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Eritrea - FTE: Interview Meaza Petros; Daughter of Eritrean prisoners of conscience Aster Yohannes and Petros Solomon

On September 11, 2001, a cataclysmic tragedy struck the United States in a brazen attack masterminded by the notorious terrorist Osama bin laden. As America recovered from its wounds, the world community expressed horror.

More than Six thousand and five hundred miles away, another nation’s leader could not have found a better time to put behind bars the highest members of his government, crushing its thriving private press and hauling to prison its reporters. Taken into custody by government security forces in the wee hours of September 18, 2001 were members of the so-called G15 including Petros Solomon.

Since Aster Johannes, Petros’s wife happened to be in the US at the time, their two boys aged 12, 10 and four-year-old daughter were cared for by their grandmother and other family members. The political instability coupled with the erratic behavior of the regime prevented Aster from returning to her country. However, the more she stayed in the U.S. the more she wanted to be with her kids.

Finally she decided to return home. But only after she was promised by Eritrea’s Ambassador to the U.S. Girma Asmerom that she would not be subjected to the same fate as that of her husband. The promise was soon broken. Much to the shock and sadness of the children eagerly anticipating their mother’s arrival, she, too, disappeared into the dungeons of the PFDJ without so much as a family reunion for a nanosecond.

One of the siblings on that fateful day was 4 year-old Meaza. Now 17, Meaza has grown into a dynamic high school student who is planning to pursue her studies in college next year.

 

 
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