Kality – Testimonials from Prisoners of Conscience

2nd April 2017  By Caalaa Hayiluu Abaataa

Many untold stories of journalists, poets, writers, bloggers and other political activists in Ethiopia are silenced – a fact highly unknown to the world.  This is going to change. The stories are getting prepared to be a theater – on stages around Sweden from April 4. 

These are the stories of victims who have been jailed and physically and mentally tortured. It is the stories by people who are still in the prison as well as of those who were forced to flee their beloved country and now live in exile; those who are ‘free’ but still find themselves under security surveillance in the Ethiopia. 

These stories are not only about the Ethiopians, but includes the stories of the Swedish journalists who were arrested in Ethiopia and who experienced what it means to be persecuted there. Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson, prominent journalists, wrote the book 438 days and have participated in sharing their stories. 

The theater intends to be a voice for the voiceless in Ethiopian custodians as well as of those in exile. It aims to spread awareness to independent human rights organizations, policy makers and the people in general to make a pressure on the Ethiopian regime, the Tigrayan People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front.

Tens of thousands of people have been suffering in prisons. This was unknown to the rest of the world, and even to Ethiopians who have never been in these prisons. It is time to get awareness and examine how many thousands of people; our brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers are suffering in Ethiopian concentrations camps – grayzones where people are killed and tortured, where people are being disabled or becomes at risk for serious psychological consequences.

I would like to thank Martin Schibbye, a man of his word, who keeps his promise for those who are still behind bars. When Martin was released, a prisoner asked him  “Please, promise us to tell the world what you have seen here in this prison”. Martin Schibbye, you are not only a journalist, but a freedom fighter, a voice of voiceless and the man of your word!

Let us attend this theater – and become aware of what is going on in Ethiopia. Let us become aware of how the freedom and human rights are violated by the regime. Let us become aware of how poets, writers, journalists and bloggers are a threat to the dictator for writing, exposing and standing for justice and fighting injustice. Let us become aware of the life of prisoners in the Ethiopian prisons. 

Opening night for “Kality: Vittnesmål från samvetsfångar” is at Södra teatern, Stockholm, on April 4:th.

The play will be performed on more than 17 stages around Sweden, by different readers:

4 Stockholm, Camilla Kvartoft
5 Stockholm, Palmira Koukkari Mbenga
7 Skövde, Petra Lundgren
8 Uddevalla, Susanne Nobel
10 Göteborg, Camilla Astorga Diaz
11 Falkenberg, Håkan Bergström
19 Ängelholm, Lotta Venhagen
20 Lund, Fredrik Önnevall
21 Växjö, Niklas Sjögren
22 Kalmar, Anders Blank
23 Norrköping, Mats Willner
25 Linköping, Ivana Vukadinovic
26 Lindesberg, Mattias Frödén
27 Karlstad, Annika Ström
28 Säffle, Solveig Voyce
29 Enköping, Bengt Johansson

2 Bollnäs, Leif Eriksson
5 Umeå, Ola Nordebo

More information is available here: http://sodrateatern.com/kality-med-martin-schibbye/



Caalaa Hayiluu Abaataa
Caalaa Hayiluu is an Oromo author and poet. He has published two books in Afaan Oromo.

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