the Horn of
Africa during mid 2011 to document and report the human rights
abuses and environmental destruction caused and triggered by the
dealings of the oil and gas industry - especially Swedish owned
LUNDIN OIL and Lundin's conglomerate of in-transparent companies
like AFRICA OIL etc. - but were deceived and busted, and since then
suffer first in detention and now in an absolutely inhumane jail.

The Ogaden is the traditional homeland of mainly one Somali clan,
the Ogaden people, whose area was occupied with changing fortunes at
first by colonial forces from Britain, Italy and to a lesser extent
France - fighting against each other and the local people - during
the scramble for Africa and was then handed over by the colonial
overlords to Ethiopia, which illegally occupies the vast land until
today. Ethiopia clings to it especially due to interests in the
substantial oil and gas reserves of the zone. Somalia fought a war
against Ethiopia to bring this land, which is also called
West-Somalia, back to the Somali state during the 70s, but lost due
to changing alliances of foreign powers during those cold-war days.
The Somali people and the subsequent Somali governments have
continued to demand that the Ogaden must be returned to Somalia. But
the dictatorial regime of Meles Zenawi holds the land and its
rightful owners with an iron and often deadly grip. Numerous
atrocities against the local population to "provide security" for
the foreign carbon industries now operating in the Ogaden, which
they call Zone 5 of Ethiopia and the oil blocks, which are "secured"
by Ethiopian military as precondition to the foreign investment of
the oil and gas barons.



An Ethiopian court, on December 27th 2011, sentenced Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye to 11 years in prison on charges of unlawful entry into Ethiopia and support of terrorist activity. Amnesty International has pronounced the two journalists as prisoners of conscience.

The international community strongly criticized the verdict. Representatives from the United States and the EU, shortly after the sentence, expressed their grave concern. The Swedish government and department of foreign affairs continue in their
effort to secure the release of Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye as soon as possible.

Committee to Protect Journalists, about the case.

The fight for press freedom and the release of Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye continues. You can support this fight by a donation (click on “donations” for details) or by sending letters to Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye in English at the following address:

Johan Persson/Martin Schibbye

Kality Prison, Zone 7

Addis Abeba Prison Administration

P.O Box 2436

Addis Abeba


Please do note that letters need to be written in English in order to be screened by the prison authorities.

Through their relatives, Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye send a New Year Greeting:

Thank you, everyone who is following our case. Your support keeps us strong. Enjoy your freedom and take care. Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson.

++++++ Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network
BM Box 2407 London WC1N 3XX England

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