Eritrea is the most censored country in the world according to an article from Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Journalists experience this censorship a lot. Journalists can only write material that they are given by the government. If an Eritrean journalist shares any information whether it be confidential, or trivial, they will face serious prison time with no charge or trial. They are also not allowed to speak to a lawyer, or even their families. According to BBC Country Profiles, Eritrea is the only country in Africa that doesn't have a privately owned news media.
President Isaias Afewerki has been Eritrea's leader since 1993. According to a Qatari news source, Al Jazeera, on September 18, 2001, "...Afewerki and his clique banned seven independent newspapers and imprisoned 11 of the most senior government officials." This action was a direct effect of appointing Naizghi Kiflu as Eritrea's minister of information in early September of 2001. Before becoming minister of information, Kiflu was a callous chief of the Revolutionary Guard, who controlled a terribly brutal military prison. Directly after his appointment, Kiflu demanded a ban on independent newspapers, and imprisonment of said newspapers' journalists. The imprisonment of journalists was and still is a main focus for Eritrean protestors and foreign institutions such as the UN and EU.
Eritrean picketers thanking the United Nations for their support.
Dawit Isaak is a native Eritrean journalist who was put into prison by Eritrea's totalitarian government. Isaak moved from Eritrea to Sweden in 1987, and 5 years later, became a Swedish citizen. Isaak obtained a dual citizenship. When Eritrea became independent in 1993, he travelled back and became a journalist for Setit, which was Eritrea's first independent newspaper. After a while of reporting, he became a part-owner of Setit. In a couple years, on September 23, just 5 days after President Isaias Afewerki banned independent newspapers, Isaak was arrested and put into jail. He was arrested because of his dual citizenship. He was a traitor in the eyes of the government. According to a reporter from Africa News, he was put in horrible living conditions: he was physically restricted, separated, and in blaring heat. Dawit Isaak was tortured in prison. The United Nations, European Union Parliament, and Eritrean citizen have been demanding the release of Isaak because of how unjust the entire situation is.
Dawit Isaak along with other journalists were treated terribly in prison for actions that should not be considered crime. As information spreads across the world, more and more people and countries are stepping up to try forcing the Eritrean government to release these innocent prisoners. From the limited information that has been released, it is safe to say that Dawit Isaak and the others are still in prison, and are still being treated unfairly and brutally.