Today, Tuesday, it is 13 years ago journalist Dawit Isaak, jailed in Eritrea. Esayas Isaak dreams of one day going to the football, and their friends’ wedding with his brother.
I was on my best friend’s wedding this weekend. It was nice, atmospheric and beautiful. Still, I was absent-minded. Involuntarily, I thought for a moment on my brother Dawit’s wedding for nearly two decades ago in Asmara. I was also reminded of Dawit joy and family happiness and a free democratic Eritrea.
And it was a long time since the detention of Dawit was at a wedding at all. Just to get the feel welcome at wedding parties or just to be able to move freely and socialize with friends and family, the dictator in Asmara banned my brother and democracy campaigner Isaak in exactly 13 years.
The same feeling had when I was with the players in Öis first team last week.
Many of the players were young boys when Dawit was imprisoned. Today they are adults. When I asked what they did 13 years ago, the answers were varied but all had one thing in common: they have been able to enjoy their freedom and play football.
By now most people know the journalist, poet and father of three children, Dawit Isaak, who was arrested Sept. 23, 2001 at his home in Asmara.
Today Isaak from Gothenburg served 4,748 days in prison in Eritrea. Over the years, many witnesses told Dawit living under very difficult conditions in the secret Eiraeiro prison located 15 kilometers north of the Eritrean capital, Asmara.
Several political prisoners in Eiraeiro have died over the years, but we Many of us hope and believe that Dawit is still alive.
13 years Dawit has been imprisoned without charge, without counsel, without trial or adjudication. The Eritrean dictator Isaias Afewerki denies Dawit a punishment meted out is a mystery to me.
Dawit’s crime? To have written articles in the brave magazine Setit that called for freedom and democracy in Eritrea, more than four million inhabitants. Eritrean regime is hardly known for respecting human rights: Since independence, Eritrea had democratic and free elections. Any opposition and critical thinking is prohibited. Eritrea occupies last place annually on press freedom index list. Hundreds of intellectuals have been placed behind bars.
Dawit has not just unlucky in Eritrea, but also in Sweden. UD has not yet succeeded in their efforts to secure his release and was restored to the family in Gothenburg. After all, I hope that Dawit soon come home to his family. And together we can go on friends’ wedding and see the OIS matches.