Eritrea. Very few news sizzled during the year from the
closed Eritrea, one of the world's hardest dictatorships.
Among the few reports on the condition in the country were
information from a defected former camp guard, who in
January said that the Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak was
alive but probably in a very bad condition. Isaak was
arrested in 2001 for having in his newspaper given room for
criticism of the regime and has since been imprisoned
According to the camp guard, Isaak is kept under
difficult conditions in the desert camp Eiraeiro, without
access to medical care and with very small rations of food
and water. Six of the eleven high-ranking political and
military leaders who were also imprisoned in 2001, according
to the former guard, have died from the hardships, as well
as a number of prisoners, among them five journalists.
has a population of 3.214 million (2011). Activists working for Isaak's release demanded increased
efforts from the Swedish government and the EU.