Eritrea: Repression past and present

33-Amnesty WriteForRights 2019 LoRes-3479
Amnesty Cardiff, Write for Rights evening. Chapter Arts Centre. Natasha Hirst photography, 9th December 2019

On Monday 9th December, the Cardiff Amnesty International group took part in the annual (and global!) action “Write for Rights”. Dozens of Cardiff Amnesty volunteers gathered at Chapter Arts Centre to send messages of solidarity and support to prisoners of conscience around the world.

Hundreds of cards were written to be sent to human rights defenders once again proving that the people of Wales remember them in their hour of need. Despite the serious nature of the event, the action was carried out with enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. The group spent a warm evening writing messages of support. We are grateful to everyone who joined us for the action.

Linda and Rosie, two dedicated members of the group, had organised the event, including an exhibition of portraits of Eritrean prisoners of conscience and disappeared activists. Amnesty International UK and PEN Eritrea have created the exhibition to draw attention to a group of Eritrean Journalist who ‘disappeared’ in 2001. Since October 2019 the exhibition of fifteen portraits has been touring Britain and Cardiff Amnesty was delighted to host it in Wales for the first time.

The exhibition has already been seen by thousands of people who join the call that these journalists should be released. None of the journalists have committed any recognised crime and none have faced a legally constituted court. Cardiff Amnesty International calls on President Isaias Afwerki to order the release of all of the surviving journalists. If some have died in captivity we also urge that the Eritrean authorities to publish information so that family and friends, and the wider community, can mourn their loss.

Our thanks as always to Chapter Arts Centre for their support. If you would like to get involved with the Group our Annual General Meeting will be taking place at Chapter at 7.30pm on Monday 10th February 2020.

A very warm welcome is extended to everyone.

To learn more contact Owen at amnesty.cardiff@btinternet.com

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