by Etsubdink Abera, MD
Respect for the people is manifested by the love and respect you show to its service providers. Imprisoning a patriot who is committed to serve his people, who left all his luxurious life in Sweden to come and serve his country in his rarely existing professional skills, is comparable to killing the lives of thousands of our country people who are in need of his medical treatment to live a long productive life. This is in fact a character of a dictatorial government that shows no concern for its citizens as seen by the brutal killing of many hundred thousands, and subjecting its people to live under absolute poverty.
Professor Fikru Maru came to Ethiopia to establish advanced cardiac procedures that are lacking in the country, and make the travel of many Ethiopian citizens abroad for medical treatment a history. Despite that his charged were dropped after more than four years of imprisonment, he is still in jail for a delayed court hearings brought against him by this dictatorial government in firing a prison though he was not at the scene when the incident happened. In fact, the current Ethiopian government has a long history of interfering in the judiciary system and charging individuals with fake crimes to harass and torture individuals who are not only opposition party members, but also people oriented elites.
I am not arguing that whoever involves in breaking a law should escape appropriate corrective judgment. However, obtaining an expedited, transparent and impartial court trial should be our right.
Professor Fikru, sadly became one of the victims and this shows the lack of concern this dictatorial government shows to its citizens. The top cardiologist is even not allowed to leave the prison to see his patients under police supervision; this resulted in the deaths of several patients who could have been saved.
Indeed, you may question why the government does not care for its prestigious elites. The answer is clear. It is because the officials are unrepresentative of the beneficiaries, and if they need medical treatment, they exploit the poor tax payers money for easily treatable medical illnesses to travel abroad showing their lack of trust and confidence in the country educational system that trains the health professionals, and the heath service that is rendered in the country by their corrupted and apathetic policies formulated in negligence.
Professor Fikru’s move to serve his people in the country, however resulted in his imprisonment, and is a major factor prohibiting other like-minded scholars from voluntarily bringing their knowledge and skills to benefit their people.
The silence of the country’s toothless medical association in conjunction with the negligent Ministry of Health should awaken the health professionals as a whole in any way possible to herald their voices to show their solidarity for the cardiologist, and contribute their part in his release.
Besides, the health professionals should break their silence in the politics of the country, and rather stand in coalition with other activists, reformist politicians and the people as a whole for the respect of human rights, impartial judiciary system, and uphold of democratic principles that are currently lacking in the country.
This government should also take the responsibility of violating these democratic principles that in turn claims the lives of poor people who could have benefited from the unavailable service provided by the jailed victim.
I can be reached at [email protected]