The Swedish journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson was shot and arrested when attempting to illegally enter the Ogaden region of Ethiopia to report on conditions there. For four days, they were kept in the desert where they were forced to participate in a film that would be used as evidence against them. The interrogations were harsh and they suffered, among other things, a mock execution. They eventually sentenced by an Ethiopian court to eleven years in prison but was released after just over a year ago they asked the government for clemency.

Abdullahi Hussein was the regional president’s adviser and head of the Ogaden TV channel Cakaara News. He had responded to the abuses and atrocities against civilians and for a few years he copied the president’s secret video files. Files included the internal meetings where individual officers and soldiers in the regional militia testify arbitrary arrests, torture, murder, extortion and rape.Abdullahi Hussein planned to escape from Ogaden and share its evidence to the international media and human rights organizations.

Abdullahi was with the president when John and Martin were arrested and he was able to follow the course of events in the desert from the “other side”. When he got the film material from the desert in his hand, he decided that it was time to leave the Ogaden.

In the documentary film Dictatorship prisoners, directed by Andreas Rocksén , gives John, Martin and Abdullahi a frightening picture of the Ogaden, a region that has become increasingly attractive for international oil and mineral companies, among them the Swedish Lundin Group.

Broadcast time: 
TBD date in October.

Source: SVT TV Sweden




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