Release our Freelance Colleagues Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson


European freelance journalists from many countries gathered in a  seminar in Florence, Italy, organized by the

European Federation of Journalists, expressed their support for an immediate

release of the two Swedish freelance journalists who are held by the Ethiopian

government since the beginning of July. The journalists entered the country

without permit and they will appear in court on the 18th October,

charged with being terrorists. They are risking 20 years in prison, according

to the harsh Ethiopian terrorist legislation. 


colleagues were doing their jobs", says the European freelancers, "they were

trying to report from the Ogaden region, a conflict area from which very little

information is reaching the world outside".


situation shows very clearly the problem facing many freelancers. They are

going to risky areas to report, as employed journalists, for economic reasons,

no longer are being sent to cover these areas in the same way as before.

The need

for support from media owners for freelances covering troublesome situations is

getting very clear through what has happened to the Swedish colleagues.  Now a campaign in Sweden has raised money to

help cover the legal costs for the two colleagues.

We demand

that employers and media owners take responsibility and insure the freelancers for

risks and damages and give them full support when they are coming into

troublesome situations as a result of their job.

We demand

from the swedish government that it puts all efforts to seek international

cooperation to help release the Swedish citizens and freelance journalists

Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson.

- Release

our freelance colleagues Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson!
- They are

working freelance journalists and not terrorists!

We demand

the immediate release of our colleagues!


represents more than 260.000 members in over 30 countries
For more information,

please contact the EFJ on + 32 2 235 22 00