Congress of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), meeting in Cadiz, Spain
strongly condemns the detention of Swedish journalist Dawit Isaac and several
other Eritrean colleagues in Eritrean prisons since September 2001.
Congress is particularly concerned at
the time they have been detained without formal charges and the
conditions of their detention. The journalists are held in maximum security
prisons located in remote areas in the desert under conditions of extreme heat
and starvation. They have no access to health care.
Dawit Isaac and
his colleagues have not been charged of any crime nor have they appeared before
any court since their arrest. They were arrested simply because they are
journalists and had exercised their professional right to free speech.
At least 15 of
the approximately 35 journalists and opposition members which were detained
have already died in prison, according to some reports.
The IFJ Congress heard
a presentation from the Special Rapporteur of Freedom of Expression and Access
to Information, Ms Pansy Tlakula,
who singled out Eritrea as
one of the worst predators of press freedom in Africa.
During a debate
about human rights and journalists, the IFJ Congress passed a motion in support
of Eritrean journalists and press freedom in Eritrea.
the immediate release of Dawit Isaac and his colleagues and the restoration of press
freedom and freedom of expression in Eritrea."
For more information
contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists
in 125 countries worldwide