Radio Erena: 10 October 2017
The Ethiopian government has released a total of 3 (three) Eritreans from prison.
The three Eritreans – 2 (two) of whom were employees of the Eritrean Ministry of Information and one from the Ministry of Defense, were under the Ethiopian custody for the past 11 (eleven) years.
The journalists identified as Saleh Gema and Tesfalidet Kidane and the member of the ministry of defense – who is only identified by his first name as Samson, were detained by the Ethiopian forces at the attack launched by Ethiopia against the Somali Muslim extremist group of Al Shebab in 2006 in the Somali capital of Moqadisho.
These Eritreans were handed over to Ethiopia by the Kenyan authorities after they were found at the border between Somalia and Kenya trying to cross over to Kenya along with other journalists and reporters following the defeat of the Somali group by Ethiopian forces in 2006.
Mr. Gema, who used to produce reports related to activities within the Eritrean army for a show called Walta, decided to return to Eritrea following his release. While Mr. Kidane – a former videographer for the Eritrean Television and Mr. Samson of the Ministry of Defense, decided to remain in Ethiopia and seek asylum in the country.
Ethiopia had similarly released two Swedish journalists a year after they were detained as they were found to cross over to the Ethiopian town of Ogaden from Somalia in 2011.