Many AI groups in the Southeast Region have adopted Joshua Johannes as our prisoner of conscience. AI Group #168 has joined that effort and we write letters monthly to the Eritrean government expressing our disapproval of his continued detention. We will continue to hound the government until Joshua Johannes is free.
Fessahaye Yohannes
poet. dramatist. reporter
Fessahaye (Joshua) Johannes was the editor and co-founder of the weekly newspaper Setit, which, like other independent newspapers and magazines in the eastern African country of Eritrea, provided a forum for dissent against the repressive ruling regime.

In September of 2001, Johannes and 16 other independent journalists were arrested during a crackdown against free expression. They have been held without charge or trial ever since. They have been denied legal counsel and officials have refused to provide any information regarding their health for more than four years.

A married father of three, Joshua Johannes is a poet, playwright, and writer of short stories. In 2002, the Committee to Protect Journalists awarded Johannes its International Press Freedom award for his work at Setit and to send a message to the Eritrean president, Issayas Afwerki.

Amnesty International named Joshua Yohannes and his 16 imprisoned comrades "prisoners of conscience" upon their arrest, and has maintained a steady drumbeat against their incarceration specifically and the abysmal human rights record of the Afwerki regime.
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