Friday, May 04, 2007

The limits of free speech

Andrew Heavens summarized the debate regarding the frontiers of free speech which was sparked following the Ethiopian review's shocking comment, applauding the acts of ONLF. Obviously, that kind of speech is even graver than shouting fire in a cinema hall. Andrew Heaven's summary would have been more complete if he had included another recent writing by Samuel Gebru, a stomach-churning article which unashamedly apologized for war crimes.

There is no doubt that the Meles administration will seize this opportunity to justify its cyber-censorship; and I feel that by integrating the issue of censorship with the limits of free speech in one post without cautioning against the urge to linking them, Mr. Heavens has unintentionally lent credence to that justification.

I have made my article of faith clear before. Excesses in free speech can only be diluted by "more speech not enforced silence". And there is no more proof to that than the reaction of shocked bloggers to ER's comment. After all, most of those bloggers were very critical of the government, and would in most other issues found themselves with ER than Aigaforum.


Anonymous said...

EZ, I respect your view. However, I don’t think this helps the struggle against tyranny. By the way, I thought you don’t allow derogatory words on your site.

To Woyanne Diaspora reps: FYI, Elias is a true son of Ethiopia. Look what type words the Dedebit cadres are using. The Dedebit cadres are paid by Meles regime to destruct the Diaspora struggle. Nice try..

Anonymous said...

Thanks EZ !!!

There seems to be a growing divergence of policy between the Bush administration and European Union in the Horn of Africa. EU seems to embrace the Eritrean regime while the Bush administration is sticking with Weyane. Despite pressure from the Bush administration, EU seems to distance itself from the Ethiopian regime after the May 2005 election. The regime in Addis is doing everything to get back the cash flow from EU but EU refused to do so. What will be the fate of the regime in Addis when Bush leaves office? The Democrates in Congress are likely to follow EU's stand on the regime in Addis Ababa. In collabration with the Bush administration, the regime in Addis foiled EU's attempt to reconcile different Somali groups last year. Is our region heading to be a battlegroud for different political forces? Your input on this issue will be very important.

Here is the article from Rueters:

EU embraces Eritrea in search for Horn peace

Anonymous said...

Could it be that Eritrea is the source of the problem in HORN? So one must understand the problem to reslove it. Eritrea is the problem of the HORN therefore it must be dealt accordingly. As to Freedome of SPEECH, it comes with Responsbility!

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work!
Although Elias has a history of looking at things emotionally he is a true son of Ethiopia. And he is always right on the things he write about the TPLF. Unintentionally Elias has brought or grossly contributed for the current internal conflict among the diaspora Kinijit movement. In 2005 he sided with Lidetu Ayalew and cried for the suspension of Berhanu Nega from the CUD.

The ONLF is wrong to kill the foreigners and innocent Ethiopians to advance its agenda. Period. But you have to look at what the TPLF is doing. Killing the innocents and a country which is a far more horable crime than the ONLF is commiting.

gud said...

dspair! E_Z where is your standard?? are you selective? i hope you will publish my disappointment

how could you publish such degrading and dehumanising posts

ZERIHUN said...

ET Zagol,
I can't add anything more than what others have said about your good deeds. You have been a wonderful addition to the ethio blog scene. You are very well connected in terms of your sources ans, i might add, very up to date. Lately though, your targets have not been tplf or the regime but, people ...all types of people. I know this is your blog you may write whatever you want and whenever you want. The increase in the comments section you are seeing recently is excactly because of that. And that is only temporary. You will eventually lose your usefulness if you continue to write about people that has got no direct or indirect impact on the situation in Ethiopia.
Please go back to your old self! 'Ishi, yenie Quonjo

Anonymous said...

E.Z please, keep this forum in order,I am not against any one expressing his /her opinion.However,time and again we continue to see,an atttempt being made,to keep this forum as diversion.We should not permit this ,nor, we need to continue to listen disparaging statements about one of the vocal Pm.Meleses critic.He is a national hero ;he need to be left alone.Further more, T.P.L.F continue to indoctrinate its cadres based on its ethnic, and ideological world view;the adherents of the Marxist Tigray stubbornlly refuse to make the required transition;from tplf ethno-centrist world view to that of Ethiopian world view:this was not an accedent,but well designed and purposeflly executed plan. Neverthless, they remained wrapped up in their past.Is there ,then, any surprise to see the cadres often frame an argument based on their ethnic concepet and attempt to make great effort to impose it upon Ethiopians.When they are challenged with arguments based on Ethiopian world view ;they can not find firm ground,they will soon retreat and hide in their cloak of lies.This two habits need to be discouraged ,at least in this forum:profanity,abusive words,and argument based on falacies and lies. Many thanks and
You take care

Anonymous said...

Very interesting article:

Anonymous said...

aigaforum is going crazy kkkkk because EU is dumping them and embracing Eritrean regime as a key player in the Horn of Africa. It is a payback time for rigging the election and the adventure in Somalia. We will see what is going to happen to them when thier only remaining and increasingly isolated ally, Bush and CO leave office.

