Birtukan Mideksa: The US must speak out for those prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia


Awramba Times is a US based online journal providing up-to-date news and analysis about Ethiopia email us: [email protected]

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39 Responses

  1. solo solo says:

    Her English is horribe, she needs to have her public speaking class.

    • Tsion says:

      yours too.
      She is one of the most respected woman in Ethiopia
      She is still in the hearts of all Ethiopians except the “woyane” baptyized cadres like you

      It will be difficult for you to critsiz her.

      There is a disease which is common in people like you which is called ” SMALL MAN SYNDROME”

    • Aradaw says:

      d not forget it is her second language and it is a learned language, it can always be learned and improved. The best is she has the courage, commitment, knowledge and leadership that was tasted through struggle and hardship. English can be learned and public speaking can be practiced. You will remain solo with your hatred and ignorance.

    • MELASH says:


    • Beka says:

      There is nothing wrong with her English.

      You are hater and loser

  2. teshome says:

    Girl… well come የፊስ ቡክ ና ፐቲዊተር አርበጝ ካምፕ
    As far as my knowledge to her is concerned She had a broken heart and a
    fragile mind. My evidence is she is chasing the tail of protestant church
    since the release of her hibernation….But But
    How soon You were converted as cyber worrier, after your unbelievable failure.
    Well you started to declare that ‘you are also among the prophets’ ahh.. ahh….
    When Americans talk about political determination and fight, they say ‘It is
    not the size of the man in the fight, it is the size of the fight in the man.
    It is no body but yourself who destroyed the fight and the ‘man’ in the fight.
    ….How on earth ‘ a single Mam politician and as one of my friend called her
    ..’lady liberty’ who is leveled with the wave length of ‘the legend
    politician Mandela’ stunningly confess an embarrassing pardon to EPRDF now became የፊስ ቡክ ና ፐቲዊተር አርበጝ.
    Good politics and we are also waiting a political change in Ethiopia from your meaninglessness pray in church

    • tadesse says:

      Teshome, any thoughts about what she says in the article? did you even read it? Don’t kill the messenger…

      • Medcine says:

        Hey Tadesse, all messengers are not from God or good doers! Who kills the good messenger or bad doer? Have you ever thought of it?

    • Tsion says:

      Teshome we know that TPLF has trained many ICT technicans and Cadres to Investigate ethiopian citzens e-mail and text messges. We know taht all the trainees are from one region. one of your job description is to Defame and attack most prominenet Ethiopians. I see that you are active on this regard.
      Now Ethiopians are active. Dont tell us who is Birtukan . we know her. She is our hero. She is in all ethiopian heart except you the rent collecters

    • MELASH says:

      who said politicians do not pray? Leave her alone and keep on licking woyane’s feet.

  3. Surgo says:

    TPLF hate anyone who is not Tigray, specially an Ahmara Journalist like Eskinder Nega. TPLF hate Ahmara people since its conception, and there is nothing TPLF will not do in order to bring destruction and suffering to the Ahmaras. Fortunately the Ahmaras have survived the genocides’ campaign of TPLF during its heyday (1991-2000). At this movement TPLF think that Muslim Ethiopian are its number one enemy. The Muslim community have stood their ground for the last 13 months and are continue their peaceful straggle.
    Sebhat Nega had said “Meles Zenawi killed TPLF” and TPLF is dying a slow and agonizing death. The Cadres/supporters of the TPLF (sinking ship) should pay a careful attention to the call (abandon ship) of their old captain (Sebhat Nega) before too late. Time is against TPLF and it is on the side of the Ethiopian people.

  4. Teblets says:

    Birtukuan is the never ever forgotten Ethiopian hero who shakes the camp of the Tigrean evil Weyane.We Ethiopians respect birtukuan the same as Taitu Bitul.

  5. eden says:

    I would be happy if this lady had the stomach again to retract the pardon my government gave her.
    She is the most unfamiliar politician I ever knew in Ethiopia History. But Funnily enough she was given a high political legue, she woundn’t at all deserve. Let alone to run a big party, she is unable to discharge her responsiblity to the most fundamental institution, Family. The personal integerity and stability of a person starts from there
    Americans gave a very huge credit for Family history respective of marrige before the person run for important political position. On this regard, our ‘hero’ Birtukan track record spoke the other way round.
    ….You said ” Ethiopia must receive the clear message – especially from allies like the United States about Human right issue” ….There you girl, you missed the most important political struggle. How come you demand foriegners and countries like USA do the heave work which you are unable to carry out…This is by any standard mathimatical idiot thought.
    One time you pray for god and another time you pray for Americans to bring political change in Ethiopia. Alright, good for you and we are waiting for the change

