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2022.05.03 揭开真相所面临的危险

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发表于 2022-5-4 03:16:36 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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By Invitation | World Press Freedom Day
Lucy Kassa on the dangers journalists face for uncovering truths in war
The Ethiopian reporter lives in exile because of her articles from Tigray

May 3rd 2022 (Updated May 3rd 2022)

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MORE THAN a year has passed since I first uncovered evidence of war crimes in the continuing conflict in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. Civilians have endured atrocities including sexual violence, ethnic cleansing, systematic massacres, unspeakable torture and starvation. The horror stories are endless. Yet Ethiopia’s government denies them.

All sides of the conflict have committed war crimes. A mound of evidence gathered by investigative journalists and rights groups suggests that Ethiopian government troops, allied soldiers from Eritrea and local Amhara forces have committed terrible atrocities against ethnic Tigrayans. These acts could potentially amount to genocide, as defined in international law. But troops affiliated to the Tigray forces have also committed shocking acts, including sexual violence and the extra-judicial killing of civilians, as they advanced in the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara.


The Ethiopian government blocks all communications and bars journalists from the conflict zones. This makes it extremely difficult to grasp the scale of the crimes and the gravity of the humanitarian crisis. Stories of atrocities often emerge two or three months after they have been committed. The communications blackout is exhausting. A story that would normally take me two weeks to research now takes a month.

It works as follows. When an allegation of an atrocity emerges, I find sources on the ground. I communicate from one person to another until I find the actual victims. My network helps bring them to somewhere in the area with internet, such as the offices of certain NGOs. (There is little petrol in Tigray so even finding transport can be extremely difficult.) I use the connection to interview them via secure messaging services. I ask the survivors to send me any footage or photographic evidence they have. To ensure consistency, I then check their testimonies against those given by other witnesses. I also work with experts to analyse satellite imagery.

My reports since the blackout have so far been limited to Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital, and its outskirts. Nobody really knows what is happening in rural areas. Whenever I uncover crimes committed by government forces, or report stories that don’t suit the government’s narrative, I fall victim to co-ordinated attacks, involving threats and online hate campaigns. Such efforts are designed to stop the atrocities from coming to light.

This harassment continued even after I was attacked at my home in Ethiopia in February 2021. Three security agents raided my home and threatened to kill me if I continued to dig into the war. They took evidence that I had gathered for an investigation into weaponised sexual violence involving Eritrean troops, in which a mother had been gang-raped and tortured by 15 Eritrean soldiers in a military camp.


I decided to carry on with the investigation because I couldn’t ignore the terrible stories I had heard. Days after my home was raided I published my investigation in the Los Angeles Times. Within hours officials released a statement saying I was not a legitimate journalist. The Ethiopian state’s media outlets and supporters tried to present me as a criminal. I was forced to flee the country.

I continue my investigations from exile. Two months ago I uncovered the massacre of 278 ethnic-Tigrayan civilians. Eritrean troops and local Afar forces who are allied to the Ethiopian army went from house to house shooting. Pregnant women and children were among the victims. More than two dozen girls reported sexual violence, too. Sometimes I feel a terrible sense of déjà vu in my work; patterns and repetition appear in the killing methods. All the more reason why journalists must continue to expose such horrors.

Foreign governments should put pressure on Ethiopia to allow independent international investigation, lift the communication blackout and, crucially, to allow journalists to do their job. The point of the hate campaigns against me and other journalists who defy the government’s narrative has been to keep these kinds of atrocities and other horrendous war crimes in the dark. The intention is to tire us through relentless bullying. The aim is for state propaganda to saturate news networks and social-media platforms to drown out the truth. But the truth can only come to light if journalists are allowed to do their work without harassment.

Lucy Kassa is an Ethiopian journalist.



