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Following Eritrea’s announcement this week that Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak is alive after nearly 15 years behind bars without trial or official charge, the International Press Institute (IPI) renewed its call for the release of Isaak and all journalists detained there in connection with their work.
Eritrean Foreign Affairs Minister Osman Saleh made the announcement on Monday, but added that the journalist will only be sentenced when the government decides it is ready to do so.
Eritrea detained Isaak in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States on allegations of support for terrorism amid a general crackdown on dissent in Eritrea ahead of elections that were later cancelled without explanation.
Pathologists working on the Sheku Bayoh investigation have still not established how he died 13 months ago. He was pronounced dead following an altercation with up to nine officers in a street near his home on May 3, 2015.
Pathologists, including two who worked on the Hillsborough inquiry, have carried out extensive tests since then to try to find what caused his death.
Family members believe Sheku, 31, died from positional asphyxiation caused by the actions of the officers involved. Petechial haemorrhages were present in his eyes, a sign associated with asphyxiation.