The victim, Tedros Menghistu Wondefrash, a publisher and editor of Selam monthly Tigrigna newsletter printed in Houston, is known in the area for his critical coverage of the various issues that reveal the true dark-colours of the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ). He was reportedly attacked when he attempted to attend the public seminar and is described as being in serious condition and seeking medical treatment for an injury in his neck. According to the CPJ’s report, Tedros Mengistu was attacked by a dozen of disgruntled PFDJ aggressors who punched him, broke his eyeglass and stole his notebook and tape recorder. The report added that, a through criminal investigation of the incident is underway with a view to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The attack on journalist Tedros Menghistu Wondefrash by supporters of the PFDJ dictatorial regime is not new and the only of its kind. As similar incidents including the attack of two Eritrean journalists and threat of a third one that led to the damage of his car were reported over the last four years. Though such attacks against exiled Eritrean journalists are always brought to execution by ordinary government supporters, the real intellectual authors of these savage crimes are believed to be representatives of the Eritrean government, abroad.
We find these attacks particularly disturbing and ignominious because they happened in land of rule of law to an exiled Eritrean journalist. We have seen more than enough persecution, harassment and death in our country of origin and that forced us to flee to safe countries. Thus, to be subjected to another physical harassment and attack in the land of our refuge is beyond outrage.
The government of the United States of America shouldn’t tolerate such grievous attack on an innocent journalist as it flagrantly violates the press freedom of the country. Any deliberate attack on a journalist that causes serious physical injury is a major breach of Article 79 of Additional Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions and should be deemed a vandalism crime. AEJE urges the USA authorities engaged in this issue to observe these protocols.