Students Still Being Held in Work Camps
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
October 26, 2001
Five Asmara University students were still being held in a work camp, AFP, citing diplomatic sources, reported on Thursday.
The five are Daniel Asmelash, Filmon Bedali, Sebhat Berhe, Kibroh Asmerom, and Bereket Ogbe, who are all members of the student union disbanded in August, said AFP. Last month Asmara University President Woldeab Isak said that all the
university's students, estimated at 2,700, had returned from their summer work camp. More than 2,000 Asmara University
students were arrested in August for refusing to report for the work programme until their student union president, Semere
Kesete, arrested on 31 July, was released.
Semere was arrested three days after making a speech critical of the government at a graduation ceremony, said AFP. The five
students now under arrest are being held for questioning on possible links with the government critics arrested in September.
They were being detained in a work camp in Galaalo in Eritrea's eastern lowland desert region, AFP said. Since the student
leader's arrest, at least 25 prominent individuals have been arrested, followed by the suspension of the private press and the
arrests of eight journalists. The government had defended its clampdown on dissent as a necessary measure to protect national
security, said AFP.
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