Eritrean regime arrested dozens of citizens

Written by: Ahmed Raji

On 24 and 25 November 2005, the Eritrean regime arrested citizens

in several Eritrean towns including Asmara, Keren, Tessenei, Agordat and Barentu.

They remain still unaccounted for, while some were later reported to have been summarily executed by the regime.


In the last week of November and first week of December 2005 the Eritrean regime arrested dozens of citizens in several Eritrean towns including Asmara, Keren, Tessenei, Agordat and Barentu.

Their whereabouts have remained unknown for many years.

Enquiries by families of some of the detainees were rebuffed by the government’s security authorities and, in some cases, family members were threatened with dire consequences if they ever asked again about their relatives.

As reported at the time by Asmarino, Farajat, Awate and other Eritrean websites, of those arrested the names of 14 were known, namely:-

Jimie Kimel:

Journalist and former fighter in the Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF). He worked in the EPLF’s Department of Information and Guidance, and later, following Independence, in the Ministry of Information. He was a reporter at ‘Eritrea al-Haditha’ Arabic newspaper and later became its sports editor. Arrested in his home in the Denden (Kagnew) Compound in Asmara.

Taha Mumammed-Nur:

Veteran of the Eritrean liberation struggle. He was one of the founders of the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) in 1960 and foreign relations head of the Popular Liberation Front (PLF) in the 1970s. He served as member of the Eritrean Referendum Commission in 1992-1993. At the time of his arrest in Asmara, he run a private business including a language school.

Idris Muhammed-Ali:

Veteran patriotic singer. One of the founders of the music band of the PLF, forerunner to the EPLF, in 1974. Known for his many patriotic as well as love and social consciousness songs. In 1991, he founded ‘Love of the Homeland’ musical band in Eritrea, of which many of the young members later became well-known artists, including the renowned composer, Mukhtar Saleh. He was arrested in Asmara.

Omar Keckia:

Veteran fighter of the EPLF. Also was a member of the ELF. Since Eritrea’s Independence, he worked in the Ministry of Education (MoE). At the time of his arrest, in Keren, he was serving as a MoE supervision officer.

Mohammed-Jimie Arei:

An officer in the Eritrean Police Department. At the time of his arrest, he was working as a forensic expert at the Police headquarters, known as AGIP. He had studied law at Khartoum University and received forensic studies training in the Netherlands.

Adem Shelshel:

former EPLF fighter. Worked in the Eritrean Police Department in Asmara (Station No. 1, and at the HQ) and was later transferred to the Ministry of Information. Arrested in Asmara.

Mohammed Abdulhaleem:

Writer, poet and businessman. Former journalist at Eritrea Al Hadeetha. Arrested in Barentu.

Abubakr Berq Ramadan:

Civil servant in the administration of Keren town. Previously was an officer in the PFDJ (the ruling party) branch in Keren. Arrested in Keren.

Salah Greinet:

Ticket officer in the Eritrean Airlines head office in Asmara. National service corps. Served in the Assab front between 1997 and 2003. Arrested in Asmara.

Mahmoud Mesmer:

Civil servant, Keren.

Mohammed Nur:

Hotel manager. Arrested in Agordat.

Hasan Abubakr (Farini):

Hotel manager in Barentu and musician. Arested in Barentu. Released after spending 6 years in prison, but in poor health and mute (unable to speak). Died 2 months later on February 1st 2013 in Barentu.

Abdalla Ramadan:

Businessman, Keren.

Jeilani Al'amin:

Traffic police officer, Asmara

Other names became available later, including: Captain Ahmed Mohammed Musa Gmo'e, Mohammed Musa Raka and Rubat Al-Hasan.

On 24 December 1996 the Eritrean regime's security arrested individuals in Adi Keyih, Sen'afe and the surrounding area. 24 years on, their status and whereabouts still are unknown.
They include:-

• Abdalla Ali Nasser (abducted from Adi Kaieh)

Ahmed Lamba (Adi Kaieh)

Ibrahim Omer Ahmedin (Adi Kaieh)

Mohamed Adem Bani (Senafe)

Omer Ahmed (Adi Kaieh)

Yassin Hussein (Adi Kaieh)

Youssuf Abubakr Fora (abducted from Senafe). His wife, Fatma Mohamed, was killed as she screamed in an attempt to prevent his arrest.

Although the regime never acknowledges such disappearances, let alone give reasons for the arrests, many believe it had to do with the regime's negative disposition toward their background as former members of the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF).


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