(English) UNESCO awards World Press Freedom Prize to Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak

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An independent and international jury of media professionals unanimously recommended that Dawit Isaak be awarded the prize for freedom of the press.

Dawit Isaak, 52, is a journalist, writer and founder of the first independent Eritrean newspaper „Setit“. He was arrested in September 2001 along with many other journalists and government officials. Their crime: demanding democratic reform from the President.

2005 marks the last year wh information about Dawit Isaak surfaced. Since no one knows where he is.

His case is not isolated. Indeed, many civilians continue to disappear and be arrested without any legal process. In a recent press release, Sheila Keetharuth, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations recalls that, according to the UN Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea, there are reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity are widespread And systematic in the country since 1991, including crimes of enforced disappearance.

The Special Rapporteur said: „The Government of Eritrea has an obligation to provide information on the fate and whereabouts of persons deprived of their liberty. This would be the first and belated indication that the Government is committed to rebuilding trust with the Eritrean people. “

„The arrest of Dawit Isaak and his colleagues remains the most visible sign of repression of freedom of expression,“ said Keetharuth. The Eritrean authorities continue to repress all forms of expression that may be perceived as critical of the Government and its policies. In its latest world ranking, Reporters Without Borders reports that Eritrea ranks second last in the world press freedom ranking just before North Korea’s 180th place.

Finally, Mrs Keetharuth recalls that freedom of expression remains a fundamental human right, freedom of the press being one of the basic principles of any democratic society.

To sign the petition for Isaak’s freedom, click on the following link: https://rsf.org/en/liberez-dawit-isaak

 

(We do not have sufficient resources to provide you with an appropriate translation of this article. Nevertheless, technology provides an approximate translation into English via Google Translate.)