Anonymous said...

wasn't clinton also supporting woyane anyway?? it hasn't been about adminstration. the whole strategy of american leaders makes them side with woyane.
bush leaving office will not change this.
anyway by that time the somalia and hailu shawel issue will be long forgotten.

Anonymous said...

The above anonymous- Not only Clinton but the whole world supported weyane believing what they talk. After the 2005 election Tplf is UNMASKED. Due to thier bizarre outlook towards fighting terorrism, Tplf managed to mislead some Bush admin. officials regarding Somalia. So only Bush and Co. are behind Tplf at this moment in history. The democrats in Congress are fully behind HR2003. When Bush and CO. leave office, Tplf will be history.

Anonymous said...

i don't TPLF cares about leaving power anyway..meles zenawi's term ends after 2 years.

Anonymous said...


I admire your work and the actuality of your news.

Good job!!

I have a minor comment.
The link is invalid. I guess it is supposed to be


ET | Boston

Anonymous said...

Wayane days are numberd

Anonymous said...

Assuming Woyane leaves Ethiopia, which CUD party takes power? This question is what scares me the most. After witnessing how some people in the opposition camp act or react it had made rethink about the whole oppostion camp. As to Elias, he singly destroyed CUD in the name of dealing blows to TPLF regime. Also Many of his stories were unsubstantiated and even made up (The Helicopter in Somalia comes to mind). That is not FREE SPEECH, but PURE LIE. And his accustary tone to anyone who doesn't agree with his outlook is scary too. the other thing that scares me the most is in the opposition camp one cannot be liberal enough to critic the Party. The instant one person critic the opposition party, then he is called Woyane. This is a very bad culture in the oppoisition, and that is exactly why we have so many CUDs and many opposition parties. It is my WAY all the time!

Anonymous said...

Elias kifle is one of the most strong patriots of Ethiopia. He is #1 nightmare to Woyane. Go..Elias ..go on!

Anonymous said...


These days, you are bypassing the scope of your opoosition-to the extent of "criticizing" the democratice forces fighting the tyranny. Yesterday on AFD, and today on Ato Elias.You should be told that enough is enough. If you are doing this to escape woyanie's blockage of your blog, we may tell you that we may reach on the stage where we no more need it. Stop the demoralising and irresponsible "critisism" and target the woyanie mouthpieces aigaforum and Hagerfikir, if you have the gut to do so.

Anonymous said...


I think sometimes EZ looses its control and aids TPLF CC MEMBERS to continue their raping of MOTHER ETHIOPIA. Elias Kifle is a noble man doing noble things on behalf of Ethiopians. Recently, TPLF in collaboration with Alamodi (The Terrorist) tried to intimidate him of mentioning Allamoudi's mining in the ONLF recent operation. ONLF is a political wing that existed long before TPLF came to power, they had a chance to work with this and other Ethiopian political wings to settle differences. But TPLF chose to ignore and that resulted in many deaths. Its not Elias' fault what ONLF has done, lets not forget TPLF has recently MURDERED ~650 INNOCENT REAL-ETHIOPIAN protesters asking for accountability. Lets not forget that TPLF laos killed 78 Innocent protesters immediately after the 2005 NATIONAL election.

When EZ talks about what Elias said or not makes TPLF look like a pack of angels fighting dangerous terrorists in Somalia and elsewhere in Ethiopia, this is wrong. SAMUEL GEBRU (the other midget) from TPLF camp cannot be mentioned in the same line with Elias, Samuel Gebru is a fanatic TPLF while Elias Kifle is doing a favor to the Oppressed Ethiopian masses by revealing what TPLF does and what it is capeable of doing to harm Real-Ethiopians.

Its like comparing Mengistu the Nationalist and Meles the Ethnocentric Fascist, it is not possible. Meles has to be compared with Hitler while, TPLF = NAZI! So, personally I wouldn't want to see Elias campared to SAMUEL GEBRU. Much like I wouldn't wanna see Mengistu Haile Mariam compared to Meles Zenawi, they are both different figures and they harm Ethiopia in different ways, Mengistu and Derg wounded Ethiopia while Meles and TPLF MURDERED INNOCENT ETHIOPIANS and KILLED MOTHER ETHIOPIA. Mengistu and Derg cleared many young charged on Red-Terror, and killed many as well. BUT MELES AND TPLF KILLED INNOCENT ETHIOPIANS FROM ROOFTOPS AND IN SOME CASES THEY KILLED BY AIMING INTO PEOPLE'S FENSE, so don't even like to see comparison between Meles "FASCIST" Zenawi and Mengistu "nationalist" hailemariam.

Wolloyew said...

