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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Nurse held in Ethiopian prison

The ELCA issued a letter-writing campaign urging the release of Zawditu Deressa, a nurse and mother of six children, from an Ethiopian prison. She has been held since last April on charges that she provided medical treatment for two supporters of the government's opposition party.

Zawditu is the sister of Belletech Deressa, director of development for the ELCA Division for Global Mission. Zawditu, whom Amnesty International has declared a prisoner of conscience, faces a sentence ranging from five years in prison to death if she is found guilty at a Jan. 4 trial. She is one of 65 prisoners in Ethiopia held for similar reasons.

ELCA Bishop H. George Anderson planned to visit Ethiopia to advocate for her release after attending the World Council of Churches Assembly in Zimbabwe.

Letters on behalf of Zawditu should be sent to: Ambassador Berhane Gebre-Christos, Embassy of Ethiopia, 2134 Kalorama Rd. NW, Washington D.C. 20008.


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