Zone Light

August 2, 2014 marks the 100th day since the illegal detention and jailing of 6 members of zone9 blogging collective and three dissident journalists. 
It was on April 25th night that the news of their arrest and illegal detention at Ethiopia’s notorious crime investigation center, Makelawi, broke out. Since their detention they were subject to sheer deprivation of their constitutional rights including despicable mistreatment and torture.

Today, they are languishing in prison branded with the tag of charged terrorist by the Ethiopian dictatorial regime.
The news of their arbitrary detention was followed by profoundly outraged global condemnation and call for their immediate release and respect of their constitutional rights.

As the count up continues, the Ethiopian Social Media sociopolitical discourse crowed relentlessly engaged in paying tribute to the life and works zone9ners and the three independent journalists.

It is in such similar manner and spirit that we intend to commemorate the 100 days of imprisonment and injustice by gathering together and standing in solidarity for #900CandlesOfDevotion candle night vigil that will be held in DC at MLK memorial park on Saturday August 2, 2014, starting 7pm.

The 900CandlesOfDevotion Candle night vigil will be a moment to pause and remember being filled with an overwhelming feeling of their loving memory and profound gratitude of their enduring contribution, conviction and strength. 

The event will also be held under the motto of #ZoneLight.

Zone9 is an allegory that we borrowed from the name of blogging collective, zone 9, as they ingeniously named it to represent the largest open prison without wall, the current land and people of Ethiopia prey of the repressive and dictatorial regime.

Hence, we here by kindly invite you all to join us and stand together in solidarity and spread the spirit of love, hope and perseverance to the victims and families of the prisoners of conscience.


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Campaign Wrap-Up Thank you Note

The #In90Words online campaign marking the 90th day of the illegal and inhuman detention of Zone 9ers and three journalists was just a small peak point in the long continuous spontaneous line of campaign waged by many of us. The organizers would like to thank each and every one of you for sharing your personal stories as it relates to those fine young men and women of Ethiopia.

The ultimate purpose of this and upcoming campaigns is to exert maximum weight on the center of the arch of justice so that it bends towards justice sooner than later.

There hundreds of you engaged offline by supporting and comforting the families of these prisoners of conscience.  Some of you are financially subsidizing the homes broken apart because these guys were breadwinners for their families. Others have taken the issue to international rights organizations. And some of you are just doing it in ways we haven’t recognized yet. Kudos to all of us!

As we to tell their stories, post their pictures, and put our tweets we are reminding people in Ethiopia and elsewhere of the continued injustice in Ethiopia. Social media has now more reach than the barely existent independent traditional media in country. More people know about Zone 9ers than before. Tesfalem is fast becoming a household name. People are recognizing the ever increasing active roles women like Edom and Mahi are playing in the public sphere.

Some has rightly raised concern that thousands of other nameless prisoners of conscience have been given less attention. The organizers Kassahun Addis, Kirubel Teshome, Emmii Solomon are cognizant of that fact and want to assure you that Zone 9ers are mere poster children of the conditions [of lack of justice, equality, and freedom] of our country.

Once again, thank you for your continued participation.  Let us close our campaign with tribute to Abraha Desta who is currently unlawfully imprisoned in Maekelawi.

90 days in prison just because they care!

Day 90

#FreeAsmamaw #FreeEdom #FreeTesfalem #Freezone9bloggers #Ethiopia


By Melody Sundberg

#‎in90words‬ ‪#‎FreeZone9bloggers‬ By Emebet S Bekele

I don’t know any of you personally but here is what I have learned about you thru your blogging: You are all fearless and dedicated to the rule of law. You have sacrificed your wellbeing to expose tyranny and fight against it. I have read your love for your country and people; your relentless pursuit for justice has inspired many. Your grace under fire, your strong spirit and unwavering stance for truth have sparked a flame of social awakening that can never be extinguished. Stand tall heroes, I salute you!

By Fitsum Tilahun

90 days since this young, ,brilliant and concerned exemplary youth detained, for no reason .....ፍትሕ ኢትዮጵያዊ ውስጥ እሪ ብላ ትጮኃለች። እኝህ የሰላም እና የሚዛናዊነት አርበኞች ፣ ስለ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ትግሉ ብቻ ሳይሆን በብዙ መልኩ እራሴን መለስ ብዬ እንዳይ ያረጉኝ ፈርጦች ነበሩ። ብዙ እናንተን መቼ ባየሁ ስል ትንሿን ብርሀናችንን አዳፈኗት ፣ ግን አልጠፋንም ፣ ይህ ያበረታናል!
Zola made me check everything I post coz ..u always come up with research, well read ..and always made me feel that lazy student in the back of the room much i wish to see you out here ....among all this hatred field political,Historical .....discussion we were the sound of reason ....I missed you.
Nati ....passionate, loving guy .....deeply informed.....always love his commments on the Economy ...and never shy away from his believes proud of you ....and seeing u smile under the cuff ...U R MY HERO...and for some reason i feel like u really are my brother ....stay safe ..and I can't wait for you to meet your love.....
You all have made me more strong.
You have started a big motion already ...what you have started is bigger than us all now.
It's bound to change.

NB.sorry Emmy I didn't make it under 90 words.

