Eritrea releases Swedish journalist after four years

Eritrean authorities have released a journalist whom they held for four years while 12 others still remain in custody, an international media watchdog said on Saturday.

Dawit Isaac, 41, the proprietor of the former weekly Setit, has been released after being detained since September 2001, the Paris-based Reporters without Borders (RSF) said in a statement.

“The interminable torment the Eritrean government has inflicted on Dawit Isaac has finally ended,” RSF said. “We share in the happiness and relief of his friends and family after more than four years of silence and distress.”

Isaac, an Eritrean who also took Swedish citizenship in the 1980s, was released on the morning of November 19 from Karcheli Prison in the capital Asmara, the group added.

Dawit was one of ten newspaper owners, editors and journalists accused without evidence of being Ethiopian “traitors” and “spies” by the government, the statement said.

Earlier this year, RSF accused Eritrea of violations of press freedom, ranking it 166th out of 167 countries in its annual report.