• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

New plea for Dawit Isaak release after 4,500 days

The Local · 19 Jan 2014, 13:40

Published: 19 Jan 2014 13:40 GMT+01:00

Isaak has been locked up in an Eritrean jail without trial for exactly 4,500 days on Sunday. To coincide with the latest anniversary of his imprisonment campaigners staged a manifestation in the capital in an attempt to bring his detainment back into the public eye. 

"Nelson Mandela was held for 27-years but we hope that you can come out much earlier," said journalist Stina Lundberg Dabrowski who chairs the Swedish Publicists' Association.

Isaak had fled to Sweden in 1987 during Eritrea's war of succession from Ethiopia but returned in 2001 to help shape the media landscape in his recently independent homeland.

The father of three worked as a cleaner in order to support himself and was granted Swedish citizenship in 1992.

But his life changed forever when he arrested on September 2001, not long after he published a series of articles demanding political reforms in a paper he founded in the country.

He has been behind bars ever since and sightings of him have been few and far between, leading to speculation that he is dead.

Don't miss: It's time Sweden takes Dawit Isaak seriously

"Until the contrary is proved then we must believe that he is alive. We must never waver," said Jeanette Gustafsdotter of media organisation Utgivarna.

Previous attempts to engineer Isaak's release have fallen on deaf ears. In 2012 Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt said the ministry were prioritizing the case but as yet there has been little known developments.

It's understood that several other captives who shared the prison with Isaak have since died but that has not discouraged hope from the campaigners.

"Everything suggests that he is still alive. I think most Swedes know who Dawit Isaak is, however there is the risk that he now represents a symbol. We wish to put it in minds that this is a real person who is still in a death camp without trial," Ola Larsmo of the association of writers told the Upsala Nya Tidning.

Story continues below…

The fresh demand for Isaak's release coincides with the publication of an article by two Swedish journalist who were held captive in Syria.

Magnus Falkehed and photographer Niclas Hammarström were abducted and held for two months before being being released. Under a special arrangement Swedish newspapers Aftonbladet and Dagens Nyheter published their story recalling their experience in the troubled region on Sunday. 

The Local/pr

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish city ‘receiving more tips about extremists’
Rosengård in Malmö is a troubled suburb with a reputation for crime and ethnic segregation. Photo: TT

More names of alleged extremist recruiters.

Mona Sahlin quits in bodyguard mortgage fiasco
Mona Sahlin. Photo: TT

UPDATE: Mona Sahlin has stepped down from her position as Sweden's national coordinator against violent extremism, after revelations that she had misrepresented her bodyguard’s salary to help him secure a mortgage.

Watch out for rail delays this holiday weekend
Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Make sure you bring plenty of entertainment if you’re taking the train between Sweden’s two biggest cities this weekend.

Interview
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
One of the cartoons in the new book. Copyright: Julien S. Bourrelle

Dating happens after sex and Swedes can struggle to show their emotions.

Interview
Why I bared my breasts for a school photo
Photo: Private

“I think it’s a social construct that we should think of breasts as such a big deal.”

Weary asylum seekers choose to leave Sweden
Police supervise a queue of asylum seekers at Hyllie station near Malmö in November 2015. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Year-long waits are one reason.

Disgraced celeb surgeon defends work in first interview
Paolo Macchiarini. Photo: Lorenzo Galassi/TT/AP

Scandal-hit Italian surgeon Paolo Macchiarini is accused of using Swedish patients as guinea pigs.

The Local List
Nine startling ways Sweden's capital will steal your heart
Living in Stockholm isn't all about Abba and meatballs. Photos: Hasse Holmberg/Anders Wikström/Christine Olsson/TT

It's easy to fall in love with Stockholm's architecture, parks and sense of style. But there are so many more reasons to be passionate about the stunning city.

Couple terrified after new tenant bakes hash cake
This gingerbread cake is perfectly innocent. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

He doesn’t Iive with them any more.

Fury as sacked boss gets job with migration agency
Angeles Bermudez-Svankvist in 2011. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

“People were screaming in the corridors.”

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: Stockholm's secret dating scene
International
Eurovision heads to the US (kind of)
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vollsjö, Sjöbo
Blog updates

29 April

Editor’s blog, April 29th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Relations between Sweden and Russia went from slightly strained to full-on James Bond this…" READ »

 

18 April

A day as a guard (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Life as an Ambassador. Driven around in the Jaguar. Visits all planned so you go straight…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Kista: The best office space in Sweden?
Features
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
Sponsored Article
'Swedes must realize only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Gallery
People-watching: April 29th - May 1st
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
National
INTERVIEW: Swedish police officer 'beat me up and used racial slurs'
Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Gallery
People-watching: April 27th
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
National
Öresund bridge border checks net record number of drink drivers
National
Swedes bid farewell to iconic Volvo
Sponsored Article
Why international researchers love to call Malmö home
Gallery
Property of the week: Enköping
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd-24th
Politics
Could Brits in Europe stop Brexit?
Sponsored Article
‘Life in Stockholm’s suburbs is better than people realize’
National
The first official picture of Sweden's new royal Prince Alexander
Sponsored Article
'I may work at a Swedish company, but we’re global'
National
Sweden's Sami reindeer still live in the shadow of Chernobyl
Sponsored Article
'A sustainable Sweden must embrace diversity'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 20th
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
National
Why was a Nazi flag hoisted in a Swedish town on Hitler's birthday?
Sponsored Article
Sigtunaskolan: 'The best of what Sweden has to offer'
National
How did Sweden's deputy PM get in trouble over New York comments?
Sponsored Article
'I may work at a Swedish company, but we’re global'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 16th-17th
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: Stockholm's secret dating scene
Culture
Sweden finally axes historic dancing ban
International
Have you phoned Sweden yet?
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 13th
National
Is booze going up in Sweden?
3,298
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se