August 18, 2011

Jailed Swedes to stay in Ethiopian custody

Filed under: Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 8:35 am
Tags: , , ,

Two Swedish reporters who have been jailed in Ethiopia will remain in custody for another 28 days pending further police investigation, the Swedish foreign ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Jailed Swedes ‘hopeful’ of swift release (22 Jul 11)
Swedish journalists faced Ethiopian court: ministry (14 Jul 11)
Video released of Swedes jailed in Ethiopia (11 Jul 11)

“We can confirm that the court granted police another 28 days to investigate the case,” said head of foreign ministry information department, Anders Jörle, to The Local.

The journalists, Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson, were arrested and injured in the closed border area Ogaden, on July 1st, when caught in a battle between Ethiopian government forces and the ONLF guerrilla.

They have been held in an Ethiopian prison since the beginning of July.

Following the pair’s arrest, Sweden has refrained from open criticism of Ethiopia. Considering the sensitive situation, it is thought that critical comments may cause more harm than doing good.

Several journalists’ organisations have lodged complaints against the Swedes’ situation.

The Swedish Union of Journalists (Svenska journalistförbundet – SJF) and Swedish Union of Photographers (Svenska Fotografers Förbund) have demanded their release.

The United States-based international journalist organisation CPJ, and Reporters without Borders have also made similar demands.

But on Wednesday it was decided the two reporters should yet again be remanded in custody for another 28 days, pending the ongoing preliminary police investigation against them.

According to Jörle of the ministry, the Swedish ambassador to Ethiopia, Jens Odlander, still is granted access to see the two reporters on a regular basis and visits them once a week.

“Under the circumstances they are in good spirits,” he told The Local,

Rebecca Martin (


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