• Sweden edition
 
Swedish media groups call for Eritrea aid ban

Swedish media groups call for Eritrea aid ban

Published: 03 May 2010 13:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 May 2010 13:30 GMT+02:00

"The EU's aid to Eritrea must gradually be halted," said the heads of the Swedish chapters of rights groups like Reporters Without Borders and PEN, along with journalist and publishing associations in a statement to mark World Press Freedom Day.

No aid should be given to Asmara "until the Eraeiro death camp is closed, its prisoners are given medical care ... and released or given an open trial on the 'crimes' they are suspected of," they wrote in an opinion piece in the Dagens Nyheter daily.

According to the piece, the EU's total aid package to Eritrea in coming years totals $413 million.

Their appeal came amid new reports on harsh conditions at the high-security Eraeiro secret prison near Asmara, where Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak and a number of other reporters and opposition politicians are reportedly being held.

An Eritrean with Swedish citizenship, Isaak was arrested in September 2001 along with a dozen newspaper owners, editors and journalists accused of being Ethiopian spies.

A number of demonstrations were planned across Sweden Monday calling for the release of the reporter, now 45.

"The prisoners are dying one by one. How long will it take before the world reacts and puts pressure on Eritrea to release the political prisoners?" Isaak's brother Esayas told the TT news agency.

Last month, the first information in years pinpointing Isaak's whereabouts and describing the conditions of his detention emerged in Sweden, and on Monday new accounts from a former guard at the Eraeiro prison surfaced.

Isaak "complains all the time, asking for 'medicine, medicine,' and all the time asking for help from a doctor ... I think he has mental problems," ex-guard Eyob Bahta Habtemariam told the Expressen daily.

Habtemariam, in hiding in Ethiopia, said he had last seen Isaak on January 5th, right before he himself fled from Eritrea.

He said Isaak was held handcuffed nearly around the clock in solitary confinement in a windowless cell measuring only 12 square metres at the secret prison, some 50 kilometres from Asmara.

The prisoners there, which include former government ministers opposed to President Isaias Afeworki, were not tortured, but according to Habtemariam, the suffocating heat and isolation "was worse than torture".

"When I started working (at the prison) nine years ago, there were 35 prisoners. Fifteen of them are dead today," he told Expressen, adding that three of the dead had killed themselves.

"There is a risk (Isaak) will kill himself," Habtemariam insisted.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

17:46 May 3, 2010 by Nemesis
This is a good idea.

There is a large number of countires in the third world that could eb changed quickly if we threatened to cut of aid and arms sales.

All it takes is for the west to cut of aid to one country and the rest will get the message.

Also any money withheld should be spent on social and infrastructure in the west. That would send a message that any monies withheld will not merelly be heald until a later date.
21:01 May 3, 2010 by boby
Bunch of Swedish hypocrats. When Israel is posing blockade on Gaza as applying pressure to get the kidnapped soldier back, all these left fachists from Sweden jump up and down and compare Israel to the Nazis. But when it is one of thier own, then it is OK to stop aid to milions. I hate the left fachists.
23:01 May 3, 2010 by Uncle
boby - I back your comment fully.

To cut aid for starving Eritreans - this is fair and legal , whereas to stop providing fuel and cigarettes to aggressive, rocket shooting, suicide bomber sending, kidnapping Gaza, where millions of dollars are poured already by Europe is unacceptable.

If it was an Israeli journalist kidnapped in Eritrea, Sweden would probably sue Israel in Strasbourg if it dared to apply economical pressure on Eritrea, while muslims would make a party here. Freaking ridiculous.
01:33 May 4, 2010 by bbeynch
What many people do not realize is that generally accepted diplomatic protocol dictates that a person with dual citizenship is subject to the laws of the country where he comitted the legal infraction. Even the UN follows this principle. Hence a dual citizenship Eritrea/Sweden can not appeal to Swedish authorities in Eritrea for assistance. He is considered a 100% Eritrean. And vice versa too. If he committed a crime in Sweden, he can not seek assistance from Eritrean authrities there, as he is "Swedish". Whether this is fair or not is another matter. If the conditions in an eritrean prison are "harsh" by Swedish standards may be irrelevant to Eritrean authorities, since to them he simply an "Eritrean". It is thus not always a positive to carry two passports.
02:28 May 4, 2010 by salamlalam
I am flablagasted to see Eritreans in the diaspora who enablers to the slave plantation owner of a country called Eritrea. The people are forced to give their teenage boys and girls to such a state. What ever they produce is sold at low price to the government.and every Eritrean has been equally poor and destitued, except the few slave drivers. I don't know how these cowardly people waged a war of liberation unless they were forced at the barrel of the gun and had no choice but to fight to death. The people of Eritrea are not the one that are getting the aid of the west but, every, liberation front, and every arms merchant. It is hight times important that the west should cease and descese to sustain the enslavement of the people. The people have lost the dream to a democratic and free nation, and they go with their tails between their legs. They go out scared and sleep scared, and the number of mental patients in relation to its population is among the highest in the world.

EU please do the Eritrean people a favor and stop aid to the Dictator of Eritrea and the few dogs; the people are used to survive with little but can't survive the dehumanizing mental sickness.
11:55 May 4, 2010 by Audrian
This regime was hailed as a shinning example of democracy in the offing when it was at war for cessation. The dictator has killed numerous radical ethnic Tigre-students that left the university in Ethiopia and joined the struggle because they demanded democratic leadership. This inconvenient news was ignored, because he was regarded on the western side of the cold war. The regime in Eritrea has not changed one bite it is the West that has lost consistency.
Today's headlines
New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Royal family
Swedish royal couple set wedding date
The couple pictured in the summer. Photo: TT

Swedish royal couple set wedding date

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, who got engaged earlier this year, have announced they will marry next June. READ  

Analysis
Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'

There is talk that the nationalist Sweden Democrats could trigger a fresh election, by rejecting the new coalition's budget. But leading Political Scientist Li Bennich Björkman tells The Local that the party is just game-playing and should be focusing on getting its fatigued leader back. READ  

Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Chocolate and liquorice are on the menu in Gothenburg this weekend. Photo: Shutterstock

What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st

A secret gig in Stockholm, a short film festival in Uppsala and a gastronomy event in Gothenburg have caught our eye this week. READ  

Science
Astronaut helps launch first student satellite
Christer Fuglesang on a previous space mission. Photo: TT

Astronaut helps launch first student satellite

Sweden's debut astronaut Christer Fuglesang is helping students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology to become the first in the country to make their own satellite and send it into space. READ  

Weather
Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow
Kiruna, in far northern Sweden, has already been hit by snow this season. Photo: TT

Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow

Sweden's weather agency has warned that up to ten centimetres of snow are on the way for Sweden. READ  

Business and Money
Global profit boost for Handelsbanken
Handelsbanken is Sweden's second largest bank. Photo: Bertil Eriksson/TT

Global profit boost for Handelsbanken

Sweden's second-largest bank, Handelsbanken, has reported a rise in third-quarter profits, boosted by higher income from its loan book as it continues its expansion overseas. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search
Navy vessels remain in the archipelago. Photo: Lars Pehrson/TT

Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search

Sweden is pulling back part of the naval operation which has been searching for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast of Stockholm for nearly a week. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange prepares for court ruling in Sweden
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange prepares for court ruling in Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is "confident" his asylum status will be resolved, as he awaits an imminent ruling on his case by a Swedish court. READ  

Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

978
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN