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Eritrean authorities arrest Pastor Ukbamichael, for the third time in five years.

ICC Note

Eritrean authorities are mounting their attack against Christians in that country. In the latest development they detained a pastor from Kale Hiwot Church ( Baptist Church ).

Wed, 2007-10-03 23:07 Eritrea (Release Eritrea) – Christians in Asmara report their concerns over the arrest of Pastor Unkba –Michael Teklehaymanot, who was taken from his home in Asmara by Eritrean security forces. The father of three, who is in his fifties, is a pastor at kale hiwot church. He has been arrested and subjected to extremely harsh conditions in two previous occasions.

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He suffered health problems as a result of the extremely difficult conditions in the prison camp. Previously to that he was detained in Asmara following his visit to a local police station where he had gone to enquire the whereabouts of members of his congregation who were arrested from the vicinity of his office

Hurui Ukba-Michael, the youngest son of the pastor is known to also be at Sawa prison, since May 2006 when he too was arrested from Mai- Nefhi college for his refusal to join in the independence day celebrations, on the grounds that the activities he and his fellow Christian students were asked to perform were against their religious convictions. Huruy is believed to be in his early twenties now.

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Outlining his concern Dr Berhane Asmelash director of Release-Eritrea, stated ‘The harassment and persecution of Eritrean Christians seems to have intensified in recent weeks, increasing number of whole families are victimised, we have heard of this from refugees in Sudan and Ethiopia and it is crucial that the international community realises the magnitude of the devastating impact of religious persecution on an entire family. I am particularly concerned about the re-arrest of Pastor Ukba-Michael, due to his previous difficulties whilst in prison at Sawa, further the family have now lost a father and a son as they both now find themselves languishing in jail, this is indeed devastating news. I also worry about Mr Ezazz and his young family, who have now fallen victims of the ongoing persecution. Let’s all rally behind these families and the 2,000 others suffering in the same manner’.

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