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For the immediate release of Seyoum Tsehaye

Sign and help us fight for Seyoum and all journalsits, political prisoners and other unjustly imprisoned in Eritrea.



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Seyoum Tsehaye

Seyoum Tsehaye is an eritrean journalist and prisoner of concience. Seyoum’s passion for democracy and human rights awoke during the civil war against the Ethiopian regime, where he took part as a war photographer. After Eritrea succesfully defended their independance, Seyoum assisted in the founding of the first Eritrean state TV channel. There he worked for a few years, however conflicts with the leadership regarding his critical approach and democratic opinions led to him leaving to work as a freelance journalist.

Seyoum Tsehaye often wrote of the Eritrean regime’s lack of respect for the basic rights of it’s people. In 2001, 15 eritrean politicians published an article condemning the actions of President Afewerki and his regime. At the same time, Seyoum wrote an article urging the eritrean regime to communicate with the people and encourage peace and justice. The regime responded decisively. That same year, Seyoum Tsehaye, whose wife was expecting their second child, was imprisoned.

Eritrea

In 1991, after 30 years of civil war, Eritrea won its independence from Ethiopia. With this independence came the hope of a more open and more democratic state, but these hopes soon died under the increasingly authoritarian rule of guerilla leader - turned -president Isaiah Afewerki. Today, Eritrea is one of the most isolated countries in the world, and the only country on the African continent to not hold elections. The people live under heavy state surveillance and all opposition is effectively smothered.

List of Imprisoned Journalists

In September of 2001, Eritrea officlially became a dictaorship. The government closed down all free press and imprisoned all journalists and politicians that in some ways had asked for a more democratic country. Since then, countless more journalitss, polictians and civilians have been imprisoned, vanished and killed. Here is our list of the missing Eritreans who still haven’t been given a trail.

Basilios Zemo, also known as Wedi Zemo, was a career teacher, member of the revolutionary school and staff member at Radio Bana. His age is unknown from the time of his arrest in 2009 when he was taken without explanation to the Dobozito detention centre and then to the military prison in Adi Abeito. According to exiled Eritrean journalists and the Comittee to Protect Journalists, he is believed to be currently held in Mai Serwa Prison, based near the capital of Asmara.

Bereket Misghina worked for Radio Bana before being arrested in 2009. Is believed to be currently held in Mai Serwa Prison, based near the capital of Asmara.

Daniel Mussie worked as a reporter of the oromo section on Radio Dimitsi Hafash before his arrest in 2006. His current condition is unknown but is said to be held in detention in Adi Abeito.

Dawit Habtemichael: was the assistant chief editor/co-founder of Meqaleh and also working as a science teacher emplyed by Ministry of Education. He was arrested in 2001 but his current whereabouts and medical conditions are unknown.

Dawit Isaac: holds a Swedish citizenship from an asylum claim and refugee recognition in the 1980s. He worked as a reporter/co-owner and first editor of Setit when he was imprisioned in 2001. He is said to be held at the Eiraeiro prison.

Seyoum Tsehaye’s former roles includes among others freelance editor/photographer, French teacher, Director of Eritrean state telivision in early 1990s until he was dismissed and EPLF veteran since 1976. He was arrested in late September 2001 and reportedly in a bad health condition. He is said to be held at the Eiraeiro prison.

Emanuel Asrat was arrested in September, 2001. At the time he worked as an editor for Zemen (The Time) but is now known to be held in detention at the Eiraeiro Camp.

Esmail Abd-el-Kader worked for Radio Bana before his arrest in 2009. His current condition is unknown.

Eyob Netserab worked at the Amharic section on radio Dimtsi Hafash (the Voice of the Masses) when he was arrested in 2007. His is known to be held in Karsheli prison, 2nd police station in Asmara but his health condition is very bad.

Ghebrehiwet/Eyob Kessete worked as a journalist and at the Amharic-language service of public radio Dimtsi Hafash when he was arrested in 2007. He is known to be held in a metal container in May Srwa Detention Facility but his current medical condition is unknown.

Girmay Abraham was an artist and journalist on radio Dimtsi Hafash before he was arrested in 2009. His place of detention is unknown. He was first held in the Dobozito detention centre and then in the military prison of Adi Abeito but there hasn’t been any new information since then.

Hamid Mohamed Said: worked as a news and sport editor when he was arrested in 2002. His current condition remains unknown.

Identité Inconnue worked for Hadas Eritrea before being arrested in 2007. Current condition is unknown.

Mattewos Habteab was the editor and co-founder of Meqaleh. He was arrested in 2001 but his current place of detention remains unconfirmed, although he in December of 2008 was transferd to the Dahlaks Islands. According to Reporters Without Borders, citing a former Eritrean prison guard, Mattewos is believed to have died in prison, however, since both RWB and Committee to Protect Journalists are still reviewing these reports.

Meles Negusse Kiflu was a journalist for Radio Zara and Radio Bana. He was formerly working for Tsegenay independent newspaper. In 2009 he was arrested and at first held in the Dobozito detention centre and then in the military prison in Adi Abeito. He is believed to be held in Mai Serwa Prison near the capital of Asmara. His mental health is believed to have seriously deteriorated since his imprisonement.

Nega Woldegeorgis worked for Radio Zara, Dimtsi Hafash, and Hadas Eritrea before being arrested in 2007. Current condition remains unknown.

