The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has asked the Eritrean government to provide information on 15 journalists who have been jailed since the government banned independent media four years ago.
The New York-based press freedom organization says some of the journalists have been held in secret detention with no access to outsiders. Ann Cooper, CPJ executive director, called the detentions a “gross violation” of human rights.
The government in Asmara arrested the journalists on charges that include draft avoidance and jeopardizing national security. A VOA freelance reporter arrested in 2003 for not performing his national service has been released from jail.
CPJ says among those who remain jailed is Fesshaye Yohannes, who received the organization’s International Press Freedom Award in 2002.