Temesgen Desalegn Spends His Birthday in Jail

5th April 2016  By Melody Sundberg


Temesgen Desalegn. Photo by Araya Getachew. Used with permission.

To celebrate a birthday is to be together with family and friends. It is a day of joy and happiness, a day when people come together to remind eachother of how much they care for their loved one. This, at least, is how it should be.

Today is Temesgen Desalegn’s birthday. But he is deprived of the joy of this special day. The reason is that he is in prison.

But Temesgen is not a criminal. He is a human rights defender and a journalist. And that is the exact reason why he is deprived of the joy of spending this special day together with his loved ones. Temesgen is a freethinking individual. But in Ethiopia, freethinkers are jailed.

It is a great sadness that Temesgen is jailed. But these last days has given me hope. Temesgen’s picture, name and fate has been shared and talked about countless times in social media. That creates awareness. Awareness creates discussion. That is hopeful. We need to make sure that we never forget about the journalists who are jailed. Celebrating and remembering their birthdays is a great way of doing that.

This day, we will make as many people as possible aware of that Temesgen Desalegn is wrongfully jailed.  This day, more than ever, we will demand the freedom of him and others.

This day, we will make Temesgen feel that he is not forgotten.






Melody Sundberg
Project manager of Untold Stories. Photographer and artist. Educated in Psychology.

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