The Eritrean government has arrested 45 mothers in the Hazhaz District of Asmara for attempting to inform local authorities about the excruciating hunger they and their children are facing.
The arrests occurred on April 4, 2009 after the local Hazhaz administrator interrogated them for one hour. The administrator held that their appearance before him as a group amounted to a revolt.
The mothers explained that they only wanted to bring their suffering to the attention of the authorities. “For two months, we have received no food coupons. We are starving. Do something,” they pleaded. The mothers added that their children and aging family members had nothing to eat.
The Hazhaz mothers were soon rounded up and arrested by police officers who arrived at the scene on government vehicles. The mothers now remain in detention at the Women’s Prison at Hazhaz.