• Sweden's news in English
 

New plea for Dawit Isaak release after 4,500 days

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.

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
Sweden heading for coldest weekend of 2015
Snowy weather in Stockholm last week. Photo: TT

Sweden heading for coldest weekend of 2015

It's only Tuesday, but meteorologists are already warning that the weekend could the coldest this year, with temperatures dipping below -10C in the south of the country. READ  

Sweden's public radio blocked by 'Nazi' tape
The front door to the offices of P4 Dalarna on Tuesday morning. Photo: Johannes Rosendahl

Sweden's public radio blocked by 'Nazi' tape

Staff at P4 Dalarna radio, which is part of Sweden's national public radio broadcaster Sveriges Radio, discovered tape put up by neo-Nazis blocking the entrance to their office's main entrance on Tuesday morning. READ  

Islamism 'threat' greater than Nazism: SD leader
Acting Sweden Democrat leader Mattias Karlsson. Photo: TT

Islamism 'threat' greater than Nazism: SD leader

Acting Sweden Democrat leader Mattias Karlsson has said Islamism is "a greater threat than Nazism", sparking a strong response from Jewish and Muslim communities as the world marks 70 years since the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. READ  

Opinion
'Sweden's healthcare is an embarrassment'
A Swedish hospital emergency room. Photo: TT

'Sweden's healthcare is an embarrassment'

For this week's debate article, Johan Hjertqvist, president of Health Consumer Powerhouse, an organization which compares global healthcare systems, reacts to a new report which reveals that waiting times in Sweden's hospitals are among the worst in Europe. READ  

Ericsson profits drop as US demand slumps
Ericsson's Stockholm office. Photo: TT

Ericsson profits drop as US demand slumps

Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson's profit plunged by over a third in the fourth quarter of 2014, dragged down by falling demand in its key market North America, the company announced on Tuesday. READ  

Record 'Oscar' win for Sweden's Ruben Östlund
Swedish director Ruben Östlund. Photo: TT

Record 'Oscar' win for Sweden's Ruben Östlund

Sweden's hottest director of the moment, Ruben Östlund, was celebrating on Tuesday after his movie Turist scored a record number of awards at Sweden's Guldbagge 2015 ceremony, the country's version of the Oscars. READ  

Sweden 'soon' to return missing Maori skulls
The Karolinska Institute where the skulls are currently kept. Photo: TT

Sweden 'soon' to return missing Maori skulls

Maori skulls taken from a burial cave and later used as part of attempts to scientifically justify racism by Swedish scientists are set to be returned to New Zealand in the near future, despite 'red tape' stalling the process. READ  

Sweden Democrat head to remain on sick leave
Jimmie Åkesson on election night. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat head to remain on sick leave

Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of Sweden’s nationalist Sweden Democrats, will remain on sick leave until the end of March 2015. READ  

Sweden remembers Holocaust victims
A wall remembering Jews with links to Sweden, next to Stockholm's Great Synagogue. Photo: TT

Sweden remembers Holocaust victims

Events are taking place across Sweden to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. READ  

'I’m in Sweden thanks to Sven-Göran Eriksson'
The Local's Editor Maddy Savage with a statue of 'Svennis' in 2006. Photo: Private

'I’m in Sweden thanks to Sven-Göran Eriksson'

Maddy Savage moved to Stockholm five months ago to become The Local’s Editor, but it was a chance assignment to the Swedish home town of former England football manager Sven-Göran Eriksson in 2006 that set her on an unlikely path towards a career in Sweden. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
IN PICTURES: January snow snaps
Gallery
Property of the week: Skanör, Vellinge
National
Why Sweden's Left party wants a European 'Red Spring'
Lifestyle
'Life as a Swedish candy-maker is sweet'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's hottest new fashion designers for 2015
Blog updates

26 January

The mysterious -s, part 1 (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! How is your Swedish coming along? A while ago I read on a forum on The..." READ »

 

23 January

Editor’s blog, January 23rd (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday from The Local’s team in Stockholm. We can’t wait for the weekend, when we’re planning..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Who travels on Stockholm's different subway lines?
Lifestyle
Why this Swedish baby is a US hit
Lifestyle
'Limousine' snowplough for sale
People-watching: January 24th - 25th
Gallery
People-watching: January 24th - 25th
Society
Meet the 'beggars' buttoning up immigration critics
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden this week
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Madeleine through the years
Features
Learn Sweden's bizarre dating lingo
People-watching: January 21st - 22nd
Gallery
People-watching: January 21st - 22nd
Society
Why Sweden's viral 'genital' video is getting an English remake
National
Why does Sweden's Luleå have a giant ice beaver?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Who are Sweden's richest one percent?
Business & Money
How a classic Swedish snack got a revamp for 'busy' Stockholmers
Lifestyle
The Local's top Swedish acts for 2015
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Årets Bild photography prize winners
Business & Money
'I met my Swedish man in Tokyo's first Ikea store'
Gallery
Property of the week: A cozy apartment in Bromma, Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: January 17th - 18th
Lifestyle
How to make Swedish gravad lax
Lifestyle
Four hot Swedish home design trends
National
How The Local's video on a strange Swedish sound went viral
Gallery
People-watching: January 14th
National
The Local's guide to Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Politics
Paris attacks: Knock-on effects in Sweden and across Europe
National
Swedish Muslims react to new Charlie Hebdo magazine
National
The Local talks to Sweden's Home Affairs Minister about Paris attacks
Business & Money
Will Spotify launch on stock market after users rocket?
Accelerated
Texans and Swedes to play ice instruments
Gallery
Property of the week: An 18th century mansion in Stockholm
Business & Money
'Snowboarding drew me to work in chilly Sweden'
National
Are Sweden's royals moving to London?
National
How Sweden's Charlie Hebdo rally broke a winter protest record
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Madeleine through the years
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Stockholm's 'no pants' subway day 2015
Gallery
People-watching: January 10th - 11th
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Stockholm holds Charlie Hebdo rally
National
Have you seen Sweden's viral children's 'genital' song?
National
Mother of 'Superman' victim warns of ecstasy drug trend in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Everything you need to know about moving to Stockholm
Sponsored Article
How to jump-start your career in southern Sweden
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

1,124
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
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options