The video with Abune Mathias’s passionate appeal, which has been widely shared and viewed, was smuggled out of Ethiopia. It was taken to the outside world by Denis Wadely of Bridges of Hope.
You can hear how this was done on a BBC radio recording here. Listen about about 15 minutes in.
Denis Wadely – a pastor with the organisation and a friend of Abune Mathias explains how it was brought out.
Wadely says he had been working in Tigray for the last 11 years and went to see his friends – bringing in some supplies. He and his wife witnessed the trauma of the people and the rape.
He was invited to meet the Abune before he left and when they met on 26 April Wadely explained that people were desperate to hear the Abune’s voice.
Abune Mathias explained he was being held hostage; that he was in unofficial house arrest, with every word monitored and unable to travel.
The Abune said that he had tried three times to get stories out to the press. He had given a 40 minute interview with an Ethiopian television station but he was told that if it was broadcast he, and those around him, would have their lives at risk.
Abune Mathias said he was not afraid for himself, but worried by those who were with him – including Bishops. Some of his close associates had been arrested.
Wadely offered to record an interview – which Abune Mathias accepted. He spoke from the heart and that was what was released to the world.