Enrique de la Osa / Reuters
I am a part of this country. So is my father. So is my mother. Do not erase our experiences. Do not claim that you can separate one aspect of this man from all the others. My family did not escape from under the foot of a dictator to live in a country where its leader praises and celebrates that same dictator.
On April 25 of this year, the Ethiopian government made news by arresting six bloggers and three freelance journalists. It is now over 100 days, and counting, since the six Zone 9 bloggers and the three freelance journalists were thrown into Ethiopian prison cells. The nine writers are facing terrorism-related charges, standing accused of inciting violence through social media.
Today marks Zia Nabavi's 29th birthday. This is the fourth consecutive birthday the university student activist is spending in prison. He was arrested at a relative's house on June 15, 2009, following his participation in a peaceful post-election protest. He's been trapped in prison since then.