A single party (Front), known as the TPLF has been fully in control of the country since 1991 after seizing power by violent means. In the last 26 years of its repressive rule, the TPLF regime has never been willing to create a conducive atmosphere for fruitful engagement and a genuine political dialogue with all stakeholders in the country. This blog is mainly focused on raising awareness, driving change and creating impact for the realization of a genuine multiparty democracy in Ethiopia.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
UPDATE: FBI foils assassination plot against Ethiopian journalist
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Voice—The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has foiled a plot to shoot and
kill Ethiopian journalist Abebe Gellaw in Boston, Massachusetts.
The plot was allegedly orchestrated by a man named Guesh Abera, a
Boston resident and parking lot attendant in
his mid-thirties. Guesh and his three accomplices, who are suspected of
being spies and fanatic members of the tyrannical regime in Ethiopia, were
determined to “eliminate” the journalist and press freedom activist, sources
Abebe traveled to Boston last month to attend a fundraiser for the
Ethiopian Satellite TV and Radio. The suspects had planned to shoot him during
According to the sources, four Boston residents suspected of being agents of
the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, an ethnic-based rebel group that has
brutally ruled Ethiopia for the last 21 years, had taken steps to execute the
journalist. Guesh, the ringleader of gang, was reportedly communicating with
his accomplices using a fake Facebook account (Hailemarim Desalegn) and emails.
FBI agents reportedly intercepted some of the exchanges detailing the plot. in
Special Agent Greg Comcowich, a spokesperson for FBI Boston branch,
declined to give details of the investigation but emphasized that the agency
will take seriously any criminal activities that violate not only the civil
rights of individuals but also the constitution of the United States.
“Anybody who threatens people’s lives because of their political views
or attempt to usurp one’s constitutionally protected First Amendment rights
will be dealt with appropriately. That is not the way America works,” he said.
He further noted that the FBI takes allegations of being agents of a
foreign government to attack or spy on anyone very seriously. He encouraged
Ethiopians with such information to contact their local FBI branches.
The plot was foiled in the bud as FBI special agents had uncovered the
plot in time and took measures to prevent the would-be assassins from executing
their plot, according a source, who wants to remain anonymous due to the
sensitivity of the matter.
A fortnight ago, FBI agents raided a Roxberry house where the
ringleader of the plot shares with four other people. Agents also went to the
workplaces of two of the residents. An Ethiopian who knows Guesh Abera said
that he worshiped the late Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi. He was also very
upset with Abebe Gellaw’s dramatic protest against the former PM at such a high
President of Genocide Watch, Prof. Gregory Stanton, praised the FBI
agents who foiled the plot and commended the agency for being strong and very
reliable defender of civil rights. Prof. Gregory, who famously brought
perpetrators of mass atrocities in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge and also
investigated mass atrocities in Ethiopia, said that the TPLF is a terrorist
organization that should be labeled as such by the United States.
“The Justice Department has never declared the TPLF a terrorist
organization the way it should. But it is clearly the arm of a criminal
government. The FBI needs to be aware of this reality and any threats by the
TPLF needs to be reported to the FBI,” he said.
Journalist Abebe Gellaw says that since he confronted the late dictator
Meles Zenawi at the G8 Food Security Symposium last May in Washington DC, he
has received hundreds of death threats through various ways including Facebook,
which is also being misused as a means of organizing crimes.
“It is unbelievable that I have faced persecution by the very people
that forced me into exile. I very well know the risks of reporting and speaking
truth to power. I am happy to sacrifice my life for the right cause. I will
continue to do whatever it takes to make a difference and bring the truth out
as much as possible.”
Last July Abebe, along with 10 other prominent Ethiopian journalists
and two Swedish journalists, was convicted of being a “terrorist”. He was
sentenced in absentia to 15 years in jail journalistic work and his roles in
ESAT, a rising media powerhouse that seems to terrify the Ethiopian government.
The government constantly jams transmissions of ESAT and the Voice of America
“We surely know that the Ethiopian government is allergic to the truth.
Those of us that are in the business of reporting and writing on so many
sensitive issues such as gross human rights violations will continue to spread
the truth as widely as possible. That is our mission. If this costs my life, I
will happily pay the ultimate price,” Abebe said.
Abebe was voted Ethiopian Man of the Year 2012 by listeners and viewers
of the Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) and radio across the world on