Eritrean Security Shoots at Family of a G-15 Member
By Administrator - Jul 08, 2009
Gedab News has learned that Eritrean border security have shot at the family* of a "G-15" member.
The family of four was, with the help of smugglers, trying to evade border patrol and cross to neighboring Sudan when they were shot at by the officers.
Gedab News is in the process of confirming who, if any, successfully crossed the border and who, if any, were detained by the security officers and who, if any, were killed.
"G-15" is shorthand for "Group of 15"-- the monicker for the senior party members (parliamentarians, army officers, cabinet members, etc) who, in the wake of the 2000 Eritrea-Ethiopia war, addressed an open letter to President Isaias Afwerki demanding power devolution and reform. All except for 4 were arrested, without charges or a day in court of law, in September 2001 and remain in detention. A couple have, according to credible sources, died in prison.
The Eritrean regime has taken a series of draconian measures to contain the massive migration of the youth who are leaving the country to neighboring Sudan and Ethiopia in record numbers. The regime's punitive measures include punishing the entire family whenever a conscript (or a conscription-eligible individual) leaves the country (50,000 nkf per child or 12 months of prison term) as well as a shoot-to-kill policy of interdiction.
*Awate.com has information on the actual identity of the "G-15" family involved but given the shocking nature of the news, we will not disclose the name until the entire family is informed by loved ones.
Last Updated ( Jul 21, 2009 )
Petros Solomon's Children Attempt Escape From Eritrea
Awate - Gedab News
By Gedab News - Jul 21, 2009
On July 8th, Gedab News reported that family members of a “G-15 member” had been shot at and that awate.com would disclose the identity of the G-15 member as soon as we are reasonably sure that the family members have the information. We can now tell you that we were referring to the family of Mr. Petros Solomon.
The four children of Mr. Petros Solomon and Ms. Aster Yohannes were, with the assistance of a family member and smugglers, attempting to escape when they were confronted by the Eritrean Navy. There was a shoot out and a smuggler and a member of the Eritrean Navy were killed.
Three of the children--Simon Petros, 19; Hannah and Zeray Petros, both 17 (twins)--were apprehended in a remote coast north of Massawa and returned back to Asmara. Their youngest sibling, Maaza Petros, 11, managed to cross to a neighboring country with her maternal grandmother and is now safe.
Both parents of the children are in jail.
The father, Petros Solomon, has been in jail since September 18, 2001 during the crack down on the Reformers of the PFDJ also known as the “G-15.”
The G-15 were all members of Eritrea’s so-called National Assembly. Of the 15, eleven were in the country when the Isaias Administration decided to launch dawn raids at their residences on September 18, 2001. Those arrested are (1) Mahmud Ahmed Sheriffo; (2) Haile “Derue” Woldensae; (3) General Ogbe Abraha; (4) Hamid Hmd; (5) Saleh Kekya; (6) Brigadier General Estifanos Seyoum; (7) General Berhane GhebreEghzabiher; (8) Astier Feshatsion; (9) Petros Solomon; (10) Germano Nati; (11) Beraki Ghebreslassie. Of the remaining four, three, namely Mesfin Hagos; Adhanom Ghebremariam and Haile Menkerios were outside the country and evaded arrest.
The mother, Aster Yohannes, was in the USA pursuing higher education. She decided to return to Eritrea on December 11, 2003, after she got personal assurances from then Eritrea’s ambassador to the US, Girma Asmerom. Upon arrival at Asmara Airport, security officers at the airport picked Aster after she disembarked from the plane. Her children who were waiting to greet her carrying roses in the airport terminal returned home without seeing their mother. She was whisked to jail and has been in detention since.
Last Updated ( Jul 21, 2009 )