Prime Minister travels to Ethiopia
For 20 months, the Swedish cardiologist Fikru Maru has been imprisoned without trial in Ethiopia. According to family and colleagues, he is completely innocent but has become a pawn in a domestic political power struggle. Now Prime Minister Stefan Löfven visited Ethiopia with hopes to take up the case with the Ethiopian government. In 1975 Fikru Maru came from Ethiopia to Sweden as a refugee.
Fikru Maru received his medical training in Sweden and eventually became one of the nation's leading cardiologists. A few years ago he opened a cardiac clinic in Ethiopia with support from Sweden, one of the few of its kind on the African continent. And now Ethiopia accuses him of having bribed a customs minister, though his lawyers and supporters argue that he simply had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, that he is embroiled in a major lawsuit that he has nothing to do with. His part in the indictment is very small, and it is quite possible that the charges against him will be completely dismissed. It is hoped that pressure from other countries may help in releasing Fikru Maru. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven won’t visit Fikru Maru in prison, but he hopes to make a case with the Ethiopian government.