29th January 2005
Yesterday two Swedish journalists were found guilty in Ethiopian courts after it found them complicit in terrorism. They were captured by the Ethiopian military after a raid on the Ogaden National Liberation Front, which then promptly moved to raise charges that they were complicit in 'terrorism'. The Swedish government and its body representing journalists have reacted to the case, though the former apparently less aggressively. The 'crime' can go up to 16 years though it'll probably not go to that.
You can read more here.
There has been speculation about the current Swedish foreign minister's connections to an oil firm, Lundin Petroleum, which is believed to have exacerbated tensions in nations such as Sudan and Ethiopia, though the oil firm naturally denies this and writes it off as inaccurate information and fabrications. With regards to Ethiopia it is believed to have 'aided' in some form the governments' crackdown on Ogaden groups and helped with media connections to push it to obscurity or write it off as a routine terrorist situation.
The Ogaden region has been a source of consternation for Ethiopia during the time of the Derg and was the source of wars between itself and Somalia. Since then the Ethiopian government has largely taken a combative role towards Ogaden there which adds to this problem.
I suppose it is an interesting case in that it highlights the problems I think with basing crimes of this nature on journalists who are only doing their work and trying to get the word out. Ideally a journalist tries to get information from all sides, but we often know that either due to the positions of the station or pressures placed on them by their respective governments (or governments in countries they operate within), this does not happen.