ERITREA still holds 15 journalists in detention, a new report released by the Horn of Africa Editors Forum says, writes Dennis Itumbi for journlaism.co.za.
A further four have died over the last one year, while an undisclosed number have managed to escape from prison.
The 15 still in detention, the report says were rounded up during "a clamp down on free speech that saw human rights activists, civil society and journalists arrested."
"Currently they are being held incommunicado in metal containers or underground cells in Adi Abeito military prison (Northwest of Asmara, on the Road to Keren), in Eiraeiro prison (near the locality of Gahtelay, north of the road from Asmara to the port city of Massawa), in the Dahlak archipelago or one of the many other detention centres scattered across the country."
The report warns, that with Somalia rebel groups becoming increasingly unfriendly to journalists, Uganda arresting critical journalists, Kenya's self-regulation collapsing with every new law passed by parliament, Rwanda's suppression of freedom of the press through "a systematic repressive legal structure" the region may become the " capital of press repression".
A more detailed report is set for release end of the November.