  6. nebiyou says:

    … eskinder nega is not a free journalist he is a genocide monger who deserves penality and tplf becomes very strong thanks GOD meles leaves clear vision for eprdf tplf is tigray we are one and the same

    • Michael says:

      Weyane’s Dedebit(Jungle)cadres such as Eden,Nebiyou, Teshome and others are dominated the website. Always, we don’t expect real things from Weyane and its illiterate cadres but simply defaming innocent Ethiopians as their deceased leader trained them to do so shamelessly.
      God Bless Ethiopia.

  7. Mebratu says:

    How exactly is Eskinder a hate monger. Can you find anything in his writing to show he’s a terrorist? Until you can find credible documentation to prove this then you are wrong.

  8. Mario says:

    As far as I know, there are no journalists in prison, but , first journalists who don’t conform to journalistic ethics! Second, they are biased & they are based on hate politics! Therefore, biased & hate journalist shouldn’t be licensed in anyway ! Calling hate journalists who called for the extermination of a people as a whole a prisoner of conscience is a fallacy & is considered supporting their hate politics!

    For us , as Tigrian, their hate politics helping is us to be united & be stronger than ever! But for all haters, they are loosing in every aspects! I was one of these Tigrian who was pushed out of the opposition because they want to promote their hate openly as they are doing so now!

    Journalists know the opposition in the diaspora have nothing for Ethiopian in the diaspora let alone to Ethiopian back home who expects a lot & they never talk about it!

  9. Name (required) says:

    Birtukan Mideksa’s pardon documentations; sufficient enough to produce her untold stories in the future as a Female Freedom Fighter & Prisoner of Conscience.

    At times of her imprisonment, it wasn’t the US that spoke but her “Pardon Letters” that helped & secured her release from prison.

    Birtukan Mideksa, as a fellow researcher @Harvard University should find other ways of securing release from TPLF lead regime prison. No more asking, writing Pardon gonna work.

    Because pardoning converted many ‘Criminals’ to ‘Heroes’. If pardoning continue in Ethiopia, it gonna be difficult to count the number of heroes & cover their untold stories in the future Ethiopia.

  10. teshome says:

    Thank you so much. I like it girl.
    “….Let alone a political party, Birtukan was unable to lead even the most fundamental institution called family”
    ..It may be a simple thing but it spoke the volume who she is

  11. Endegena Sahale Seged says:

    It is not easy to debate with people who created their own parallel planet…for
    Eden, Teshome and Mario:
    you accuse everyone except TPLF! your government is found on terror and ethno-centrism. your god Meles & his disciples/tplf leaders announced 20 years ago their “Ideology” of the power of ethnic blood and language! “Tigray-Tigringe” & the greater tigray! that dream was born of hate & Ignorance.
    don’t blame others! Ethiopians were fighting for freedom it was a class fight, Your TPLF jungle boys/girls came with their stone age politics, division..etc. are pushing 95% of Ethiopians to pickup Arms. you have suffocated the peoplein and out for 21 years…killed and murdered her children, stole all her resources. the practice of war crimes & Genocide won’t go for ever…think! remember Ruanda that will be nothing! your leaders are Nihilistic and you people are in absolute conformity & conformity is part nihilistic!

  12. Hermi says:

    For Ms Birtukan, TIME has stopped! A wasted time!

  13. Tibebu says:

    I am quiet surprised for a while to see Dawit’s web page (Awra Amba) specially comment section in majority cases used to abuse the opposition personalities.
    There is no balance of views and Dawit seems consciously or subconsciously covering the anti opposition views. Is this another wise strategy to attack opposition personalities in web site considered independent.

    Dawit I wish you stay fair journalist otherwise your integrity comes to questioning.

    • AD says:

      My friend, you are asking him to be fair independent journalist by blocking someone’s comments that do not make you feel well. What did you say last week when dozens of people attacked azeb mesfin personally? Anyone has the right to vomits his words.

  14. Kahsay says:

    Tibebu, I couldn’t see anything wrong with the editor of this site. What does posting comments got to do with the editor’s professional integrity? For me, Birtukan is a heroin of her generation. hence i might not agree with some of the comments towards her. But everybody is entitled to express her/his own views in a civilized manner not necessarily what everybody always agree with. Hope Birtukan will understand that.

  15. Wolloyew says:

    Birtukan, welcome back.