Saleh Al Jezaeeri: was before his arrest in 2002 a reporter on the Arabic government radio station and newspaper. He is reportedly being held in secret in a special security block behind the Second police station in Asamara but his current health condition is unknown.

Senait Habtu was before her arrest in 2009 working as a teacher and at the Amharic section on radio Dimtsi Hafash. She was also a staff member at Radio Bana, working in the production studio. She was taken without explanation to the Dobozito detention centre and then to the military prison in Adi Abeito but there has been no news since then.

Temesgen Gebreyesus: was arrested in late September in 2001 and formerly worked as a sports reporter and amateur actor. According to Reporters Without Borders, he was transferred to a prison in the Dahlak archipelago in late 2008 but is as of 2012 being held in Eiraero prison camp.

Yemane Hagos worked for Radio Bana before being arrested in 2009. Current condition is unknown.

Yirgalem Fesseha: was a poet and a columnist for the state-owned newspaper Haddas Erta, as well as staff member of Radio Banana. She was arrested in 2009 and is believed to be currently held at Mai Serwa Prison, based near the capital of Asmara. According to Committee to Protest Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, Yirgalem’s mental health has seriously deteriorated since her imprisonement and she has had to be admitted to several hospitals due to her condition.

List of Political Prisoners

G-15: (This is a group of 15 Eritrean politicians who were either founding members, or obtained high positions in Eritrean People’s Liberation Front during the war of Independence and were members of the Central Committee as well as the National Assembly of Eritrea’s ruling party. They have all been held imprisoned in an unknown location by the Eritrean government since 2001, for having published a joint letter in which they condemned Isaias Aferwerki’s authoritarian rule and pushed for democratic reforms and the implementation of the unused Eritrean Constitution. They have all been recognized as prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International, who calls for their immediate release):

Petros Solomon: An Eritrean politician who was a commander during the Eritrean War of Independence, and became the first Defense Minister and Marine Resource Minister of Eritrea.

Mahmoud Ahmed Sherifo: An Eritrean politician who served as Eritrea’s second minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Vice President.

Aster Fissehatsion: An Eritrean senior party official who served as Director of Labour and Social Affairs. Has been reported to be suffering from a stomach ulcer since her imprisonement.

Haile Woldense: An Eritrean politician who served as Eritrea’s first Minister of Finance and Developement, 4th Minister of Foreign Affairs, and 3rd Minister of Trade & Industry.

Ogbe Abraha: An Eritrean politician who among other titles, served as Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Chief of Logistics, and Chief of Staff of the Eritrean Defense Forces.

Hamid Himid: An Eritrean politician who among other titles, served as member of both the  Central Council and National Assembly of Eritrea’s ruling party, as well as Eritrea’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Saleh Idris Kekya: An Eritrean politician who served as the 2nd Minister of Transport and Communications of Eritrea.

Estifanos Seyoum: An Eritrean politician who served as the Secretary of Finance and Head of Finance in the Eritrean Defense Forces.

Germano Nati: An Eritrean politician who served as Head of Social Affairs in the Southern Red Sea Region. Reported as having died in his jail cell in 2008.

Beraki Ghebreselassie: An Eritrean politician who served among other titles as Eritrea’s 1st Secretary of Education and 2nd Minister of Information & Culture.

Nega Woldegeorgis worked for Radio Zara, Dimtsi Hafash, and Hadas Eritrea before being arrested in 2007. Current condition remains unknown.

Saleh Al Jezaeeri: was before his arrest in 2002 a reporter on the Arabic government radio station and newspaper. He is reportedly being held in secret in a special security block behind the Second police station in Asamara but his current health condition is unknown.

Senait Habtu was before her arrest in 2009 working as a teacher and at the Amharic section on radio Dimtsi Hafash. She was also a staff member at Radio Bana, working in the production studio. She was taken without explanation to the Dobozito detention centre and then to the military prison in Adi Abeito but there has been no news since then.

Temesgen Gebreyesus: was arrested in late September in 2001 and formerly worked as a sports reporter and amateur actor. According to Reporters Without Borders, he was transferred to a prison in the Dahlak archipelago in late 2008 but is as of 2012 being held in Eiraero prison camp.

Yemane Hagos worked for Radio Bana before being arrested in 2009. Current condition is unknown.

Yirgalem Fesseha: was a poet and a columnist for the state-owned newspaper Haddas Erta, as well as staff member of Radio Bana. She was arrested in 2009 and is believed to be currently held at Mai Serwa Prison, based near the capital of Asmara. According to Committee to Protest Journalists and Reporters Without Borders, Yirgalem’s mental health has seriously deteriorated since her imprisonement and she has had to be admitted to several hospitals due to her condition.


(Committee To Protect Journalists, 2014 report) http://www.refworld.org/docid/549804dd15.html

http://www.refworld.org/docid/549804de19.html

(Reporters Without Borders, report on the condition of Yirgalem Fesseha and the release of Said Abdulhai) http://en.rsf.org/erythree-detained-eritrean-journalist-06-04-2012,42276.html

http://en.rsf.org/eritrea-three-journalists-held-since-2001-30-08-2012,43298.html (Another Reporters Without Borders, 2012, about the prisoners who are alive and the death of Mattewos Habteab)

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