A social media campaign for justice is raging amongst Ethiopians online after a CNN journalist, Dan Rivers, revealed the horrifying abuse of Shweya Mullah who was brutally injured after the wife of Gaddafi’s son Hannibal, poured boiled water on her whole body for allegedly failing to keep a crying child quiet. Shweye was working for the family as a nanny.
On Friday September 2, 2011, Ethiopian netizens created a virtual discussion page on Facebook: ‘2nd Discussion on seeking justice for Sheweyga Mullah in Libya‘. The timeframe allotted for the discussion is from Friday, September 2 at 4:00pm to October 31 at 7:00pm.
The recent inhumane treatment of Shweyga Mullah by Alaine Skaf, Gaddafi’s daughter-in-law, brought to light the unimaginable ordeal that our sisters in different countries around the world are going through. Luckily for her, despite the physical and psychological damage she sustained, this act of cruelty became a high profile case as it was first reported by CNN and linked to Gaddafi. Consequently CNN managed to organize fund raising and securing special treatment. However, countless other Shweygas are still suffering undiscovered, not to mention thousands more planning to cross the border only to possibly end up like Shweyga.
Another group with over 8,000 members is called ‘Stop the abuse of Ethiopian women in Middle East‘. Meanwhile, ‘Justice for Shweyga Mullah tortured and enslaved by Aline Gaddafi Skaf‘ is a Facebook page and ‘LET US PREVENT FUTURE SHWEYGA MULLAHS’ is a Facebook group with over 1,000 members.
Below is a video of Shweya Mullah under treatment:
Immediately after it was reported that the Ethiopian government will assist her in getting due compensation, netizens started sharing the link of the news on their Facebook pages looking for comments and opinions. Some accused the government of Meles Zenawi of everything from propaganda to lack of opportunity for citizens like Shweya in the country.
A prominent commentator on Ethiopian issues on Facebook, Abebe Kebede said:
There is information that the government of Ethiopia may participate in securing compensation. On the public side there must be outrage on this issue, and of course use the opportunity to bring to the attention of the media the plight of Ethiopians in middle eastern countries.
Endalk summarises the state of the debate online:
In some of the groups in fact, after a while, Shweye was practically forgotten – the debate now centered on ‘anti-government vs. pro-government’, ‘justice vs. Partiality’, the ‘elite vs. the poor’, and the need for revolution