|Befeqadu Hailu, Zone9 Blogger|
First of all I'd like to thank Mahilet Solomon, for her tremendous job in translating this leaked letter by one of the members of Zone 9 bloggers aka Befeqadu Hailu, just a day after it was published. It shows not only her translation skill but also her unparalleled devotion to the freedom of expression, and above all her care for thousands of fellow Ethiopians who are being incarcerated for the crimes they didn't commit. Befqadu also should be commended for penning this very troubling and obvious account under such brutal circumstances where he, other members of Zone 9 bloggers, journalists, opposition party leaders and their followers have to go through everyday and night in present day Ethiopia. What Befqadu wrote is not something new, however it helps to open our eyes about the alarming situation with regard to the human-rights abuses in Ethiopia especially against those under police custody. The Ethiopian government denied and is still denying all these allegations, even though firsthand experiences by the likes of Befqadu and research documents by other human-rights watchdogs reveal these broad-light gross abuses against innocent and unarmed Ethiopians who did nothing but exercised their constitutional and birthrights. I hope, one day all the culprits of these heinous crimes will be brought to justice and eventually innocent victims of this brutal system will be freed. Here's the full excerpt of the English version of Befqadu's leaked letter from one of Ethiopia's notorious prisons called Kilinto.
"Dear Hyena no need for excuses just eat me” - Ethiopian Proverb By BefeQadu Hailu
Translated by Mahilet Solomon
"So what do you think is your crime?" I was asked by one of my interrogators while I was telling him about what I did as a blogger, an advocate and an activist. Later on, after I was allowed to meet with my "collaborators" according to my prisoners and asked each other, we found out we were all asked this same question “what do you think is your crime”? This describes the overall outcome of our interrogation. Since they couldn’t figure out what our supposed crime was or what law we were suspected of violating, we were asked