Eritrea: Government Arrests People for Reading Posters

(Asmara 11-02-2012) Members of Team ArbiHarnet in Asmara have reported that many Asmara residents who were caught reading the Protest Posters put up last week were arrested and taken for questioning.

Security officers who have been guarding the areas where posters were put up carried out their stringent surveillance, for close to seven hours, rounded up those who they assumed to be the leaders behind the operation and have taken finger prints and continue to question those who were taken in.

According to reports, rather than cause anxiety and panic to members of the team it has emboldened them and demonstrated to them that, the authorities are not working from clear intelligence but are unable to figure out the organisation behind the posters and other activities inside Asmara.
The posters were calling for street demonstrations to support the calls made during the actions taken by military officers on Monday 21st of January, when a group of protesting soldiers raided the Ministry of Information in Asmara (in an area known as Forto) and disrupted Television broadcasts to make demands for: a constitutional government, release of prisoners of conscience and peaceful transfer of power to the people.

The posters were put up in the following locations in Asmara:   outside Bar Royal, Bar Commercio, Markato, across the road from the city hall (municipality), outside Bar Sofia  and Bar Trestele.

On a telephone conversation members of the Team in Eritrea stated: "the whereabouts of those taken by the security officers is not known yet but we will keep close eye on the situation, PFDJ may arrest few but what they should know the movements much deeper inside the country too".

The Team are sticking to their original plan of mobilising support for the resistance inside Asmara and will be utilising all the networks and resources available to them. The diaspora based team will be following the lead from inside the country and modifying their action plan in accordance. This is a significant progress even from  few weeks ago when the lead was from the diaspora based team.

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