Comment on the  REVOCATION of PARDON on



By Sisay Hishe (Merigeta Hailu) Feb. 05/2009

This season arrived with a new "cake" for those who harshly blame the government of Ethiopia, in the name of political antagonism. The former member of the executive body of the opposition party Birtukan MIDEKSA had been arrested and given a maximum penalty that fits to her offense measured by the benchmark of the country's Criminal Code. This is one point. The other and the main prejudice about the government of Ethiopia is the revocation of pardon. The foremost and the fundamental cause for her arrest in 2005 was creating social anarchy, in the name of political struggle and cause a huge loss of life and property in the country. That was factual and those who were accused of similar wrong doings applied for pardon. Lucky people, they were accepted and got release under conditions.

The theory in most of spiritual scriptures about repentance and forgiveness, which is vital for spiritual transformation, has prevailing resemblance to the pardon with conditions of the human law. Because like wise the penal codes, they put requirements like regret, confess and stay away from enacting similar blunder, to be in the complete metamorphosis of the healing process.  Therefore, any person who misses the full cycle of the mechanism is subject to loss the privilege.

In the case of Birtukan MIDEKSA, she was given a pardon upon her own request, and then the government of Ethiopia evidently caught her violating the reciprocally consented conditions. According to trusted sources, she told crowds in Germany and Sweden distorted information concerning her pardon and release. Such misleading information challenges the correcting nature of justice by sending erroneous message to citizens, who believe the only way to secure life, is through justice.

The Government gave her another chance to refute her briefing of the Diaspora, using the mass media. Such an act helps to substantiate the rule of law. It tells the public at large that no one is above the law. MIDEKSA did not take that advantage to liberate herself from the dangers of revocation of pardon. Then the Ethiopian government arrested her to serve the amount of time that was set aside because of the pardon.

This legally and contextually fair process is now used by other opposition members to blow the whistle and continue the building up of bias against the government. Though it is normal everywhere I, as an Ethiopian origin have no that feeling. Justice should be served. Being well known does not give any immunity not to be accountable of your deeds. Had that been true we would not see celebrated people like O. J Simpson millionaires like Conrad Black going to jail. If fame and political power was an immunity we would not see former Canadian Prime Minister accused of corruption, Richard Nixon could not be impeached from his supreme power of being the president of the United States.

I saw comments of extremely biased individuals that doubts the existence of the act in the appropriate statute of pardon, and if it existed they think only Ethiopia applies that part of the law to punish Ms. MIDEKSA. This in simple idiom is ignorance. For that matter, no one is subject to serious criticism for being ignorant. However, arrogance is transitive and should be treated in an offensive manner. The problem with the former judge who ended up in jail because of her arrogance and miscalculation was derived from undermining the capability of the justice system to protect the constitution.

Almost all countries have a board of pardon that gives a second chance to people who have committed a punishable crime according to their penal codes. Up on the request of the criminal it is legally allowed to give pardon under certain conditions and some times with out conditions. At the same time, the statutes have a section that speaks about revocation of pardon. For Example, section 7 of the Canadian Criminal Records Act is stated as following:-

Section 7. A pardon may be revoked by the Board

(a) if the person to whom it is granted or issued is subsequently convicted of an offence punishable on summary conviction under an Act of Parliament or a regulation made under an Act of Parliament;

(b) on evidence establishing to the satisfaction of the Board that the person to whom it was granted or issued is no longer of good conduct; or

(c) on evidence establishing to the satisfaction of the Board that the person to whom it was granted or issued knowingly made a false or deceptive statement in relation to the application for the pardon, or knowingly concealed some material particular in relation to that application.

   If this was, Canada's concern of legal decision Sub-section 7(c) has unambiguous relevance to what Ms. MIDEKSA did. There is no indistinctness to apply the law as the lady was accused of trying to over-throw a government in un- constitutional, sadistic way and asked for pardon then made a false and deceptive statement that led the Ethiopian government to the revocation of her pardon. If she was in Canada, with similar circumstances her fate would fall on the interpretation of ss 7 (c) of the Canadian Criminal Records Act.

   Though this is the material fact people of special interest are accusing Ethiopian Government for practicing a statue uniquely engineered to arrest the woman. At the same time those who have the hint about the existence of the act are trying to distort the verity and deceive some members of parliament. The good news for those who believe egalitarianism should be followed in conducting the deeds of citizens in front of any tribunal or court, Ethiopia is not at fault for imposing an appropriate act of the law for the sake of justice. That is also what the government is asserting, to keep the autonomy of its administrative supremacy above any form of persuasion, by any body.

I don't mind if the government wants to give her another chance, even like the seven times seventy-seven of the biblical story. Because I deeply agree with the greatness of mercy as defined by W. Shakespeare, on The Merchant of Venice

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes

   I wish her all the best and I am not even commenting her political affiliation. As an Ethiopian origin and concerned about the future of my motherland, I don't want to keep quite when people of rich countries try to undermine the values of the country, by taking advantage of its poverty. It is painful to hear people talking about such a relatively minor event, to please their voters, while they don't care and do nothing to stop mass murders and ethnic cleansing genocides in Africa.

   I am talking. Because I know such people are not fair and just. I also understand politics in North America is a means of earning income for living. However we shouldn't miss the common ground of mutualism, in trying to involve in the socio economic and political sovereignty of any country. I still agree with verifying and trying to help, when a problem arises. In this case it is hasty towards presupposed and biased conclusions.

   We can't deny that there are real and avoidable problems with in the country's justice system. However no body has the propensity of doing so by intrusion. There are millions of Ethiopians who are capable of challenging and changing the future of their country. I am extremely disappointed listening to some ignorant individuals undermining the potential of Ethiopians to transform their country.

   To conclude, despite the background or the social class of individuals, or even the "political adventure" of Ms. MIDEKSA, What was done to confirm the superiority of the law was principally right. I am not sure about the procedure. Nevertheless, even if the Ethiopian government erred in satisfying the procedure, in applying the law it couldn't be taken as a compromising point to reverse the principal cause.

   For better understanding and best resolution people need to educate themselves, before taking the seat of the master. That will help a lot.