- Posted February 20, 2014 by
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Ethiopian Co-pilot Hailemedhin’s actions dominate the international media forum
International media outlets are offering different comments and analyses about Co-pilot Hailemedhin Aberra, who is under police custody in Switzerland suspected of ‘hijacking’ an Ethiopian Airlines plane, he was flying to Rome from Addis Abeba on February 17, 2014. Hailemedhin has not been so far given the chance to speak his own version of what has happened.
Some say that the pilot had been forced to hijack his own plane disgruntled by the appalling political repression in Ethiopia while others criticize that he committed a big mistake if he had so to seek asylum.
Sources who claim to know the copilot and his families say Hailemedhin was born and brought up in a relatively rich family. They state he was an excellent student and a hard worker.
One of the sources said Hailemedhin used to often complain about the bureaucracy and the institutional racism within the Ethiopian Airlines.
Tinsae Aberra, who claims to be Hailemedhin’s younger sister, says “Let alone endangering the lives of human beings, he never dared to even harm animals. He also had no intention of living outside Ethiopia.”
She said “since recent times, Hailemedhin led an unhappy life. When we asked what happened to him, we learned that he believed he has got enemies who want to attack him. He believes his phone was tapped. He also does not open his laptop without covering his webcam. He also had installed a surveillance camera in his room fearing that”they” would search it when he was away.”
Tinsae says he had been in massive depression and he never fully shared his new problem with his family.
Some of Hailemedhin’s friends on the other hand, state that he entered into severe mental depression after his scientist uncle, Dr. Emiru Seyoum, was killed by unknown people last month in Addis Abeba. Dr. Emiru was found killed inside a taxi as he returned from work. Some people link his death with political causes. Addis Abeba University described the death of Emiru as “very much shocking and incomprehensible” on its Website.
A colleague of the copilot, who met him last month soon after the death of his uncle, said to ESAT that Hailemedhin had also feared that he might be in the same danger as his late uncle and was being followed by government cadres instituted in the Airlines.