  16. betty says:


    Where is the balance of views in your websites ?

    On your websites like ECADF, ETHSAT,… No one can comment against their article posted. People like you, T. Goshu only post their comment others who wanted to say their view not allowed.

    Here on Awrambatimes Site comments welcomed from both side. If you don’t get all comments 100% look like yours, as usual you start blaming. Go and comment on your sites. Awrambatimes isn’t a place to post comments only from one side that either supporting or against that article, news,…

    • Tebebu says:


      I think Awraamaba is launched as “independent” web page and Dawit also reassured us as it being independent during his interview and articles he wrote; The two fronts (Pro and anti government) have their own websites where other differing opinions are restricted.
      But Awramba being “independent”, we expect to have balanced view on its coverage including comments.

      It seems the TPLF/EPRDF machine in diaspora have been busy nullifying or abuseing any opposition personalities not on thier websites but on those considered “independent” like Awramba times.

      During my observation in recent months, comment coverage often appears to side on abusing opposition figure or personalities. Is these just mere coincidence finding or the editor’s error of judgment on balancing views?
      Or is this TPLF “wise” move to discredit opposition personalities using abuse as means?

      For the sake of independent media and positive role development, I am reminding Dawit if in case he hasn’t observed the comment sections content, frequency and how it has been balanced.

  17. አ.በ. says:

    ብርቱዬ እንወድሻለን። ከዚህ ሁሉ ጊዜ በሁዋላ ድምፅሽን መስአት ያስደስታል። አንዳንድ ሰዎች ስለሚሰጡት አልባሌ አስተያየት ብዙም አትጨነቂ። ካንች ገና ብዙ እንጠብቃለንና በርቺልን።

  18. ABC says:

    What a waste! I would have expected Birtukan shading her scholarstic style opinion when it comes the challenges of press in ethiopia. To my surprise, her goodself seems to be in the extremist camp. Otherwise, how can one compare press freedom during the emporer and now. Very outdated data. Wasn’t the situation much better before 2005? Or is it the culture of not acknowleding people for the good becoming a culture in our opposition? Yes, press freedom is at its worest situation since the current govt took power. To assume the situation is black and white is naive at least. I have come to realize that once the struggle is fought with burgers and chicken then the brain matter will be replaced with fat.

  19. alem says:

    Great brtikuan,it is good to hear your voice after long time ,you are a model for women in ethiopia, have a great respect for u,just keep doing the good work !!!!

  20. Gezaee H. says:

    We thought and hoped, hope upon hope that Birtkuan could be a new Ethiopian breed that can immortalize Queen Sheba. To our disappointment she has become an American Mercenary and now trying to tell us America akas USA has to deal with Ethiopian government. Hell, Birtukan, get lost. We do not need you anymore. You have lost your creditiblity anymore. I laboured and campaigned for you release. But you let me down like this.

    Any Ethiopian problem can be only solved by Ethiopians including the government and the citizen. Any foreign intervention or meddling does not serve our interest. USA is a government like any other government. They are not above Ethiopia in any form. We do not care what gifts they gave you. We do not need USA in our countries affaires. You can ask them to lead your life but they can not control our government. If the government is bad, it is only us we can make it good, but not American or USA. USA has any right to say anything. They are a government like any other government. We do not believe in their superiority or Money or whatever. You better stay away from Ethiopian affaires if you have become a mercenary. Journalists who do not respect the law my face the law. I am very disappointed by this lady. You need to stand firm on your ideas and do not try to tell us USA is our model. It is not our model. It can be your model. Please we are tired of Mercenaries from inside and outside. If you have no the capacity to help your people, then stay away from politics. Do not run away to USA and become a hired neoliberalist. That is why actually USA wanted Medeksa to be there. Hell, no to USA. The journalist who do not respect the law must serve the law.

  21. Gezaee H. says:

    Eskinder Nega is a citizen like any other citizen. If he does not respect the law, he must face the law. No government on earth would keep quiet when one of its citizens full engaged to overthrow it illegally by Arab spring. Eskinder is known by everyone for wanting to import Arab spring to Ethiopia. He said this many many times on public media. No government would allow to be overthrown by arrogant so called Journalist. He must face the law. The law must impertial to everyone. No USA, no UK, no UN … must dictate our national affaires.

  22. EthioZena says:

    She finally wake up and start talking. unless she join G7, she is pretty much useless.

  23. Mario says:

    The bottom line is: there are no prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia ! Read what Eskinder Nega said for the extermination of the people of Tigrai & tell me if he is right! These are haters hidden behind journalism , but they don’t have any sort of journalistic ethics!

