Demand the Ethiopian government free the good Swedish heart doctor, Dr Fikru Maru, immediately!

  • by: Frank Ashall, MD
  • recipient: Getachew Ambaye, Attorney General, and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Dr Fikru Maru is a 66-year-old Ethiopian-born Swedish heart doctor. In the 1970s he fled the communist regime that recently had overthrown and murdered Emperor Haile Selassie I. He went to medical school in Sweden and became a cardiologist.

For 40 years, he practiced as one of Sweden's top cardiologists (heart doctors).

In 2007, he helped establish, and was CEO of, a heart hospital in Ethiopia, his country of birth. He wanted to help bring high quality medical care for people with heart problems to Ethiopia.

Then, in 2010, his nightmare with Ethiopia's appalling and flawed legal system began, when he was arrested while trying to bring essential medical supplies, needed for the new heart hospital, through Addis Ababa's airport.

A year later, the charges were dropped, but in 2013 he was re-arrested on what appears to be a politically motivated charge relating to the previous one. With delay after delay after delay of his court hearings, and after three years in prison without being convicted of any crime, he was finally convicted and given a 4 year 8 month jail sentence in one of Ethiopia's crowded, disease-infested prisons.

Then, after four years in prison, in May, 2017, in a new court hearing, he was cleared of all prior charges! That means he spent four years suffering in prison for committing no crime!

However, instead of releasing him from prison, the Ethiopian government has now brought new charges against Dr Fikru, accusing him, along with 37 other prisoners, of being involved in a prison fire and revolt, even though he was in hospital with a life-threatening condition when the fire occurred.

Please watch the following video to see how Dr Fikru, whose health is failing, barely gets the chance to hug his daughter. But be prepared to weep:

The current oppressive Marxist-Leninist-inspired Ethiopian government has a long history of delaying court cases and charging individuals with non-existent and trumped-up crimes.

There is no due legal process in Ethiopia, because the judiciary is controlled by the ruling political party and its allies, which won every parliamentary seat (547/547) in the last (2015) election, through harassment, banning, jailing and killing opposition party members.

Enough is enough with the unconstitutional and politically motivated torture and treatment of prisoners in Ethiopia! Thousands of individuals have been jailed, tortured and killed by the regime, especially those, incuding opposition political party leaders, who are opposed to its political ideology.

The international community and all good people — medical and otherwise — must speak out for Dr Fikru, and against these atrocities, and hold the Ethiopian government to account.

Please sign the petition, be his voice, and express your horror at the plight of Dr Fikru Maru. Demand that the Ethiopian government release, without delay, this humanitarian cardiologist, and allow him to return to his family in Sweden. Please also see:


Update #66 years ago
Dear friends - because of you and people all over the world who have raised their voices, we can now announce some fantastic news! Swedish newspapers are reporting that Dr. Fikru Maru has been freed from prison in Ethiopia, where he had been for five years and three days. Thank you for signing and sharing this petition! This could not have happened without you. Thank you for helping to make a difference in this man's life.
Update #56 years ago
Dear friends. The trial of Dr Fikru Maru recently continued, but the unjust legal system in Ethiopia means that he could be in prison for another year before any verdict is made. He has already been in prison for 4 years, yet cleared of all previous charges. But the Ethiopian government has accused him of a new, absurd crime, of inciting a prison riot. By the time his new trial is over, he will have been in prison for 5 years, without conviction. Please share the petition widely. Thank you.
Update #46 years ago
Dear supporters: I'm pleased to announce that the petition to free Ethiopian-born heart doctor, Fikru Maru, who has been unjustly suffering in an Ethiopian prison for over four years, has now gathered over 105,000 signatures. Please re-share the petition if you can, so that we can get that number even higher, before the petition is delivered to the appropriate authorities in Ethiopia. With appreciation, Dr Frank Ashall.
Update #37 years ago
Dear Friends:
The petition to bring awareness of Ethiopian-born heart doctor, Dr Fikru Maru, has now reached over 88,000 signatures, and we are aiming higher. This is all thanks to your compassionate concern for Dr Fikru's unjust treatment by the Ethiopian government. When each one of us signs a petition, our voices are individually whispers. But when we put all those whispers together, our collective voice is thunderous and it says: FREE THE GOOD HEART DOCTOR, DR FIKRU MARU! Thank you.
Update #17 years ago
Dear supporters: Thank you for signing the petition to free cardiologist, Dr Fikru Maru, unjustly in prison for over 4 years in Ethiopia. The petition is gaining momentum, but many more signatures are needed urgently. So please share the petition far and wide. By doing so, you are not only helping to get more signatures, but also creating awareness of tens of thousands of Ethiopia's political prisoners who are jailed, tortured and killed as we speak. Thank you. -Dr Frank Ashall
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