The Essence of Terror


The Story of two Swedish journalists shot and captured when they illegally entered the region of Ogaden, Ethiopia in an attempt to report from inside the closed region.


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The Essence of Terror

The Essence of Terror

For four days Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson were kept in the desert forced to participate in a film to be used as evidence against them in court. They were even subject to a mock execution before they were finally sentenced to eleven years in prison for acts of terror. With unique access to the filmed material, The Essence of Terror show a behind the scenes account of these events.

Abdulahi Hussein was advisor to the regional president, Abdi Muhamoud Omar, and head of the local TV-channel, Cakaara News. He had for two years made copies of the president’s secret video files containing evidence of serious human rights abuse in Ogaden. In the files policemen and militia are giving statements about murder, torture, rape and arbitrary arrests. When he got the files with the two Swedish journalists in his hands, he decided to leave Ethiopia taking the evidence with him.

In the film Schibbye, Persson and Hussein present a harsh and unpleasant image of Ogaden, a region that is attracting increasing interest from international oil and mineral companies.

Director & Producer Andreas Rocksén
Produced by Laika Film & Television AB for SVT
Duration 52 & 58 min.
Year of Production 2013