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de Brún calls for end to arbitrary arrests in Eritrea

14 September, 2011 - by Martina Anderson MEP


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún today called for the release of Swedish Citizen Dawit Isaak who has been imprisoned in Eritrea for ten years.


Speaking at an event organised in support of Mr Isaak, also addressed by President Jerzy Buzek and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, Ms de Brún said:


"Swedish citizen Mr Dawit Isaak has spent ten full years in Eritrean prison.

A journalist, an author, a husband and a father, Dawit was imprisoned - without trial - because of his work for democracy and human rights in Eritrea.


"Arbitrary arrests and detentions are all too common in Eritrea. Unknown numbers of people are held without charge as a result of their political activities.


"The Eritrean government should fully respect human rights, including freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of media and freedom of conscience. They must come clean on the whereabouts of prisoners and their state of health. They should either charge and immediately bring before a court of law all political detainees and imprisoned journalists or unconditionally release them. The Red Cross should have immediate access to all prisons and prisoners.


"Some of us are long time friends of the Eritrean people. We supported Eritrean independence when it was not popular to do so. We know that the Eritrean people deserve better."

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