His Excellency President Isaias Afewerki
President of Eritrea
7 November 2011
We are writing to you again to call for the immediate release of journalist, writer and playwright Dawit Isaak, and all other journalists held in captivity in Eritrea, and to date we have had no response.
Following our previous letter to you dated 23 September 2011, rumours of Mr Isaak’s death have circulated among the world’s press and social media. This includes an article published in the Swedish online newspaper The Local that appeared on 27 October, citing “credible sources from Eritrea's opposition movement as indicating that Mr Isaak is no longer in the Eira Eiro prison because he has died.”
As we have had no response to our previous letters, we would be grateful if you could confirm whether Mr Isaak continues to be held in Eira Eiro prison or whether in fact he has died in custody.
We respectfully remind you that Mr Isaak is a journalist with dual Swedish-Eritrean citizenship who has been detained without charge or trial since his arrest in 2001. His whereabouts continue to be veiled in secrecy. This is an extremely distressing time for Mr Isaak’s family, friends and colleagues and we urge you to confirm if he is alive.
If this is indeed the case, we respectfully call on you to ensure that the authorities provide information on Mr Isaak’s whereabouts, the state of his health and to immediately release him from custody.
We are looking forward to your prompt reply.
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers
World Editors Forum