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[liberationtech] Please support student facing prison for using Skype - urgent petition

Pamela McLean pamela.mclean at
Wed Dec 21 14:20:48 PST 2011

Yidnek Haile, currently studying in UK, is about to be deported to Ethiopia
where he faces imprisonment and "mistreatment" for the crime of using Skype
(he has been in prison there before and says he fears for his life).
  I met Yidnek last year at a conference in London and he told me then
about his "crime" of using Skype in Ethiopia, his imprisonment, his fears
about returning home to face further imprisonment and "mistreatment", and
his hopes of staying in UK.

I was shocked to learn from his Professor Richard Heeks that Yidnek's
application for asylum has failed and he is about to be deported. But there
is new evidence still to be seen to support his application -  the latest
of which was a medical examination in respect of his mistreatment while
previously in custody in Ethiopia. . See full details

Can you imagine landing in prison for using Skype? Yidnek admits that he
did use Skype and that he did share this knowledge with others (he was an
ICT trainer) but denies that he was running a business providing services
for people to make phone calls. The government opposes the provision of any
services that threaten its monopoly

Even if we do not prevent his deportation we can show support for him and
keep his story visible, which may help the to minimise the worst things
that can happen to him in an Ethiopian prison.

Please sign the petition and share it with others
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