    I care if Esknder Nega planned to exterminate TPLF, but not the people ! Therefore , there are no prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia , but haters/ Hyenas hidden behind journalism!

    God bless Ethiopia !

  24. Mario says:


    The people chose to administer/ govern themselves ,therefore , don’t you think the peoples choice should come first ?

    As far as I’m concerned, awrambatimes is an independent media leaned a little bit towards the opposition! As you said , there are web sights like aiga forum , Tigraionline…who promotes & supports the government , nevertheless , they don’t promote against a people!

    Unlike government medias, the opposition web pages are busy in cooperating with Ethiopia’s enemies & “Bere welede politics! & hence, I believe that the opposition had no credit whatsoever ! Call them professors, engineers, docs…are worthless . Therefore , what’s good about them?

  25. Mehret says:

    Is it a come back aung san su chi???

  26. Kinane says:

    We all know money influences campaign donations and the way politicians act when they get in office.
    Why cann’t rich diasporas like Agonafer Shiferaw and his brother Tessema Dosho Shiferaw do things like that.The Bowflex grew out of a now-expired patent first conceived by an Ethiopian engineering student in San Francisco, Tessema Dosho Shifferaw. Bowflex of America, Inc. began marketing the first product, The Bowflex 2000X in 1986. Bowflex of America changed its name to Bowflex, Inc, and became a public company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In 1999 the company changed its name to Direct Focus, Inc. and initiated an IPO on Nasdaq. With the success of Bowflex, the company bought the Nautilus Corporation, Schwinn Fitness, and Stairmaster Fitness. In 2002 the company moved to the NYSE and renamed itself The Nautilus Group and is now Nautilus, Inc. which owns and markets the Bowflex along with Nautilus, Schwinn Exercise, Stairmaster and Pearl Izumi lines among other brands.[1]

    Instead of conventional weights or pulley machines, the original Bowflex machine used a combination of polymer rods to create constant resistance or tension. The machines are marketed as taking up much less space than a complete set of weights and machines. The company held a patent (U.S. Patent 4,620,704) on this “power rod” design which expired in April 2004.[2][3]

    [edit] 2003 TreadClimber line introduced

    In 2003 Bowflex released the TreadClimber, a cardio machine similar to a treadmill but with two independent walking surfaces, called “treadles”. Bowflex claims the unique design of the TreadClimber allows for twice the calories burned compared to a flat treadmill used at the same speed.

    [edit] Recalls

    In January 2004, about 420,000 Bowflex machines were recalled due to mechanical problems. In November 2004, there was a recall of nearly 800,000 (680,000 Power Pro units and 102,000 Ultimate units) Bowflex machines after reports that several models had broken unexpectedly. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said that the seats could unexpectedly break, and that the backboard bench could collapse when in the incline position on the Power Pro model. This recall was voluntary and the company offered every purchaser a free safety repair kit.[4] In March, 2006, about 17,000 Bowflex Ultimate 2’s were recalled due to problems. (see, In December, 2007 about 68,000 home gyms were recalled In March, 2009, about 78,000 Bowflex Ultimate 2’s were recalled due to problems with the horizontal seat rail. A list of the recall letters can be found on the Bowflex website by clicking on the link ‘Safety Notices’ under home gyms.

    [edit] 2006 Revolution line introduced

    In 2006, Nautilus released the Bowflex Revolution with a completely new design and new resistance technology. The new model uses circular plates containing coiled straps around a cam which can interlock in place of the polymer rods. Nautilus claims that the new system makes the machine easier to use than its predecessor. It has more adjustments to accommodate different sized users and provides a larger variety of exercise variations.Dosho Design cool product features stop short of us doing the workout for you.

    The company was founded by T. Dosho Shifferaw, the inventor of the revolutionary Bowflex®, and founder of Bowflex, Inc. Shifferaw invented the Bowflex home gym in 1984 for a student project. Studying industrial design, Shifferaw, a young immigrant from Ethiopia, was always working on new ideas. While working on the structure for a complex, ergonomic chair, Shifferaw tried bending a polymer rod into shape over his shoulders. With that, Bowflex was born, an exercise machine that uses rods, rather than weights, as resistance.

    In 1996, Bowflex, Inc. became a public company on the NASDAQ Stock Market. Soon after, the company name became Nautilus Group and started trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Today, Bowflex is a household name accounting for 85% of the overall sales for the Nautilus Group, totaling over $3 billion to date.