“ስለ ሀገራችን ጉዳይ ያገባናል” By Dereje Habtewold

“ስለ ሀገራችን ጉዳይ ያገባናል” በማለታችሁ መታሰራችሁ የሚያመለክተን ነገር ቢኖር፤ አገዛዙ ደንታ- ቢስ ትውልድ ለመፍጠር የተያያዘ ውን የጥፋት ጎዳና ስፋት ነው። “ህገ-መንግስቱ ይከበር!” በማለታችሁ መታሰራችሁ የሚነግረን ሀቅ ቢኖር፣ህግ- መሳሪያችንና የበቀል ዱላችን ሆኖ ይቀጥላል የሚለውን የሹመኞቹን ያልተገራ የፈላጭ ቆራጭነት ምኞት ጥልቀት ነው። “ኑ ኢትዮጵያዊ ህልም እናልም!” በማለታችሁ መታሰራችሁ ፍንትው አድርጎ ያሳየን እውነታ ቢኖር፣ የታሪክ አጋጣሚ በዚች ታላቅ ሀገር ወንበር ላይ ያስቀመጣቸው ስዎች የሰጠሙበትን የጎጠኝነት ኩሬ ርቀት ነው።
በአጠቃላይ መታሰራችሁ ያስረገጠልን ነገር ፦በወንጀለኞች ስርዓት ንፁሀን ዋጋ ይከፍላሉ የሚለውን ሀቅ ነው።
እንኩዋንም አጥፍታችሁ አልታሰራችሁ!
እያንዳንዱዋ ግፍ ዋጋ ሳታስከፍል እንዲሁ አትቀርም። ያበጠው ጎማ የሚተነፍስበት ቀን ይመጣል።

አሁንም እላለሁ! By Mes Demoze

አሁንም እላለሁ! ፌስቡክ ላይ ከማልመጥ ፎቶ ከመለጠፍ ባሻገር ሌላ ሀገራዊ ሃሳቦች እንደሚፃፉ የተማርኩበት ግንባር ቀደሙ ነው:: ሌሎች ጏደኞቹን ከሱ በኃላ ነው ያወኯቸው::
ከፌስ ቡክ ውጭ በአካል ለመገናኘት የሚፈቅድ አይመስለኝም ነበርና ያገኘሁት ግዜ ይህንን ነገርኩት:: እንዲህ ነበር ያለኝ...
' የተዝረከረከ ማንነት እስከሌለሽና የምትፅፊውን ነገር እስካመንሽበት ድረስ ማንኛውንም ሰው ለማግኘት ሊትቸገሪ አይገባም!'
በፍቄ በፍቃዱ ዘ ኃይሉ!
ከዛሬ ከታሠሩ 90ኛ ቀናቸው! ሦስት ወር!

#In90Words By Liya B. Tefferi

#‎In90Words By Misrak Yohannes

My mind reminds me of those who were in prison at one time and then released later on.
When truth is their crown, dignity is their badge; and so, they are shining from their depth self ... and one day ... they will be out. They'll be released.
Blogging is NOT a crime
.. Expression is our birth right ..#In90Words

#‎In90Words By Hiwot Wendimagegn

The True Aim of Justice should be to End Crime not to Destroy Lives!!!
Let me just say it upfront, I DETEST Ethiopian politics; I absolutely ABHOR it, I LOATHE it; it’s an utter TRAVESTY!!! As long as history remembers, we have shattered countless lives and killed off each other in the name of political regimes, in the name of “I’m more right than you!!!” LET THE HEARTLESSNESS STOP!!! Ideal youngsters don’t deserve to have their lives destroyed for trying to stand up for a cause much “bigger” than themselves.
የፍትህ ዋና አላማ ጥፋትን ማረቅ እንጂ የሰውን ህይወት ማኮላሸት መሆን የለበትም!!!
ለኢትዮጵያ ፖለቲካ ያለኝን ጥላቻ የሚገልጹ ቃላት እስከዛሬ አልተፈጠሩም፣ በማውቃቸው ቃላት የአቅሜን ልሞክርይቀፈኛል፣ ያንገፈግፈኛል፣ ይመረኛል፣ ይከረፋኛል፣ ያንገሸግሸኛል፣ ያሳርረኛል፣ ይገለማኛል፣ ያሳዝነኛል፣ ያቅለሸልሸኛል፣ ተስፋ ያስቆርጠኛል፣ ኢትዮጵያዊነቴን ያስረግመኛል፣ ያመኛልወዘተምነው ይሄን ያህል ? ካላችሁ፣ ከጥንት ጀምሮ እስከዛሬ፣ በስመ ፖለቲካ እና በእኔ የተሻለ አውቃለሁ ሰበብ፣ የስንት ሰዎች ህይወት ተበላሸ፣ የስንት ሰዎች እንባ ፈሰሰ፣ የስንት ሰዎች ህይወት አለፈ!!!… ለፍሬ አልባ ዲስኩር ተጣላን፣ ተጋደልንበቃን አንልም አንዴ?… ከእራሳቸው አልፈው ለሃገር በመቆርቆራቸው፣ የህልመኛ ወጣቶች ህይወት ተሳንክሎ አይቅር! … ይብቃን፣ በደመ ነፍስ፣ በአጭሩ መጓዝ ይብቃን!!!

‪#‎In90Words‬ ‪ Abdi Lemessa

A brief personal account: ... After a huge frustration following the closure of the late Addis Neger Newspaper, it had been a moment of revival for hope meeting younger compatriots online who formed an informal group declaring 'they blog because they care for their country'. Since then, for a couple of years, I have always been close, taken part in their online activities and even got the chance to establish personal relationships with them at different levels. I am genuinly aspired by their ambitions. The inspiration they instilled will always live with me/us. Proud of them!#‎FreeZone9Bloggers‬