• 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
The Local List
Ten ridiculous things Zlatan has compared himself to
Thinking about that time he compared himself to Rambo? Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Is it a Ferrari? Is it a shark? No, it's Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Foreigners in Sweden still more likely to be unemployed
A grim outlook is predicted for foreigners in Sweden. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Unemployment is falling among native Swedes, but foreign-born citizens are struggling to keep pace.

'Help! My name is Jihad'
Jihad Eshmawi. Photo: Private

My name doesn’t make life easy for me, Jihad Eshmawi tells us.

Why fewer Swedes are using condoms in 2016
Photo: Robert Henriksson / SvD / TT

Younger Swedes are better at protecting themselves than their older compatriots.

Swedish economic growth 'best in Nordics'
A new report says Sweden has the best growth prospects of the Nordics. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden's economy is out-pacing its Nordic rivals, but high levels of household debt are still a problem.

IN PICTURES: 8 of Sweden’s wondrous national parks
Vadvetjåkka is Sweden's northernmost national park. Photo: Peter Rosén/Rosénmedia

It’s National Parks Day in Sweden. Who knew? A perfect opportunity surely to take a closer look at some of the country’s most amazing natural wonders…

Why Swedish football is introducing a green card
Swedish referees could soon be reaching for a green card. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT

You’ve heard of the red and yellow cards, but how about the green card?

Sweden won't charge foreign minister over 'queue jump'
Sweden's foreign minister, Margot Wallström. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's foreign minister Margot Wallström will not be charged over claims she was given special treatment to secure an apartment in Stockholm.

Swedes don’t want to join the euro - now or ever
Euros? Nej tack! Photo: Jens Meyer/AP

We'll keep our krona, thank you very much.

Opinion
'Bigotry is not dead in Sweden – we still need to talk'
Stockholm Pride 2015. Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Sweden still needs to do more to confront intolerance, argues columnist Paul Connolly.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
Blog updates

20 May

Editor’s blog, May 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Do not mention Abba! Or cuckoo clocks! Our most read article this week was…" READ »

 

17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Politics
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
National
Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vollsjö, Sjöbo
Features
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
Gallery
People-watching: April 29th - May 1st
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
3,282
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