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    May 08, 2020

    Aster Yohannes in a photo taken about a year before she was put in prison © Private 


    This is Aster Yohannes (pronounced Yo HAN is). Her husband is Petros Solomon. They have four children, including two daughters, Hanna and Meaza.

    Petros was arrested in 2001 because the government did not like how he criticized their policies. His family has not seen him since. Petros expressed his views peacefully. He should never have been put in prison.

    Aster was arrested when she arrived at Asmara airport on December 11, 2003.

    Do you know why the government arrested Aster?  The only reason is because she is related to Petros. That’s not fair! 

    Aster should never have been put in prison. Hanna and Meaza have not seen her since, either. Meaza says “I haven't seen my parents in so long, I cannot remember what they look like.”

    May 03, 2019

    This is a photo of Ciham Ali Ahmed. She was born in Los Angeles, USA in 1997 and spent her childhood in Eritrea. She is a citizen of both countries. 

    Ciham has disappeared! Amnesty International thinks she is in an Eritrean jail today. If enough of us ask the government where she is, maybe she will return safely to her family.

    Ciham’s father used to be a minister in Eritrea’s government. He left his position and his country in December 2012. Ciham and her uncle Hassan tried to leave too but they were caught at the border with Sudan and arrested on December 8, 2012. 

    One month later, soldiers tried to take over the government. Government leaders thought Ciham’s father 
    supported the soldiers’ action. Since he had left Eritrea and they couldn’t arrest him, Amnesty International thinks the government captured Ciham and her uncle to punish him. Well, that’s not fair, is it? 

    That’s not all. 

    November 30, 2018

    US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, should demand the release of all prisoners arbitrarily detained solely for peacefully exercising their freedom of expression and freedom of belief, including Ciham Ali who also holds US citizenship, when he visits Eritrea in the coming days, said Amnesty International.

    Ciham Ali was arrested in 2012, when she was 15-years-old, for trying to leave the country in violation of Eritrea's national service policy. She has been held incommunicado and her family has not seen or heard from her since.

    “Assistant Secretary Nagy has emphasized the urgent need to address Eritrea’s dire human rights record - he will have no better opportunity to do so than this visit,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    November 22, 2017

    BC’s Court of Appeal today gave the green light to hearing an important corporate accountability lawsuit against Nevsun Resources. The Court of Appeal ruling allows the 3 Eritrean men who filed the lawsuit against the company for modern slavery, torture, forced labour and crimes against humanity to have their day in court. Nevsun’s Bisha mine was constructed using state-contracted companies and the Eritrean military, which used forced labour under what the plaintiffs describe as abhorrent conditions. The men described hunger, illness and harsh punishment as some of the conditions they endured while building the mine.

    Eritrea is known as one of the most repressive regimes in the world, with no working constitution, rule of law or independent judiciary. The lawsuit alleges that by entering into an agreement with the Eritrean regime, Nevsun expressly or implicitly supported the government’s widely-known – and greatly feared - conscription policy and therefore became an accomplice to forced labour, crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses at the Bisha mine.

    June 21, 2016

    The Eritrean foreign minister’s confirmation that all politicians and journalists arbitrarily arrested in 2001 are alive is welcome news but they must now be immediately and unconditionally released, said Amnesty International.

    In a Radio France Internationale (RFI) interview broadcast on 20 June, Foreign Minister Osman Saleh referred to the detainees as political prisoners and said “all of them are alive” and will be tried “when the government decides”. The detainees, who were arrested in September 2001, included 11 politicians and 10 journalists. Until now the Eritrean authorities have refused to disclose their whereabouts or their health status to their families.

    “Amnesty International considers all 21 prisoners of conscience and has campaigned for their release since they were arrested 15 years ago. It is a travesty of justice that they have been held incommunicado for so long without charge or trial,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

    December 02, 2015

    Released: 2 December 2015 – 00:01 EAT (GMT+3)

    The huge number of young people fleeing indefinite national service in Eritrea is adding to the global refugee crisis. These people have the right to international protection, a new report from Amnesty International has found.

    Just Deserters: Why indefinite national service in Eritrea has created a generation of refugees reveals that, despite claims by officials that conscription would be limited to 18 months, national service continues to be indefinite, often lasting for decades. Conscripts include boys and girls as young as 16 as well as the elderly and conscription often amounts to forced labour.

    Attempts to flee national service have resulted in Eritreans making up the third-largest number of refugees trying to reach Europe. Yet, despite the reality on the ground, European states are increasingly rejecting asylum applications from Eritrea.

    May 08, 2013

    Posted at 0001 GMT  9 May 2013

    Twenty years after its independence, Eritrea’s prisons are filled with thousands of political prisoners, locked up without ever being charged with a crime, many of m are never heard from again, Amnesty International said in a report released today.

    Twenty years of independence but still no freedom details how throughout the past two decades government critics, journalists and people practising an unregistered religion, as well as people trying to leave the country or avoid indefinite conscription into national service have been detained without charge in unimaginably atrocious conditions.

    “The government has systematically used arbitrary arrest and detention without charge to crush all opposition, to silence all dissent, and to punish anyone who refuses to comply with the repressive restrictions it places on people’s lives,” said Claire Beston, Amnesty International’s Eritrea researcher.

    “Twenty years on from the euphoric celebrations of independence, Eritrea is one of the most repressive, secretive and inaccessible countries in the world.”

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