• Sweden's news in English

Isaak children criticize 'Free Dawit' campaign

TT/Rebecca Martin · 19 Oct 2011, 08:24

Published: 19 Oct 2011 08:24 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“We want everyone to know that we are not a part of the campaign and never will be. They pretend we are a great big happy family, but that is far from the truth,” said Isaak’s 18-year-old daughter Bethlehem to daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

According to Isaak’s wife Sofia and children Bethlehem and Yorun, the Free Dawit Isaak campaign is the reason Isaak is still behind bars.

Because his case has been politicized, his release is now impossible, the family told the paper.

“We can’t sit in Sweden and dictate how Eritrea should be governed. It has just made my father’s situation worse,” said Bethlehem to SvD.

The family revealed how the battle about campaign strategies has torn the family apart since 2005.

Six years ago, the family was first told Dawit Isaak had been released, but it later turned out he had only been let out to see a doctor.

After that, his immediate family wanted to change strategy, but Isaak’s brother Essayas and his foster father Leif Öbrink, the leaders of the campaign, refused.

Since then, Dawit Isaak’s wife and children have had no part in the campaign and Isaak’s wife Sofia said she hadn’t spoken to her brother-in-law for the past six years.

Story continues below…

Together with her children, she is critical of the campaign. According to them, the Dawit Isaak campaign has been hijacked into a great political issue.

“But in reality it is about us, a family who has been robbed of our father for ten years. They are not doing this for his sake but for their own,” Bethlehem Isaak told SvD.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:43 October 19, 2011 by OUIJA
Finally the truth is coming out thanks to the family of Dawit Isaak.

He has been manipulated by his brother Essayas and by his "foster father" Leif Öbrink to portray him as the representative of the oppressed journalists in the world, something that was of the taste of Aftonbladet, Expressen, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet.

They (Essayas and Leif Öbrink and the dailies) do not really care about Dawit; they always cared about themselves, as proved with the lack of respect shown to the Professional Foreign Correspondents of Sweden (PROFOCA) that invited all of them to the 2010 Stockholm Journalists Memorial held at the Stockholm Cathedral on May 26.

In spite of the about 3 invitations sent to all of them to participate in the event because the organization was dedicating a part of the Memorial to pray for Dawit and to pray that he would be soon be released, not one of the above mentioned answered if they were attending the Memorial or not.

Good for Sofia and her children Bethlehem and Yorun.

The campaign has made quite impossible the release of Dawit. He is paying the price for the arrogance of Lena K. Samuelsson, Jan Helin, Thomas Mattson, Gunilla Herlitz, Essayas and Leif Öbrink, who wanted to shine in the world with their campaign "Free Dawit" and their counting of how many days has been Dawit in jail.

Good for Sofia and her children Behtlehem and Yorun. Good for them.

A question: How many more days will they keep on profiting on Dawit Isaak? How many?
17:28 October 20, 2011 by lexad
It is a disappointing blow for those who wanted to see Dawit released as much as his family. OUIJA, what truth is exposed, why are you all of a sudden interested in Dawit's campaign? Is it it just because something is said in your favour. In the information age we would really have to make use of the power it has. If Dawit's case was made worse by the campaign, how are the case of others made worse? Biteweded, and many unknowns make the list here. Is it Finland media? We would have to call a spade a spade, why blame the ones that came on aftermath than the cause? Yes Dawit's family might think or be convinced or persuaded that If they don't mention their father's name, things could get better. I wish that was the truth, because I have family members who are not lucky enough to own Swedish passport and rotting in prison while nobody is campaigning for them.

Bethlehem and his (dawit's) family: Although you are the direct victims of the atrocities, you are not alone as we have loved one languishing in PFDJ's cells. I would like to share the suffering of every Eritrean's right specifically and human races suffering in general. What kind of a government actually makes the suffering of a person (Dawit) based on the action of others (who are campaigning). Can we start hearing ouselves and be genuine human beings. My wish for his family and the rest of peace lovers is to have this innocent people released. I would never stop demonstrating for their release or taking measures in my ability to get to that avenue. Although Bethelhem & OUIJA wouldn't agree with me, I respect your views and I believe we can coexist. Thank the opportunity to post your view on the Swedish media like what you are doing now. I wish I could have that opportunity on shabait and other webistes of the government. I actually have sent many posts to the minstry of information but they never get publicized. They are probably investigating who did that instead of what the information contains. For now my only wish is or Bethelhem to be able to see her father again. Peace and Love
19:48 October 20, 2011 by Yohannes
Well I do not think these childern are oppossing this effort unless the mafia Issias's regime, those twisted head Eritreans scared them, those twisted head will do anything to protect the most ruthless and iditotic leader ever exist in Eritrean hilstory.
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available