Two Eritrean women die of hunger strike

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Two Pentecostal women have died following a hunger strike after being transferred to a hospital from the detention centre where they were being held.

Eritrean website Erimedrek News reported that the women had been detained at Wi’a Military Camp and had begun a hunger strike in protest at the abuse they were experiencing whilst incarcerated.

The site also reported that bruises on the women’s bodies suggested that they had injuries consistent with sexual abuse.

The women were admitted to Massawa Hospital on 12 March, where they were guarded by security personnel, but died five days later.

According to advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide, thousands of prisoners of conscience are detained for indefinite periods of time and often experience torture.

Since 2002, religious minority communities have been targeted in campaigns of arrest across the country, effectively outlawing all practices not affiliated with Sunni Islam, Catholicism, Evangelical Lutheranism and Orthodox Christianity.

Members of authorised Christian groups also report harassment, detention and persecution.

In June 2016, the UN found “reasonable grounds to believe” that crimes against humanity had been committed by state officials in Eritrea since 1991; including persecution of religious groups and rape by detention officials.

Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide said, “We mourn with the families and friends of these young women, who are the latest known victims of a regime deemed guilty of perpetrating crimes against humanity against its own people.

“It is particularly poignant and harrowing to note they may have died after enduring unspeakable violations that compelled them to adopt a hunger strike, the sole means of protest available to them. Their story is emblematic of many others, whose suffering and deaths fail to register internationally due to the closed nature and pervasive control of the regime.

“It is imperative that this tragedy galvanises efforts by the international community to ensure justice for victims of crimes against humanity, by formalising and initiating processes to identify and hold perpetrators accountable before national, regional or international judicial mechanisms.”

Source:The Premier

4 Comments

  1. Such is the fruit of Eritrean independence. War, disease, arbitrary detention, torture and disappearances. Roy Pateman in his book “Eritrea: Even the stones are burning” told us the vision of the independent fighters for a post-independence society. Since he was writing the book on biased and one sided point of view then, I wonder what he would say about the current affair of Eritrea now.
    EPLF who destroyed ELF with the help of TPLF was torturing and killing its own citizens during the struggle and that behavior never changed when they captured Asmara. In the name of party secrecy many have gone to sleep without telling us the thousands of atrocities that was committed by the EPLF during the struggle years as well as after forming a government in Asmara.
    What saddens me is the diehard EPLF supports that ignore the suffering of their people and chose to wave the flag of the nation in support of EPLF. I am 100% certain the two Christian women chose to die from hunger and thirst than to endure the daily beatings and humiliation of the sadistic EPLF guards and tormentors. This is the outcome of the 30 year independence war that was waged between brothers and sisters wasting untold resources and thousands of lives. Borrowing an Orwellian quote “Slavery is freedom, freedom is slavery”. A nation that told its citizens to vote “Freedom” over Ethiopian colonialism (Slavery) now finds itself harming its own citizens in unthinkable way. If that is what they call freedom. To hell with it!

    • Why don’t you care about your own people? TPLF is feeding you its shit; remember what TPLF did to Habtamu Ayelew and others. Maybe you are the son of a derg solidier, who died in Eritrea fighting against Eritrean people. Eritrea has its own problem and is working hard to resolve its problem. You have no idea about this proud nation of Eritrea, but I am 100% sure Eritrea will unseat the beggar TPLF for the sake of itself, the Ethiopian people and the entire Horn region.

      • People like you are simple morons. Drunk with twisted political outlook laced with poison that does not work itself out of the body with time. There is no cure for it. Lecturing us about the atrocities of the TPLF does not mask the suffering of the Eritrean people under the EPLF.
        Childish and moronic view like yours does not help to alleviate the suffering of our people. It is such a view that sees things while there is nothing to look at that confuses the thinking power of our people. Calling for war and putting self on pedestal looking down on others will never achieve a meaningful end to the suffering of our people by the EPLF and TPLF. Grow up and see the truth!

        • Obbo Tesfa:

          You hit it right on the nose. That demonic Isaias lived his entire adult life killing and maiming everyone in his sight that he thinks is standing in his way. This is a demon who among us flock to lick his boots for bread crumbs. You see. You name any ethnic group of the old country. They are known to be very proud people. Beside all the downtrodden life they were living, one thing untouchable to all of them is their personal and national pride. Licking boots disgusts them. They despise all those who do just that. This demon has been a menace to our people and will continue to be so until he takes his last gasp. One thing you will notice these days though is the fact the he has unleashed his barking dogs(operatives). You can tell by the way they conduct themselves in a discourse. They are rude. They grew sideways the whole time refusing to grow straight up. They act like eyal-al-souqs who were reared at bazaars, Al-Toweel Isaias bazaars that is. Look at the profanity he is hurling at you. Just ignore this ‘balega’.

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