Join Anonymous Sweden and friends in a tweet storm today. Fight for Dawit Isaak, freedom of the press and fight oppression.
It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword!
We know for fact that the pen can be used to overthrow governments and to make tyrants tremble with fear!
Youtube video from Anonymous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug27R5Jae44
– About Dawit Isaak –
Dawit Isaak is born on October 27, 1964 in Eritrea. He grows up with five siblings and his parents, who run a small Italian deli. During elementary school, Dawit begins to write and set up plays. As an adult he becomes an author and publishes several books. He writes two novels in Tigrinya, which is one of Eritrea’s official languages. His works receives positive critique and he wins awards for his writings at Italian festivals. Eritrea, which has been deemed part of Ethiopia since World War II, struggles for independence and due to this conflict, Dawit flees to Sweden in 1985. He starts at a refugee camp, but soon lands a job as a janitor in a church in Gothenburg. Between 1985 and 1992, Dawit is active in the Eritrean diaspora, where all members share the dream of a free and democratic Eritrea. Among others, Dawit meets Yonas Manna, who, today, is the Eritrean chargé d’affaires of Sweden. Dawit becomes a Swedish citizen in 1992, and when Eritrea gains its independence the following year, he returns to the capitol city, Asmara. He marries and starts a family.
During 2001 a group of politicians and ministers begin criticizing how President Isaias Afewerki is running the country. This group is later named “G-15”. In a series of letters, they demand that elections be held as promised and for the proposed constitution to be implemented. Dawit Isaak reports on these letters in his newspaper, Setit. Dawit’s motto is: “If you have the opportunity to write, do it.” To Dawit, all news is of importance, anything from large issues like war to local incidents, and needs to be shared with the public.
On September 23, 2001 there is a knock on the Isaak residence’s door. Outside are two security officers, there to arrest Dawit. He and most of the G-15 are thrown in prison without trial. President Afewerki wants to silence all form of debate in Eritrea.
This is where the timeline could have ended. But in 2003, Dawit Isaak is awarded the Freedom of the Press award by the Swedish chapter of Reporters without Borders. It is the first time they give out the prize and several organizations actively start working for his and his colleagues’ release. Since 2004, we have regularly delivered letters in protest at the Eritrean Embassy in Stockholm. We have also, unsuccessfully, asked to meet and speak with the ambassador on numerous occasions.
Every day, voices Dawit’s release are printed in Swedish newspapers. But nothing has changed. It can seem hopeless, but we are convinced the attention to his case is what keeps him alive.
On Saturday, November 19, 2005 Dawit Isaak is unexpectedly released. When he is seeking medical attention for injuries he’s sustained during torture, the following day, he is arrested and thrown into prison again. In 2005, he is also nominated for UNESCO’s Freedom of Press Award by the International Federation of Journalists. By the end of 2008, Dawit is moved from Asmara to another prison outside of the capitol city. The new prison is known for its cruel treatment of the inmates. At the beginning of February, the organization, Eritrea Watch for Human Rights and Democracy, EWHRD, reports that Dawit has been moved to a military hospital and he is feared to be in critical condition.
On May, 2009, President Afewerki says: ”We will not have any trial and we will not free him. We know how to handle his kind. To me, Sweden is irrelevant. The Swedish government has nothing to do with us.”
A legal report compiled by the Stockholm organization, Civil Rights Defenders in 2010 shows that the Swedish Government has the right and obligation to speak for Dawit Isaak. The report, based on a review of international law and international legal cases of persons with dual citizenship, is submitted to the Swedish Foreign Ministry, the European Commission and the spokesperson for the European Parliament.
In 2011 three attorneys, supported by Reporters without Borders, submit a Habeas Corpus petition to an Eritrean special court. A copy is sent to the representative of the European Commission based in Asmara. When the Eritrean court does not act on the petition, the attorneys turn to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). The ACHPR is an agency within the African Union (CFR) that monitors compliance with the CFR’s human rights charter. Eritrea protests, but the ACHPR decides to take up the case.
On May 10, 2013, we get a sign of life from Dawit Isaak. A former prison officer confirms for the Swedish newspaper Expressen that Dawit Isaak “Is Okay”.