World Association of News Publishers

Selected Work by Eskinder Nega

Selected Work by Eskinder Nega

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"Letter to My Son"
By Eskinder Nega
March 17, 2014

“I miss you and your mother terribly. The pain is almost physical. But in this plight of our family is embedded hope of a long suffering people. There is no greater honor. We must bear any pain, travel any distance, climb any mountain, cross any ocean to complete this journey to freedom. Anything less is impoverishment of our soul.”


"Letter from Ethiopia's Gulag"
By Eskinder Nega
New York Times
25 July 2013

“I’ve never conspired to overthrow the government; all I did was report on the Arab Spring and suggest that something similar might happen in Ethiopia if the authoritarian regime didn’t reform. The state’s main evidence against me was a YouTube video of me, saying this at a public meeting. I also dared to question the government’s ludicrous claim that jailed journalists were terrorists.”


"I Shall Persevere!"
By Eskinder Nega
May, 2013

“Individuals can be penalized, made to suffer (oh, how I miss my child) and even killed. But democracy is a destiny of humanity which cannot be averted. It can be delayed but not defeated.

"Why should the rest of the world care? Horace said it best: mutate nomine detefabula narrator. "Change only the name and this story is also about you.” Whenever justice suffers our common humanity suffers, too”.




Debebe Eshetu’s arrest and New Year
9 September 2011

“None of the recent detains under the terrorism charges remotely resemble the profile. Debebe is probably the ultimate antithesis of the fanatic, his pragmatism, his easy nature, defines him. Neither do journalists Webesht and Reyot and opposition politician Zerihun Gebre-Egzeabher fit the profile. The same goes for the calm university professor, Bekele Gerba. And of course the list could go on.

“Freedom is partial to no race. Freedom has no religion. Freedom favors no ethnicity. Freedom discriminates not between rich and poor countries. Inevitably, freedom will overwhelm Ethiopia”.

“And with the advent of a new year, we are one step closer to freedom. It’s wonderful to be alive!”


Ethiopia: Time for peaceful change
2 September 2011

“The time to call for peaceful and legal action has arrived in Ethiopia. History can not be postponed indefinitely”


Gadhafi’s fall and Meles Zenawi
26 August 2011

“Hope will come to sub-Sahara’s remaining dictatorships, too. The Arab Spring has already brought it to their doorsteps. It will not wait forever to get in. No one knows which sub-Saharan dictatorship will relent first. But that is almost irrelevant. What matters is that its spread will be unavoidable once it begins.

“Ethiopia must and should avoid violence. If Ethiopia shuns violence so will most of sub-Sahara Africa. And only then will the advent of the African Spring be even better news than that of the Arab Spring.”


SOS: Dissent and terrorism in Ethiopia
1 July 2011

“As to our colleagues in prison, Webeshet and Reyot, we testify to their commitment to non-violence. No independent journalist has given the charges the benefit of the doubt. And we reaffirm our commitment to peacefully serve the causes of truth, justice and democracy with our writings. We will not be intimidated.

“Democracy is humanity’s common destiny. There is no avoiding it whether you are an Eskimo or a Zulu; a Christian or a Muslim; white or black; developed or developing. It is truly universal. And after a long journey, Ethiopia’s encounter with destiny is right around the corner. We are almost there.

“And in well-publicized applications of the dreaded anti-terrorism law lies the perfect means to stretch fear to its furthest limit. Already, rumors of pending arrests of journalists and members of the opposition are rife on the grapevine. The danger seems so obvious that some are being counseled by family and friends to leave the country. Many more live with the anxiety of an uncertain future. Raw fear is in the air. And journalists have been affected the most.”


Open letter to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi form the people
4 March 2011

“You have essentially wasted the two decades with which you were blessed to affect change. In place of pragmatism, dogma has prevailed, in place of transparency, secrecy has taken root, in place of democracy, oppression has intensified, and in place of merit, patronage has been rewarded.”


Letter to Columbia University
By Eskinder Nega and Serkalem Fasil
September 20, 2010

“We and others were officially denied press licenses that are our due by virtue of the constitution and the press law. Ethiopia now has no independent press. In place of one of Africa’s most fiery free press is a token press that is cowed in every sense of the word. And thus many free press journalists have been exiled.”




Journalist in a paper democracy
Interview with Eskinder Nega
Pambazuka News
Ron Singer
12 May 2011


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2014-04-25 17:48

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