Over 100 leading African journalists, democracy and human rights advocates from 52 out of 54 African countries have signed an open letter written to Eritrea’s head of state, President Isaias Aferwerki.
The letter which was released on Monday 10th June 2019, requests of the head of state an opportunity to visit their colleagues incarcerated in Eritrea due to the hostile climate that has prevailed in Eritrea especially for journalists, oppositionists, human rights activists and the proponents of democracy. The group also stated that, Eritreans have been incarcerated for political reasons in part creating a climate of fear that has led to considerable migration out of the proud country.
The group of advocates is also expecting that president to take the same bold step taken to normalize relations with Ethiopia on this issue as it would go a long way towards ending Eritrea’s isolation from the larger African family and could help usher her in a new era of prosperity and freedom for your people.
Below is the open letter copied to the press.
Monday, 10th June 2019
DEAR MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE WELCOME US TO ERITREA
AFRICAN DEMOCRACY ADVOCATES, JOURNALISTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS ASK TO VISIT THEIR INCARCERATED COLLEAGUES IN ERITREA
One hundred (100) leading African journalists, democracy and human rights advocates took the opportunity on Africa Day – May 25th 2019 to write an open letter to Eritrea’s President Isaias Aferwerki. It is released today Monday 10th June 2019. They requested the head of state an opportunity to visit their colleagues incarcerated in Eritrea.
In a message of solidarity with all the people of Eritrea, the group appreciated the recent progress made by Eritrea in normalizing relations with Ethiopia – two of the Horn Africa’s most vital countries. They hoped this represented a new era of deepening stability and prosperity in the region. They beseeched the President to maintain the momentum of opening up Eritrea after a period of isolation that was not only a loss to Eritrea but to all of Africa. They also observed that basic freedoms and true development go hand in hand.
Additionally, they expressed concern for the hostile climate that has prevailed in Eritrea especially for journalists, oppositionists, human rights activists and the proponents of democracy. They observed that many Eritreans had been incarcerated for political reasons in part creating a climate of fear that has led to considerable migration out of the proud country. Representing a cross-section of similar journalists and activists from across the African continent, they formally requested to visit their incarcerated colleagues in Eritrea to express not only their solidarity with their Eritrean brothers and sisters but to remind them that Africa will never forget or abandon them.