Eritrea: Release Patriarch Abune Antonios

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 18, 2017 WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 20, 2017 marks the 11-year anniversary of the Eritrean government’s illegal removal of Abune Antonios as the rightful Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the nation’s largest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 20, 2017 marks the 11-year anniversary of the Eritrean government’s illegal removal of Abune Antonios as the rightful Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the nation’s largest religious community. The Patriarch has been detained since 2007: His “crime” was his refusal to excommunicate 3,000 parishioners who opposed the government.

“The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) calls on the Eritrean government to release Abune Antonios, allow him to return to his position as Patriarch, and cease its interference in the Eritrean Orthodox Church,” said USCIRF Chair Rev. Thomas J. Reese, S.J. “The government’s persecution of Patriarch Antonios is only one example of the country’s grave religious freedom violations. Eritrea has been called the North Korea of Africa due to its vigorous assault on the rights of its people:  Thousands are imprisoned for their religious beliefs and their real or imagined opposition to the government.

One year after removing the Patriarch, Eritrean authorities confiscated his personal pontifical insignia. On May 27, 2007, the Eritrean government forcibly removed Patriarch Antonios from his home and placed him under house arrest at an undisclosed location. He remains detained and is denied medical care despite severe heath concerns.

Chair Reese has taken up the case of Patriarch Antonios as part of USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project.

The Eritrean government engages in systematic and egregious violations of religious freedom, including torture or other ill treatment of religious prisoners, arbitrary arrests and detentions without charges, a prolonged ban on public religious activities of unregistered religious groups, and interference in the internal affairs of registered religious groups.

President Isaias Afwerki and the Popular Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) have ruled Eritrea with absolute authority since the country’s 1993 independence from Ethiopia. Private newspapers, political opposition parties, and independent nongovernmental organizations are not allowed in Eritrea.  The government requires all physically and mentally capable people between the ages of 18 and 70 to perform national service full-time and indefinitely.

In 2016, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea concluded that Eritrean authorities had committed crimes against humanity.

Since 2004, USCIRF has recommended, and the State Department has designated, Eritrea a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, for its systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom. For more information, please see USCIRF’s chapter on Eritrea in the 2016 Annual Report.

USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project highlights the plight of individuals who have been imprisoned for their religious beliefs, practices or identity. To learn more about this project or to interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at media@uscirf.gov or 202-523-3258.

aseye.asena@gmail.com

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18 COMMENTS
  • andom January 19, 2017

    We have not learn the lesson from the 26 years of the rule by these beasts from ararib. The only solution at rhis point is to deploy and use all means including assasinations of the prominent beasts and violently removing the criminal gangs.

    • Qoratu January 19, 2017

      andom, I dare you.

      • k.tewolde January 19, 2017

        Q are you insinuating you you’re going to follow suit or you just going to take the cap for the kingpin? make up your mind.

        • Qoratu January 20, 2017

          k.tewolde,

          i dare him, to take the action. tired of words bro.

  • OUSMAN January 20, 2017

    NE SHEEKK INNA TRAYY AYESEROMM EMBER .!!!!!

    • k.tewolde January 20, 2017

      He is slick,he knows the political ramifications..

    • andom January 20, 2017

      He can not jail the shekk. He can not and did not jail the catholic priests who oppenly criticised him and challenged each one of us with the iconic question where is ur brother? The reason is clear.

    • AHMED SALEH !!! January 22, 2017

      How many SHEIKS disappeared in year of 1990’s ?
      How many priests disappeared in year of 2ooo’s ?
      How many Moslem brothers – Christian brothers disappeared from 1991 since
      Eritrean MONSTER with his henchmen invaded ASMERA behind unsuspecting
      patriots .
      MIN REAKA TIM – MIN SEMEAKA TIM –
      Hawna Ousman – Kab ni abi wedi kebabi 90 amet niwarazey TIM mibal uko
      hade hade ghizye kibret iya .
      Next time try to correct the spelling of OSMAN not OUSMAN , kezab wahd .

  • Eri January 21, 2017

    TO all of you whiteout brain , the patriarch has been deposed by its own synod
    According their law the government has nothing to do with .
    But let say even if the government has something to do or if he is treat to our unity with all faith in Eritrea he will be removed , he is not above country , we are more fore our unity and security than simple priest.
    So all of you from Tigray mind your own business thousands of innocent are daying in your country and you worry about one individual power. Your own patriarch is illegitime he took power by exiling the true partriarch abune MERKORIOS and he is still alive so you guys have no morality to teach us about the church

    • k.tewolde January 21, 2017

      Eri ,we are not here to teach about the church,just telling you what is happening to the Tewahdo church which you have no clue the hierarchy of the priesthood and how its sacred internal rules and regulations has been administered for years before the tyrant was born.Now it is infiltrated by phony deacons and priests who took crush theological courses sponsored by the regime and doing its dirty work by dividing the faithful by the name of the Lord both at home and abroad.God is watching.Tell me now Eri,who is whiteout brain? do your homework,the is no Tigraway here,only Eritrean stakeholders.

      • andom January 21, 2017

        K. Tewelde
        U do not need to answer to eri, aka kubrom. Check his previous answer to my comment. He posted exactly same thing using the two names.

