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Christian groups demand release of a bishop and two priests in Eritrea

The United Kingdom-based watchdog Christian Solidarity Worldwide and one of its local partners are calling for the release of a Catholic bishop and two priests arrested earlier this month without reason in Eritrea, one of the world's most repressive and closed countries.


According to a joint statement from the advocacy organization and its partner Human Rights Concern Eritrea, Bishop Fikremariam Hagos, the first bishop of the Catholic Eparchy of Segheneity, was arrested on Oct. 15, three days after the detention of Fr. Abraham Habtom Gebremariam from the Capuchin Society in Teseney town.

A day earlier, on Oct. 11, authorities arrested Fr. Mihretab Stefanos of St. Michael’s Church in Segheneity. Fr. Kiros Tsegay, an American citizen and founder of the Debre Abune Aregawi-Orlando Orthodox Church in Florida, was arrested last year.

Bishop Fikremariam was arrested at Asmara International Airport as he returned from a European visit. The others are thought to be detained in Adi Abeto prison, a prison north of Asmara known for its inhumane and crowded conditions.


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