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Eritrea Asked to Release Imprisoned Journalists


An international media advocacy group has renewed its call for Eritrea to release 13 journalists held incommunicado for more than four years.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders issued the appeal Tuesday on the eve of the 13th anniversary of Eritrea's independence.

The group said the stifling of a free press is disastrous for Eritrea and called on President Issasias Afeworki to allow the return of privately-owned media.

The journalists were detained as part of a crackdown on the Eritrean media that began in September 2001.

The Eritrean government has held the journalists for more than four years without charge and with no word on their fate or location.

One of the reporters, Dawit Isaac, was released last November, only to be re-arrested two days later. There were reports that Isaac had been freed only to receive a medical check-up.