应邀参加|世界新闻自由日
露西-卡萨谈记者在战争中揭开真相所面临的危险
这位埃塞俄比亚记者因其在提格雷的文章而流亡在外

2022年5月3日 (2022年5月3日更新)



自从我首次发现埃塞俄比亚北部提格雷地区持续冲突中的战争罪行证据以来,已经过去一年多了。平民们忍受着包括性暴力、种族清洗、系统性屠杀、难以言喻的酷刑和饥饿在内的暴行。恐怖的故事不胜枚举。然而,埃塞俄比亚政府却否认了这些故事。

冲突各方都犯下了战争罪行。由调查记者和权利团体收集的大量证据表明,埃塞俄比亚政府军、来自厄立特里亚的盟军士兵和当地的阿姆哈拉部队对提格雷族人犯下了可怕的暴行。根据国际法的定义,这些行为有可能构成灭绝种族罪。但是,隶属于提格雷部队的部队在邻近的阿法尔和阿姆哈拉地区推进时,也犯下了令人震惊的行为,包括性暴力和法外杀害平民。


埃塞俄比亚政府封锁了所有通讯,并禁止记者进入冲突地区。这使得人们极难掌握犯罪的规模和人道主义危机的严重性。暴行的故事往往在发生两三个月后才会出现。通讯封锁让人疲惫不堪。一个通常需要我花两周时间研究的故事现在需要一个月。

其运作方式如下。当出现关于暴行的指控时,我在当地寻找消息来源。我从一个人到另一个人进行沟通,直到我找到真正的受害者。我的网络有助于将他们带到该地区有互联网的地方,如某些非政府组织的办公室。(在提格雷,汽油很少,所以即使找到交通工具也非常困难)。我利用这种连接,通过安全信息服务采访他们。我要求幸存者将他们拥有的任何录像或照片证据发给我。为确保一致性,我将他们的证词与其他证人的证词进行核对。我还与专家合作,对卫星图像进行分析。

自停电以来,我的报告至今只限于提格雷首都梅克尔及其郊区。没有人真正知道农村地区发生了什么。每当我发现政府军犯下的罪行,或报道不符合政府说法的故事时,我就会成为协调一致的攻击的受害者,包括威胁和网上仇恨运动。这些努力旨在阻止暴行的曝光。

这种骚扰甚至在2021年2月我在埃塞俄比亚的家中遭到袭击后仍在继续。三名安全人员突袭了我的家,威胁说如果我继续挖掘战争,就杀了我。他们拿走了我为调查涉及厄立特里亚军队的武器化性暴力而收集的证据,其中一位母亲在一个军营中被15名厄立特里亚士兵轮奸并遭受酷刑。


我决定继续进行调查,因为我不能忽视我所听到的可怕的故事。在我的家被搜查的几天后,我在《洛杉矶时报》上发表了我的调查。几小时内,官员们发表了一份声明,说我不是一个合法的记者。埃塞俄比亚国家的媒体机构和支持者试图把我说成是罪犯。我被迫逃离了这个国家。

我在流亡中继续我的调查。两个月前,我揭露了278名提格雷族平民被屠杀的事件。厄立特里亚军队和与埃塞俄比亚军队结盟的当地阿法尔部队挨家挨户地开枪。孕妇和儿童是受害者之一。有二十多个女孩也报告说受到了性暴力。有时我在工作中感到一种可怕的似曾相识的感觉;杀戮方式出现了模式和重复。这就更说明了为什么记者必须继续揭露这种恐怖行为。

外国政府应该对埃塞俄比亚施加压力,允许其进行独立的国际调查,解除通讯封锁,关键是允许记者开展工作。针对我和其他藐视政府说法的记者的仇恨运动,其目的就是要把这些暴行和其他可怕的战争罪行蒙在鼓里。其目的是通过无情的欺凌使我们疲惫不堪。其目的是让国家宣传充斥于新闻网络和社交媒体平台,以淹没真相。但是,只有允许记者在不受骚扰的情况下开展工作,真相才会浮出水面。

露西-卡萨是一名埃塞俄比亚记者。
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