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.
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→
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→
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.