Dawit Habtemichael

Dawit Habtemichael was the assistant editor and co-founder of Meqalh newspaper, and one of the youngest to be arrested during the crackdown on independent media in Eritrea.

Dawit Habtemichael was the assistant editor and co-founder of Meqalh newspaper. He was arrested along with 16 other journalists for reporting around the G-15 letter, an open letter from prominent Eritrean politicians known as the G-15 or Group of 15, within the ruling party, that condemned the actions of President Isaias Afwerki and his regime. Dawit was one of the youngest in the group at age 30. He has been forcibly disappeared, with the authorities refusing to disclose his exact location or details about his health and wellbeing.

The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights ruled in May 2007 that those arrested in September 2001 in Eritrea, which includes Dawit Habtemichael, 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.