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Total despair

I have written previously about the Swedish cardiologist Fikru Maru who is detained in Ethiopia. After awaiting trial for three and an half years, he developed a spontaneous pneumothorax that failed to heal with conservative treatment. To speed up his release, he declined the right to defend himself against the ridiculous charges and accepted a guilty verdict. A month ago he was sentenced to 4 years and 8 months, which we thought meant he would be released, since he had already served two thirds of that time. But instead the whole situation has now taken a turn for the worse.

Today we learned that Fikru will be prosecuted as a terrorist. The allegations are absurd and I hesitate to describe them in writing, not really believing this myself.

The morning after Fikru was taken from prison to hospital for treatment of his pneumothorax, protests at the prison developed into a riot. Fire broke out and 23 prisoners died under shady circumstances. According to some reports the deceased had been beaten and even shot. Now 38 prisoners are being prosecuted for involvement in the riots and Firku is one of them.

Of course Fikru wasn’t at the prison when it all started, but the that was only because he had deliberately eaten so much chocolate that his blood pressure increased to such an extent that he developed a pneumothorax, according to the allegations. He is now being accused of encouraging and even sponsoring the protests financially.

The nightmare that was supposed to end now just started all over at a higher level. There is no solution in sight. None.

 

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