    “For over 25 years I’ve developed fitness equipment with three objectives in mind; helping people get into maximum shape for minimal time and money,” says Shifferaw.

    Over the years, Dosho Design has offered a complete line of fitness products for personal conditioning, strength-training, muscle-toning, stretching and aerobics. The company has introduced several new proprietary products for use at home and in fitness clubs. Dosho Design products are marketed through television commercials, infomercials, online and through retail channels worldwide.

    The other brother Agonafer Shiferaw has enjoyed living in San Francisco the past three decades. But 38 years ago, the Ethiopian native never expected to stay in the United States.Eventhough his brothe jumped of the Golden Gate bridge and commited the first ever suicide an Ethio[ian man did from the Golden Gate Bridge,Agonafer stayed fathful to his beloved club members by providing the most talent and entertaiment for decades.

    Agonafer Shiferaw

    Shiferaw was here temporarily to earn an economics degree at San Francisco State University before returning home to work in public service.

    Political unrest in his native country, however, drastically changed Shiferaw’s plans while he was still a Bay Area student. A Marxist junta overthrew the Ethiopian government in 1974, which made it unsafe for Shiferaw to return to his birthplace.

    “I didn’t plan to stay in the states,” Shiferaw, 56, explained this week, before quickly adding, “But this is my home.”

    Over the past 22 years, Shiferaw has made quite a name for himself in San Francisco as the owner of Rasselas Jazz Club, which offers live music and Ethiopian cuisine seven nights a week.

    So much so, in fact, that Shiferaw will receive the San Francisco Housing Development Corporation’s Geraldine Johnson award that recognizes a business leader in re-establishing the Fillmorejazz district.

    “Geraldine Johnson was our founder and one of the people who was part of the task force and had a vision for re-establishing the Fillmore back in the 70s,” said Regina Davis, the housing development agency’s executive directory. “Agonafer is a business leader on a historic street and his work goes beyond the everyday responsibility of running a business. He’s building community.”

    Sheferaw will receive his award at the private-nonprofit agency’s Thursday gala that celebrates the Fillmore District’s re-emergence, Davis said, and honors the agency’s 20-year effort to help minorities and low-income families achieve financial stability through owning a home.

    Founding the first Rasselas on California and Divisadero streets in 1986, Shiferaw opened another Rasselas at 1534 Fillmore Street in 1999 when, he explained, the city’s redevelopment agency invited him to participate in revitalizing the lower Fillmore area. The first club remained in business until four years ago.

    Shiferaw’s priority now is to restore the lower Fillmore as the place in San Francisco to hear jazz on a nightly basis, through a collaborative effort with other clubs on or near Fillmore Street, such as Sheba Piano Lounge, Yoshi’s and 1300 on Fillmore.

    “We still have a long way to go,” Shiferaw said. “We need to identify, brand this area, increase the level of restaurants and nightclubs, and change the perception people have of the lower Fillmore that anything lower than Geary is not safe,”

    Shiferaw is confident his Western Addition neighborhood will once again become a musical destination point, not just regionally, but internationally.

    “Fillmore Street is quite safe. All kinds of people come to Rasselas, young and old, black, while, Asian, Spanish. It’s very diverse, very electric, very comfortable,” he adds.

    While Shiferaw and his peers have, by his own admission, plenty of work to do before his priority is realized, they are making great progress.

    And for February, Shiferaw has his own special recognition for his neighborhood.

    “For Black History Month in 2008, I’m declaring the lower Fillmore as the Republic of Jazz,” he said.
    He even Brought Netsanet Alemayehu and her sister Israel Hurdofa from Ethiopia and gave them an opportunity to open a lounge next to his club.Netsanet was deported but made it back after Agonafer decided to sponsor her and her sis ter Israel Hurdofa. There’s a stack of seven large suitcases in the corner of Netsanet Alemayehu’s San Francisco living room. Some sit empty, dusted with bright remnants of Ethiopian oregano and mitmita, a combination of African bird’s-eye chile and cardamom. Others are so heavy, Alemayehu can barely lift them, full of fresh spices and sauce bases shipped from her family members in Harar, Ethiopia, the town where she was born.

    Most Ethiopian restaurants source indigenous ingredients from markets in Oakland. Netsanet Alemayehu, who, with her sister Israel Hurdofaowns Sheba Piano Lounge in San Francisco’s Lower Fillmore neighborhood, goes through the more costly, laborious process of sourcing as much as possible directly from her homeland so that she can create what she believes to be the correct flavors.

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