Dawit Isaac

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Ali Abdu, Eritrea's longtime information minister, has gone into exile, his brother has confirmed. (YouTube)

Eritrea: Ali Abdu pleads ignorance of Dawit Isaac’s fate

On Wednesday, the Swedish newspaper Expressen published what it described as an exclusive interview with Ali Abdu–Eritrea’s long-time information minister, government spokesman, and censor-in-chief–who vanished from public view in November. The piece confirmed that Ali had gone into exile, but it shed no light on the whereabouts and well-being of more than two dozen imprisoned…

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Journalists In Prison

Iran is the world’s worst jailer of the press. Detentions rise in the Middle East and North Africa.

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Swedish journalist Elsa Persson (Journalisternas Solidariska Fängelseaktion)

Swedish support for jailed colleagues in Ethiopia, Eritrea

If you pass by Kronoberg Prison in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, you will see journalists chained to its gates. They have committed no crime. For over a week, journalists have taken turns locking themselves up in front of the prison to raise awareness of the imprisonment of three colleagues held in the Horn of Africa.

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Meron Estefanos was threatened over her coverage of journalist Dawit Isaac. (Sven Lindvall/Expressen)

Journalists face threats in covering Isaac imprisonment

New York, September 26, 2011–A Sweden-based journalist was publicly threatened Friday in connection with her reporting on the case of Dawit Isaac, a Swedish-Eritrean journalist who has been imprisoned in Eritrea for a decade without charge, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. A day earlier in New York, bodyguards for the Eritrean leader Isaias…

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On September 18, 2001, President Isaias Afewerki banned all independent press in Eritrea. (AP)

Eritrea: Let’s lift the shroud of 10 years of misery

Since Zaid Tewelde’s husband, an Eritrean freedom fighter turned playwright and journalist, was arrested in September 2001, she has spent each passing day coping with the burning questions of her two young sons, age 9 and 10, “Where is my dad? When are we going to see him?” And she is not alone. Like Zaid, the…

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From left, European Parliament members Judith Sargentini, Charles Tannock, Ana Gomes, and Olle Schmidt call for the release of Eritrean political prisoners. (European Parliament)

EU resolution urges Eritrea to free long-jailed journalists

Eritrea was on the hot seat Thursday in Strasbourg and Brussels. Ten years after a massive crackdown on dissent in Asmara that included the arrests of 11 independent journalists, European institutions have signalled that they are weary of President Isaias Afeworki’s repression. 

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Ten years after the author reported the government's shutdown of the private press, Eritrea continues to imprison journalists swept up in the crackdown. Among them is Dawit Isaac, a Swedish-Eritrean national whose case has drawn wide attention. (Petra Jankov Picha)

Habeas corpus writ seeks Dawit Isaac, jailed for 3,600 days

Journalist Dawit Isaac, co-founder of Eritrea’s now-defunct leading newspaper Setit, has spent nearly 10 years in one of the reclusive Red Sea nation’s secret prisons with no charges ever placed against him. Isaac’s location and health status are currently unknown, as are those of at least 16 other journalists who CPJ believes are also being…

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Senior Eritrean Advisor Yemani Gebreab told Swedish daily Aftonbladet that the government had decided to “move forward,” leaving imprisoned journalists in the eternal oblivion of indefinite detention.

Eritrean official says jailed journalists were security threat

Since a week after September 11, 2001, when the government of Eritrea threw into secret prisons journalists from its once-vibrant private press, the only certainty it has offered about the fate of the prisoners has been ambiguity. Over the years, officials have offered various explanations for the arrests—from nebulous anti-state conspiracies involving foreign intelligence to press law violations. They have…

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Tedros Menghistu's press card from Eritrea. He lives in Houston now.

For Eritrean expatriate press, intimidation in exile

For the better part of the last 20 years, Tedros Menghistu has been a refugee, forced to flee his Red Sea homeland of Eritrea not once, but twice—first as a young man displaced by war in the early 1990s, and then as a professional journalist escaping political censorship and military conscription a decade later. Menghistu is also…

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Ten years after the author reported the government's shutdown of the private press, Eritrea continues to imprison journalists swept up in the crackdown. Among them is Dawit Isaac, a Swedish-Eritrean national whose case has drawn wide attention. (Petra Jankov Picha)

Reluctant activist: A brother’s struggle to free Dawit Isaac

In 2001, Eritrean security forces imprisoned Eritrean-Swedish journalist Dawit Isaac along with nine other journalists without trial in September 2001. The arrests effectively shut down the nation’s fledgling independent press and any potential political dissent prior to scheduled December 2001 elections, which were subsequently cancelled. To this day, Dawit is believed to be held incommunicado…

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