November 22, 2022
The Eritrean Political Forces (EPF) warmly salute the recent wave of demonstrations by justice seeking compatriots in several world metropolis for the release of Bishop Fikremariam Hagos, and also seize this opportunity to call upon all the six-million Eritreans at home and abroad to make this rage and action non-stop until all denied liberties are achieved.
The arrest and detention on 15 October of the Eritrean Catholic Bishop Fikremariam Hagos and two other priests upon their arrival at Asmara airport was only one aspect of the chain of violations of religious and other liberties that have been denied to our people for three decades. Although the dictatorial clique in Asmara has not, as usual, leveled any charge against them or revealed their whereabouts, the only acts our religious leaders had done were teaching their followers and reminding the authorities their responsibility to respect, defend and enhance the rights of Eritrean citizens.
It is only a few years ago that His Holiness Abune Antonios, the 3rd Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, and Hajji Mussa Mohammed Nur, head of the Al Diaa Islamic School, died in the dungeons of the regime. Both the highly respected religious leaders were in their 90ths.
We and the rest of the world know that, under the repressive regime in Eritrea, untold number of political and religious leaders have either disappeared or died in detention and many more are languishing in unmarked prisons. The only “crimes” of those victimized leaders of various religious denominations are known to have been their calls upon the faithful to be good believers, and at times urging the government to stop interfering in the affairs of religious institutions.
At this juncture, and as usual, the allied platform of Eritrean Political Forces reiterates its call for the unconditional release of all Eritreans detained for expressing their viewpoints or for their religious beliefs during the past decades. In particular, we today call for the most immediate release of Bishop Fikremariam Hagos and his two colleagues, and ask for serious attention and action by all concerned to make pressure bear upon the Eritrean regime to release them.
Most importantly, we wish to reiterate and emphasize our urgent call upon the Eritrean people at home and abroad to continue relentlessly the justified anger and action against the Eritrean regime both for the release of religious fathers and all the political and civil liberties denied to our people for too long.
Eritrean Political Forces (EPF):
1. Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change (ENCDC) Negash Osman
2. Eritrean National Front (ENF) Kahsai Gufla
3. Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) Tesfai W/Michael (Degiga)
4. Democratic Organization of Afar Red Sea (RSADO) Yassin Abdallah