Petros Solomon

Petros Solomon was a key figure in Eritrea’s independence struggle, serving as an Eritrean People’s Liberation Front military commander and intelligence chief.

Petros Solomon was a key figure in the struggle, serving as an Eritrean People’s Liberation Front military commander and intelligence chief, as well as an EPLF political bureau member since 1977. After independence, he held many different cabinet positions, and served as the country’s first Minister of Defence. He subsequently held the posts of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Marine Resources and was fired from his cabinet position before being arrested in 2001 for signing the G15 letter - an open letter from prominent Eritrean politicians, known as the G-15 or Group of 15, within the ruling party - to President Isaias Afwerki demanding government reforms. He has since been subject to enforced disappearance, and the status of his health or whereabouts are unknown.  He is the husband of Aster Yohannes, a woman who was active in the Eritrean struggle for independence, and who was arrested in 2003. 

The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights ruled in November 2003 that G-15 dissenters arrested in September 2001 in Eritrea, which includes Petros Solomon, were being held in arbitrary and unlawful detention. It called upon the Eritrean government to release and compensate them. The Government of Eritrea has ignored the ruling and the G-15 members arrested in September 2001 remain in detention.