A media rights group says Eritrea has released three journalists detained last November, but a fourth remains in custory.

Reporters Without Borders identified the three as working for the state media's radio and television services (Temesghen Abay of Radio Dimtsi Hafash's Tigrinya-language service, Getachew Asfaha of Eri-TV's Amharic-language service, and Asmerom Berhe of Eri-TV's Tigrinya-language service).

They were detained amid a wave of arrests of journalists last November following the defection of several prominent journalists. Reporters Without Borders says those detained were suspected of staying in contact with the defectors or of planning to flee the country themselves.

In a report on press freedom for 2006, Reporters Without Borders ranked Eritrea as the third worst country in the world for press freedom, ahead only of North Korea and Turkmenistan.

In 2001, Eritrea's president suspended the independent press in his country and launched a security operation to arrest influential members of the private media who had appealed for democratic reforms. The government denies the country lacks freedom of the press.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP.