Someone recently suggested that I may be damaging the credibility of my reports by “coming across as too one-sided”, and that perhaps if I “attempted to better balance my views in the future” I might be able to interest (or even engage in on-site dialogue) some of the potentially sympathetic and influential diplomats in this country.
Well, how about that!
My only reason for writing is to provide a glimpse into life at present in Ethiopia—which means disclosing things as they really are; the very name of the blog is meant to suggest the extreme polarity we have been thrust into post-election. The EPRDF has made it unmistakeably clear over the past year that ‘all who are not with them are against them’, and their brute force alone has made it easy enough for me to choose the latter.
Also, freedom of speech does not exist here. Aside from the blogs and news portals, no truly independent media sources exist to report what is actually occuring, leaving only the state-controlled media in full operation (and it is certainly no secret that presenting “fair and balanced reports” to the international community is not high on their agenda as of late). Considering this information monopoly, it naturally follows that anything to the contrary appears biased. Even the truth.
But for those of you who nonetheless question my integrity, rest assured. There is no need for me to bother omiting details or spinning any stories; the most basic facts of life in this country provide more food for dissent than anything I could hope to create.
Currently in Ethiopia, people are being imprisoned, tortured and killed on a regular basis for merely expressing their opinions.
Sorry. I cannot find the means nor motivation to frame such horrors so that they appear “balanced” (…understandable. Excusable. Forgiven.) Enough disappointing news articles and watered-down country-assessment reports abound. Enough people already turn and look the other way.
I do not intend to join them.