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Facts about Ermias and Senait Debessai:

Facts about Ermias Debessai:

Ermias joined the Eritrean Liberation movement in 1967 in his youth age and served well militarily and in diplomacy until liberation in 1991. He is married and has a daughter and a son. Ermias was both a close friend (and some say confidant) of President Issayas Afeworki of Issayas.

The current president of Eritrea was not formally elected but has remained in a position of power from where he yields power with no structure of accountability. Ermias found himself in a difficult position when facing a chare of embezzlement and corruption. He was duly sentenced to serve time and is currently in jail where he has been since 1996.

Ermias was released from jail for a short period of time but again arrested (with no due process) and continues to serve time. He has had no outside contact nor have any witnesses seen him to verify his state of physical and mental health.

Facts about Senait Debessai:

Senait is the sister of Ermias Debessai. She joined Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) as a teen and served well until liberation in 1991. She served as a regular member of the militarily force and was a much loved and admired member of the cultural troupe where she served as a singer. She later married and had three children.

Her husband, a high-ranking member of the regime of Issayas Afework was abusive and mistreated her. She filed for divorce knowing full well of the threat to her own life.

Her angry husband had to act fast that he charged Senait and the popular Ermias of sub-nationalism to the president. As Ermias was a formidable figure, the president was too happy to find a way of putting Ermias back to bars and that Saturday December 6, 2003, both were suddenly snatched from their beds and incarcerated since. No charge was set, nor were they allowed to visit their families, nor appear in court.

People who value peace and justice ask how long will this silent imprisonment continue? Through this petition, we demand justice and transparency. Ermias and Senait must be released form the silent ‘death’ of jail and either charged openly or set off free.

Source http://www.causes.com/causes/179577/about