Amanuel Asrat was an award-winning poet, song-writer and newspaper editor
Amanuel Asrat was an award-winning poet, song-writer and editor of Zemen newspaper- turning it into the leading newspaper in the country concerned with literature. He was arrested on 23 September 2001 along with 16 other journalists that year, for reporting around the G-15 letter, an open letter from prominent Eritrean politicians that condemned the actions of President Isias Afwerki and his regime. He is being held incommunicado by the Eritrean authorities who refuse to disclose his exact location or details of his health and well-being. His arrest amounts to an enforced disappearance and the status of his health and whereabouts are unknown.
The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights ruled in May 2007 that journalists arrested in September 2001 in Eritrea, which includes Amanuel Asrat, were being held in arbitrary and unlawful detention. It called upon the Eritrean government to release the men and compensate them. The Government of Eritrea has ignored the ruling and journalists arrested in September 2001 remain in detention.