Clinton and Ashton: Demand Pardon of Swedish Journalists in Ethiopia
  • Petitioned Thomas Hammarberg

This petition was delivered to:

Commissioner for Human Rights
Thomas Hammarberg
Commissioner for Human Rights
Thomas Hammarberg
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Catherine Ashton
Commissioner for Human Rights
Thomas Hammarberg
Former Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton

Clinton and Ashton: Demand Pardon of Swedish Journalists in Ethiopia

    1. Kelsey Crow
    2. Petition by

      Kelsey Crow

      Garden City, ID

Two Swedish journalists, 29-year-old Johan Persson and 31-year-old Martin Schibbye, were arrested and imprisoned in Ethiopia while reporting on human rights issues according to The Guardian, a leading British newspaper.

The two reporters were sentenced to 11 years in prison, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times writes in his column. Kristof also reports Schibbye's wife saying: "Eleven years in an Ethiopian prison is equal to life, because you do not survive that long.” 

Not only is this a tremendous breach of justice--imprisoning for over a decade the very people who are fighting for it-but this sets a dangerous standard for Ethiopia. Kristof makes the point in his blog that a country like this has no reliable accountability in regards to human rights except for journalists (whether Swedish or Ethiopian)--who expose hidden issues and force countries to address them.

But the Ethiopian goverment is attempting to silence the only real accountability they have. Amnesty International says that since March of 2011, at least 114 opposing party members and journalists have been arrested and "several journalists and opposition members have already fled the country as a result." And it's not just Swedish journalists that are being oppressed, it's Ethiopian journalists and opposition political party members as well!

Please sign this petition to ask Hillary Clinton and Catherine Ashton to call upon Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to pardon Persson and Schibbye-the imprisoned Swedish journalists who were seeking justice-and to stop Ethiopia from silencing their only real form of human rights accountability. 

The image of the Flag of Ethiopia is on Public Domain Imagesimage.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 7,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • R. T. Romero SAN DIEGO, CA
      • about 2 years ago

      Provided they admit whom they work with... (GSI). Then I agree.

    • Susan Heckmann BELLINGHAM, MA
      • about 2 years ago

      Oh this should never be an issue.

    • devon leonard PāHOA, HI
      • about 2 years ago

      To grant them a pardon is the only right thing to do !!

    • Lynn Squance PORT MOODY, BC V3H 3Z6, CANADA
      • about 2 years ago

      "From community radio and television to feature films and documentaries, from video art and newspapers to the internet and social media, indigenous peoples are using these powerful tools to challenge mainstream narratives, bring human rights violations to international attention and forge global solidarity," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day.

      Part of that message must come from the mainstream media, the writers and photographers who go where comparatively few of us can or will go.

      The words of Martin Niemöller were nevermore true.

      First they came for the communists,

      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists,

      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews,

      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

      Then they came for me

      and there was no one left to speak out for me.

      • about 2 years ago

      This is a human rights abuse and would be set right immediately by any confident and competent government. Prove that the Ethiopian Government is both competent and confident by freeing these journalists immediately please!


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