This video brought me close to tears. Can you imagine going to prison for 17 months because of the nature of your profession? For writing? For questioning public injustice? That’s what Ethiopian journalist Fasil Yenealem Agegnehu endured after the 2005 elections. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) featured him on their multimedia project called 1 Life 1 Story, Refugee Storytelling.
The saddest part for me is when he says, “My country is in my heart, by the way. It’s always in my heart. It has been and it will continue to be until I go back there.” How disheartening it is to hear this. For him to not be able to take his beautiful daughter home and show her her country or see his mother, father, brother, sister freely. To breathe the air of his birthplace and be part of that society. This is the reality for independent journalists in Ethiopia. No wonder most decide to keep their mouth shut and report happy, dandy development news. It’s either that or face the inside of a prison cell on pumped charges.