    • ፍረድ ንነብስኻ ብላዕ ንኸርስኻ January 22, 2017

      Eri,
      ሕልና፡ ሕልና፡ ሕልና፡ እምበርዶ ሕልና????
      ሕራይ ይኹነልካ ሲኖዶስ ካብ ስልጣን ኣውሪዶሞም እስከ ንበል፡ እቲ ማእሰርቲኸ (ማሕዩር) ብመን እዩ ትብል??? ሲኒዶስዶ ቤት ማእሰርቲ ኣለዎም ዲዩ?
      ብቕዓት ዘይብሎም ወይ ካብ ሕጊ ሲኖዶስ ወጻኢ ዝፈጸሙዎ ነገር እንተሎ ኮይኑ፡ ካብ ሓላፍነቶም የውርድዎም እምበር ብኸመይ ይኣስርዎም? ኣብ ዝደለዩዎ ሃገር ወይ ገዳም ከይዶም ከኣ ምነበሩ። መን ካብ ስልጣን የውርድ መን ይእስር ዝኾነ ተራ ሰብ ዝፈልጦ ኢዩ።

      ወዮ ድኣ ትዛረቦ ኣይትፈልጥን ዘለኻ’ምበር ንሃገር ዝመርሑ ፓትርያርክ “…simple priest..” ኢልካ ኣይምዘንጠልካዮምን። ንኣመንቲ ክርስትና፡ ቅዱስ ፓትርያርክ ካብዝኾነ ይኹን ኣብ ዓለማዊ ስልጣን ዝተቖየጠ ሰብ ንላዕሊ እዮም።
      ልዕሊ ሰማንያ ዓመት ዝዕድመኦም መንፈሳዊ ኣቦ ንዓሰርተታት ዓመታት ብዘይ ፍርዲ ክሕየሩ እናሰማዕካን እናርአኻን ኣብ ክንዲ ምድንጋጽ ኣሽካዕላል ክትዛረብ ሃየንታ ኢዩ።
      ከምዚ ሎሚ ከይማህመነ፡ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ይትረፍ ሰቡ ጥሪቱ ብዘይ ፍትሒ እንተዓጊትካሉ ደቂሱ ዝሓድር ህዝቢ ኣይነበረን።
      እቲ ዝገደደ ናይ ኪነሚናት ኣተሓሳስባ ከኣ ብዛዕባ ፍሉጥ ዛዕባ እናተዘርበ እንከሎ፡ “….ትግራዎት ኢኹም፡ ፓትርያርኩም ዘይሕጋዊ እዮም …” ኢልካ ሃተውተው ምባል ምስ ምንታይ ይቑጸር። ጸማም ሓደ ደርፉ ከምዝበሃል እቶም ቀንዲ ቶዃሉ ዝብልዋ ኣይትብላዕ ኣይትስተ ጽውጽዋይ እዞም ኮራኹር ክትደግሙዋ ከለኹም ይገርም፡ የስደምም።
      እቶም ብስጋ ኣዝማዶምስ እምበር ዝብሉዎን ዝገብሩዎን ጠፊኡዎም ለይትን መዓልትን ሓለፋ ኩሉ ሰብ ይነብዑ ከምዘለው ርዱእ ኢዩ። ንእንጭዋን ጻዕረሞታ ንድሙን ከኣ መጻወቲታ ዝበሃል፡ ከምዚ ንስኻ ትብሎ ዘለኻ፡ ኣብ ጻዕረሞት ንዝርከብ ሰብ ንዘሽካዕልሉ ዝተመሰለ ምስላ ኢዩ።
      ንዓኻትኩም እግዝእብሔር ይቕረ ይበለልኩም ነዞም ኣቦና ከኣ መዋጽኦ ይፍጠረሎም።

      • AHMED SALEH !!! January 22, 2017

        Cowards behind the screen can not defend themselves and they can not defend
        their elders , women and children .
        Incase the holy religious man nobody except GOD will protect his spirit and soul.
        Bunch of lowlife HGDF products have no religion , no culture , no shame to speak street talks .

        • eri January 23, 2017

          Ahmed been a priest or cheik don’t make them angels, in the past many fundamentalist religion like jehovah Pentecost, wahabi funded by foreign ngo have tried to divide our people and against the law
          The saint synod are aware of that, and if the patriarch went that direction well bad for him he is not above eritrea security people unity cause peace it’s a great tresor we need to keep.
          Many are working hard to divide our people by faith and ethnicity and we will never accept that, eritrea is not ethiopia

      • k.tewolde January 22, 2017

        Love your pen name and your wisdom,not to mention the the language you delivered your message with.Prudence at its best.Thanks a million.

      • eri January 23, 2017

        Helina
        Stop your propaganda no one arrest him he was deposed and taken to a monastery.
        You don’t know nothing, you have nothing. Just regurgitating the same shameful lies.

    • asgedom January 22, 2017

      the Jeberti(isayas Afoworki)is not Towhado …so the Jeberti isayas Afecherki has well plan to destroy the Towhdo church and its people…

  • semere January 23, 2017

    HADE SEEB TEASEIROMSIII , ENTAY EYYU BEZEUHH ZEZAREIBEKUMM, EMMO KEEA AB ADDOOMM,MES KIBRETOM,ETTOOMM ASHEHHATTT ABE MEIDEREBEDDA BAHEIRI ZEISAQEYUU ZELOWUU KEE , ZEYTEIZAREBU , BEIKEDEMUU EUKKO KEM KIRSTOS SEMAEITATT KIKONNEU EYYUU ETTII MAEIREIGGG, ENTAYY EYYUU BEIZEUHH ZEZAREIBEKUMM ZELLOO, NAY KIRSETOSS ZEIKONNEE SEBB AYEIHEILEKELLUUNN EYYUU. MENN EIKUUMM NEISEIKUMM WEY MEN EIKKA NEISEIKKKA .NAY ETTOOM KAB HAGEROMM WETSEIOOMM FEKEDDA MEIDEREBEDDAA FEKEDDA BAHEIRRII FEKEDDA MAEISERTTEI ZELOWU HEISSEEBBUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

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