I think both of you Ethio-Zagol and Andrew Heavens are falling into the same sort of faulty logic the intellectually incurious zombie Lidetu Ayalew regularly employs. If you believe in the fundamental principles of democratic societies, you must be capable of swallowing such provocative pronouncement. By the way, have you ever heard of Bavarian Illuminati or ever read the Illuminatus trilogy written by the two Roberts? Imagine! Elias Kifle as Illuminatus Primus is in a conspiracy with the Ethiopian armed groups to destroy the Woyane tyranny and the notorious Arabian tick. By and large, I , Wolloyew, am grateful to those Ethiopian bloggers like Elias Kifle who speak the truth to power; it is thankless and difficult but vital work.

Anonymous said...

The death of Anthony Mitchell is a very sad news. He was in the kenyan airways from camerun to Nirobi.

May God rest his soul in pease.

Anonymous said...


Les Neuhaus said...

Anthony Mitchell made me a better reporter, whether or not you noticed it EZ. If it is true that he is gone, it is a severe blow to journalism in Africa, and the world at large. He perfected his craft in Ethiopia and Ethiopians should be proud of his contribution to news reporting from that troubled country. It is a blow to me as I read this heavy, heavy news. He was very hard on me as a supervisor and I thanked him for it.

mariam said...

My hope is that it is not true. We Ethiopians need Anthony Mitchell to keep on reporting about us and Africa.Woyane declared him to be persona non grat because he was telling the truth, something the regime is not familiar with.

Anonymous said...

Antony Mitchell's death will create a huge void to Journalism in Africa -Horn. If it is true, he will be missed very much. He was a brave journalist who was willing to take risk and use his profession to help us fill with credible information. I suspect WOYANE on this plane crash. Woyane is the only one tht has so much to gain from a death of a renouned journalist.

Anonymous said...

I hope the news about Antony Mitchell's is wrong

Anonymous said...

May 5, 2007 Saturday


Text of report by Ethiopian TV on 5 May

[Presenter] The minister of information has said that the statement issued yesterday by opposition parties on the current situation in Somalia and the cold blooded massacre of Ethiopians and Chinese citizens in the Somali State [southeastern Ethiopia] puts the country's national interest in danger.

The minister called on the people to be vigilant and continue to curb anti-development and terrorist attacks in the country. Sintayehu Terefe has the details.

[Sintayehu] It is to be recalled that, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy [CUD], the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces [UEDF] and the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement [OFDM], led by Mr Temesgen Zewde, yesterday issued a joint statement on the current situation in Somalia and the recent brutal murder of Ethiopians and Chinese citizens in the Somali State.

At a press conference today, the minister of information, Mr Berhan Hailu, said that the stand taken by the opposition parties claiming that the Ethiopian government was interfering with the internal affairs of Somalia is to be condemned strongly. He went on to say that as long as the threats posed by the terrorist forces put the existence of Ethiopia in danger, the measures taken by the Ethiopian government in regards to the Somali terrorist forces could not be considered as interference in the internal affairs of Somalia. The action was taken after parliament approved it with a majority and was in line with international conventions and laws.

[Berhan] The Ethiopian National Defence Forces have not interfered with the internal affairs of Somalia. The [military] action was taken since there was a threat posed against Ethiopia; the action was proportionate and taken to thwart this danger so as to bring it to a level whereby it no longer threatened our country.

[Sintayehu] The minister went on to say that the Ethiopian government gave its support to efforts to bring about lasting peace in Somalia following a request by the internationally recognized Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, and it was possible to end the war with a victory because of the support accorded by the majority of the Somali people, which showed that it was against the notion that Ethiopia was interfering in the internal affairs of Somalia.

The minister added that the stand taken by the parties during the recent brutal murder of innocent Ethiopians and Chinese citizens in the Somali State and their lack of condemnation of this act opposed the country's national interests and showed that they were not willing to condemn the sha'biyyah's [Eritrean government] terror web that stretches from Asmara to Mogadishu.

[Berhan] They are not willing to condemn this web of destruction; and there is no sign that one or more of these parties are willing to dissociate themselves from these forces [Eritreans].

[Sintayehu] On the issue raised by the opposition that Ethiopia had increased the number of its defence forces in Somalia, the minister said that as long as Ethiopia was not safe from the threats posed by Somali terrorist forces, [military] action would be taken without any qualms. He noted that the government had at several occasions made its stand on the issue clear.

[Berhan] While on the one hand we hope to take this issue to a stage whereby there are no more threats to Ethiopia's existence, the government has made it clear that if there is a situation that threatens our country even after pulling out, our forces could be ordered to go back to Somalia and take fresh action.

Source: Ethiopian TV, Addis Ababa, in Amharic 1700 gmt 5 May 07

BBC Monitoring
Copyright 2007 Financial Times Information
All Rights Reserved
Global News Wire - Asia Africa Intelligence Wire
Copyright 2007 BBC Monitoring/BBC Source: Financial Times Information Limited
BBC Monitoring International Reports

Anonymous said...

I think woyane cadres have found Ez solely.they start to vomit their rubbish stuff again.
Ethiozagol keep on your extraordinary mission.