Journalist, mathematician and co-founder of Meqaleh newspaper, Mattewos was known for speaking truth to power.
Mattewos Habteab, journalist, mathematician, and co-founder of Meqaleh newspaper, was known as someone who often spoke truth to power. He was arrested in 2001 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 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. 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 Mattewos Habteab, 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.