Christian Woman Dies in Eritrean Detention Center

Christian Woman Dies in Eritrean Detention Center

ICC Note

Seble died after she was imprisoned and denied medical treatment. She was among 3000 Christians imprisoned in Eritrea for their faith. In Eritrea, Christian prisoners are often kept in inhumane conditions underground dungeons, military barracks and shipping containers.

01/18/2011 Eritrea (Open Doors)-Weak from two weeks of torture and harsh treatment, Seble Hagos Mebrahtu, 27, died in the military training center in Sawa on January 1. According to reliable sources, Mebrahtu was apparently refused medical treatment for malaria and died soon after. It is not clear how long the young woman had been in prison but sourcess indicated that her arrest followed being caught reading her Bible in her bedroom.

Mebrahtu is the 16th reported death of a Christian serving time in one of Eritrea’s harsh detention facilities since a government crackdown launched in 2002 banned and criminalized dozens of churches outside of Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran and Islamic traditions. And, just in the past several weeks, the Eritrea governments campaign against Christians has escalated.

On December 31, 41 members of the Philadelphia Church were arrested. Eyewitnesses reported that the Christians were taken to Police Station Number 1 where they endured beatings. Apart from a handful of members who happened to be out of town at the time of the arrest, the whole Philadelphia congregation in Asmara was taken in.

Then, on January 1, 27 Evangelical believers who are members of various underground churches near Asmara were taken into custody by Eritrean Security; they are being held at Police Station Number 5.

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