Yosuf Mohamed Ali, was one of the first journalists to break the long silence and culture of secrecy within the Eritrean government.
Yosuf Mohamed Ali, was one of the first journalists to break the long silence and culture of secrecy within the Eritrean government through his interview of Mahmoud Sherifo, Eritrea’s former Vice President, who was arrested for signing a letter that demanded government reforms in Eritrea. 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. The letter condemned the actions of President Isaias Afwerki and his regime. The G-15 or Yosuf has been forcibly disappeared, the Eritrean authorities who refuse to disclose his exact location or details of his health and well-being.
The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights ruled in May 2007 that journalists arrested in September 2001 in Eritrea, which includes Yosuf Ali, 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.