Swedish-Eritrean journalist alive after 18 years in Eritrean jail


THE eldest daughter of the jailed Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak, Bethlehem Isaak, who had been imprisoned in Eritrea without trial for 18 years, on Monday said her father was still alive.
“My dad is still alive. Maybe you think how I know. This is where silent diplomacy comes in. I can’t and I’m not allowed to say more,” Isaak said.
She was speaking on Summer, a popular annual radio programme, where people in the news are invited to fill the airwaves with their own contributions and music.
“It is the combination of work that exists around the Foreign Ministry’s units, the one that handles cooperation with other countries, in this case not least links with Eritrea, voluntary organisations and contact with the family.
“It is called silent diplomacy because you cannot or allowed to talk about what is going on to the outside world,” She said.
Dawit Isaak, 55, was arrested in September 2001, amid a clampdown by authorities on independent newspapers and labelled a traitor. Little has been heard from him since.
Earlier, the chairman of a committee seeking Isaak’s release, Leif Obrink, also stated that Isaak was alive.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, the information is a 10,“he said.
Isaak sought asylum in Sweden in 1987 and became a citizen in 1992. About eight years later he returned to Eritrea to work for the independent weekly Setit.
Eritrea often ranks at the bottom of the annual World Press Freedom Index compiled by the campaigning organisation reporters without Borders.


– Jul. 6, 2020 @ 13:15 GMT |

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