Eritrea real clear politics's Weblog

May 27, 2009

‘Military should free Dawit by force’

Filed under: News — eritrearealclearpolitics @ 9:33 pm

Published: 27 May 09 07:41 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.se/19684/20090527/

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The head of the Moderate Party’s youth wing has proposed that the military be called in to free Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak, who has sat in prison in Eritrea for more than seven years.

“Eritrea and the regime there have chosen to kidnap a Swedish citizen; that is unacceptable. Therefore I think that we should consider a military strike to free Dawit,” Moderate Party youth head Niklas Wykman told the TT news agency.

“I believe Dawit has certain rights as a Swedish citizen and we should protect them.”

He added that his suggestion, detailed in an opinion article published on the Newsmill.se website, deserved serious consideration.

“It is absolutely a serious proposal which I think should be considered,” he said.

Wykman’s views came on the heels of an interview conducted by Sweden’s TV4 with Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki during which he explained that there were no plans to hold a trial for Isaak or to release him.

“Sweden can’t back down from a dictator who unjustly imprisons one of our citizens,” Wykman writes on Newsmill.se.

“We can’t sit quietly and wait for his oppressors to release him.”

Isaak came to Sweden as a refugee more than two decades ago, taking Swedish citizen ship in 1992.

Isaak returned to Eritrea without his family to work for an independent news magazine when the country gained independence.

He was arrested in September 2001, after the magazine published an open letter from political dissidents and has remained in prison ever since.

“Now we see Eritrea’s president saying clearly that he is uninterested in having a dialogue with Sweden. He don’t want any diplomatic negotiations, he doesn’t want a trial, but instead says that they have their own way of handling this. We also have our way of dealing with our citizens, I believe: we should protect them,” Wykman told TT.

Wykman was skeptical about the chances that diplomacy would eventually lead to Isaak’s release.

“Now Dawit has been in prison an incredibly long time and at some point you have to ask yourself how long we can accept that he’s been held kidnapped,” he said.

 TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se/08 656 6518)

http://www.thelocal.se/19684/20090527/

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