Tag Archives: Dawit Isaak

Eritrea: ‘Swedish Citizenship Does Not Confer any Special Privileges’

‘Dawit Isaak’s alleged crimes are not his journalism, or his views – but his association with the G-15 opposition group’

Minister Yemane G. Meskel: “The substantive question is simple: regardless of the fact that Dawit Isaak is both Swedish and Eritrean, … crime has been committed in Eritrea and the state in which the crime was committed must deal with it.”


New signs of life from Asmara. In an interview with Martin Schibbye, the Eritrean Minister of Information believes that a solution to the issue of Dawit Isaak must also provide a solution for all those arrested in 2001. Continue reading Eritrea: ‘Swedish Citizenship Does Not Confer any Special Privileges’

Sweden – Eritrea Relations: Who’ll Break the Deadlock?

Understanding Eritrea is the key.


I was somewhat grossly surprised albeit happy to read an article by Swedish journalist Martin Schibbye on TesfaNews on Tuesday 26 September.

The element of surprise was that not only was the article posted by a veteran Swedish journalist but that it was advocating a change in Sweden’s approach to her bilateral relations with Eritrea. Continue reading Sweden – Eritrea Relations: Who’ll Break the Deadlock?

EU Parliament ‘Demands’ Release of Dawit Isaak

The European Parliament today passed a resolution calling for the immediate release of Dawit Isaak.


Based on requests made by the Swedish government, the European Parliament on Thursday voted through a resolution calling for the immediate release of Dawit Isaak, the Swedish journalist who has been imprisoned without trial in Eritrea for more than 15 years. Continue reading EU Parliament ‘Demands’ Release of Dawit Isaak

Eritrea – Sweden: A Call to Action

The debate in Sweden has long revolved around whether the ”quiet diplomacy” works in foreign relations, or if Sweden needs to put its foot down. The journalist Martin Schibbye, who recently spent some time in Eritrea, believes that the issue of Dawit Isaak’s freedom is too important to just leave in the hands of politicians. Here he shares some tips on what you can do for Dawit Isaak right now.

Sweden’s relationship with Eritrea is too important to be left in the hands of certain opportunistic politicians. Focus should be on getting an Eritrean-Swedish citizen out of prison—not fighting or humiliating Eritrea.

By Martin Schibbye | for Blank Spot Project,

September 23 marks 15 years of Dawit Isaak’s imprisonment and the discussion about the best strategy to gain his freedom has raged ever since his arrest. (Eritrean-born Isaak became a Swedish citizen in 1992, but returned to his native country, where he started a newspaper in the late 1990s.) I was in Eritrea recently, lucky enough to be awarded the rarity of a journalism visa in order to write three long stories. I was there to record Eritrea’s journey from the euphoria after independence in 1991, until reality ripped the pen out of Dawit’s hands and many other journalists like him in 2001. Continue reading Eritrea – Sweden: A Call to Action

Vociferous Enemy of Swedish – Eritrean Community

Eritrea born Swedish Parliamentarian Arhe Hamednaca put the life of many Swedish-Eritreans into danger, including that of Dawit Isaak, with his endless lies and baseless accusations against Eritrea and the Eritrean community in Sweden just to achieve his personal and political ambition. Time to reap what he sow?

By Alem Fisshatzion,

It is with deep remorse and regret that the Eritrean community in Sweden learnt of the shocking and unjustified announcement that the Swedish government declared Tekle Menghistu, first secretary at the Eritrean diplomatic mission in Stockholm persona non grata and subsequently deported him.

The Swedish Foreign Office admits the authenticity of the event but refrains from either commenting or justifying the decision, as has been government policy to never publicize specifics about diplomatic deportations.

Eritrea, a sovereign state in the so-called Horn of Africa became independent from neighboring Ethiopia in 1993. The country has a population of around 6 million. The Eritrean diaspora is estimated to reach a million of which close to 30,000 are believed to be currently living in Sweden.  Continue reading Vociferous Enemy of Swedish – Eritrean Community

Dawit Isaak Children Criticize ‘Free Dawit’ Campaign

Dawit Isaak campaign has been hijacked into a stormy political issue not for the purpose of his release but for the benefit of its handlers: His Family

By Rebecca Martin,

The children of Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak, jailed in Eritrea since 2001, think that it is the massive Free Dawit campaign that has made the release of their father impossible.

“We want everyone to know that we are not a part of the campaign and never will be. They pretend we are a great big happy family, but that is far from the truth,” said Isaak’s 18-year-old daughter Bethlehem to daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

According to Isaak’s wife Sofia and children Bethlehem and Yorun, the’Free Dawit Isaak’ campaign is the reason Isaak is still behind bars. Because his case has been politicized, his release is now impossible, the family told the paper.

“We can’t sit in Sweden and dictate how Eritrea should be governed. It has just made my father’s situation worse,” said Bethlehem to SvD. Continue reading Dawit Isaak Children Criticize ‘Free Dawit’ Campaign