Persson & Schibbye – the making of heroes

Two swedish freelance journalistsJohan Persson and Martin Schibbye – have been found guilty of supporting terrorism by an Ethiopian court and been sentenced to 11 years in prison.

tough and long sentence for admitted illegal entry in the country with journalistic missions in minds.

A tragic sentence to Persson and Schibbye who heroically risk their lives searching for evidences and versions of events about a specific Swedish company’s oil exploration in Ethiopian’s Somali region.

Their captured six months ago have not only became a consular and juridical matters but also have given focus to Sweden’s national political interests. Ironically, the present Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was a part of the research on which the two journalists were intending to conduct. FM Carl Bildt was a member of the board of the company at Lundin Petroleum between 2000 – 2006, the period before he was appointed as a foreign minister.

If Sweden’s foreign minister’s involvement on a company’s oil exploration in Ethiopia has indirectly affected the sentence (from the Ethiopian’s point of view) is a legitimate question. And if FM Carl Bildt alleged passiveness on the case has something to do with his earlier position on Lundin Petroleum is also a relevant one.

Today’s modern civilised world should acknowledge more of journalism and free press. From west to east. From north to south. Despite the continent. Despite the country’s wealth or unwealth.

When journalists are being discouraged from reporting and research of untold and unwritten stories from prohibited places, who will then provide the world of facts and truths?

When journalists are being legally discouraged from such heroical deeds what message of wisdom shall we leave in legacy to our children and grandchildren?

The human species is always in search for progress and of better life here on earth. The world history must be written, remembered and be told.

All of us, despite nationality, religion, race,  age and gender must share responsibilities and play an important role in this global progress. Side by side with effective and fairly world leaderships.

Is there hope?

Or is the only way to rely on God?

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On the record: The above blog post was sent to PM Meles Zenawi: