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More Uncertainty Over Dawit Isaak Release

It’s still uncertain if Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak’s freedom from an Eritrean prison is permanent.

The country’s Minister of Information claims the release is just a temporary leave for medical tests.

Dawit Isaak, who has dual Swedish-Eritrean citizenship, was imprisoned without trial four years ago, one of 13 newspaper owners and journalists accused of being Ethiopian spies.

On Saturday he was allowed to leave his prison and has been staying with his sister in Eritrea’s capital Asmara. He telephoned his family in Sweden and told them he had been released.

The head of Dawit Isaak’s support committee here told Swedish Radio News Wednesday morning he is still optimistic. But after contact with the Eritrean authorities, Swedish Ambassador Bengt Sparre, who has worked for Dawit Isaak’s release, is less confident, and says he is receiving contradictory signals.

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