7 August 2002

Alert

CPJ confirms detention of fourteenth journalist


Incident details

Simret Seyoum

journalist(s)

detained

(CPJ/IFEX) - The following is a 6 August 2002 CPJ press release:


ERITREA: CPJ confirms detention of 14th journalist


New York, August 6, 2002-The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) today confirmed that Eritrean journalist Simret Seyoum, a writer and general manager at the banned private weekly Setit, has been in Eritrean government custody since early January.


This puts the total of jailed Eritrean journalists at 14, although government sources recently acknowledged holding only "about eight" media professionals.


Seyoum was arrested on January 6 while trying to cross Eritrea's border with Sudan, an eyewitness told CPJ. The driver of a minivan carrying Simret and others was also arrested after border patrol agents opened fire on his vehicle, chased it, and captured some of its passengers.


At least one of the fugitives, an Eritrean journalist who chose to remain anonymous, survived the incident and reached the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, days later.


Simret, a hero of Eritrea's 30-year independence war against Ethiopia, is being held in solitary confinement at the Hadish Maaskar detention facility near the town of Gyrmayka on the border with Sudan, according to CPJ sources in Eritrea.


All 14 journalists are being held incommunicado, and government officials last month refused to tell a CPJ delegation visiting Asmara where the 13 other journalists are jailed. Authorities also refused to comment on their condition.


"The continued information blackout in Eritrea is outrageous, as is the government's elimination of all private media in the country," said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. "We strongly urge the government to release these journalists immediately and allow them to resume their work of reporting the news."


CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information about press conditions in Eritrea, visit www.cpj.org.">http://www.cpj.org">www.cpj.org.




Source

Committee to Protect Journalists
330 7th Ave., 11th Floor
New York, NY 10001
USA
info (@) cpj.org
Fax:+1 212 4659568
Eritrea
 
More from Eritrea
  • Shadow Report to Initial National Report (1999-2016) from the State of Eritrea

    Reporters Without Borders (RSF) accuses the Eritrean government of a complete denial of reality in its first-ever report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and announces that it has submitted an alternative "shadow report" with a much darker assessment of the state of press freedom in Eritrea.

  • Freedom of the Press 2016: Eritrea

    17 journalists were imprisoned in Eritrea as of December 1, 2015, the most in sub-Saharan Africa

  • Freedom of the Press 2015: Eritrea

    Ranked 195th in annual global media freedom report