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Eritrea Frees Swedish Journalist

Published måndag 21 november 2005 kl 12.25

A Swedish journalist of Eritrean origin has unexpectedly been released from a prison in his native country.

Dawit Isaak, who has dual Swedish-Eritrean citizenship, was jailed four years ago, one of ten newspaper owners and journalists accused without evidence of being Ethiopian spies, and for demanding press freedom.

He was allowed to telephone his family and supporters in Sweden Saturday, but it is uncertain when he will be allowed to meet the Swedish ambassador who has fought for his release. Ambassador Bengt Sparre was to have met Dawit Isaak on Sunday, to discuss arrangements for his travel back to Sweden. But the Eritrean authorities refused to grant permission for the meeting.

A Swedish member of the European Parliament has demanded that the EU stop all aid to Eritrea. Liberal Party MEP Cecilia Malmström says ten other innocent journalists are still being held without trial in Eritrea.

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