21 Eritrean detainees not seen for years – Rights group


Amnesty International demands that the Eritrean authorities must immediately and unconditionally release 21 journalists and politicians who were arrested in a sweeping crackdown on dissent 20 years ago, in a new campaign under the hashtag #WhereAreEritreasDissidents on Twitter.

In September 2001, the government shutdown the country’s independent media and arrested 11 politicians who publicly criticised President Isaias Afewerki, and 10 journalists who published their call for reforms.

The government says those arrested were a threat to national security although they have never been charged of any crimes and their whereabouts have been unknown since then.

Eritrea has not held elections since independence in 1993, and President Isaias has been in power for nearly 28 years.

Amnesty has documented extremely poor prison conditions in Eritrea, in some cases amounting to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

Eritreans in the diaspora and family members of the detained political prisoners also plan to hold exhibitions around the world over the next 12 months to draw attention to the plight of the detainees.

In 2022, it will be exhibited at the House of Commons in London and the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and various Amnesty International branches. (Source: BBC)