Systematic arrests in Eritrea aggressively target minority faith
in Eritrea aggressively target minority faith
ASMARA, Eritrea—In what is the most open attempt in recent history to shut down a minority religion in
Eritrea, police have systematically arrested 15 of Jehovah’s Witnesses during July and August. Some of them
are presently confirmed to be imprisoned, but the whereabouts of others have not been disclosed.
On Tuesday, July 8, 2008, authorities began conducting raids on the local residences of Jehovah’s
Witnesses. Long-time members of the congregations, men in their 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s, were subsequently rounded up in their homes or places of work. In most
cases these are the breadwinners for their families.
As of May 2008, there were 21 other Jehovah’s Witnesses in prison in Eritrea. False hopes of progress
were raised in May, and again in July, when three of them were released. The events of recent weeks prove
that such hope was premature-the number of prisoners has since nearly doubled.
Contact in USA: Gregory Allen,
Associate General Counsel
Contact in Europe: Marcel
Gillet, European Association of Jehovah’s Christian
Telephone +32 2 782 0015