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Human rights cases

Berhane Gebregziabeher, Eritrea

Eritrean MP Berhane Gebregziabeher has been held incommunicado without trial since 2001, one of a group of 11 seized after criticizing the country’s president, Isaias Afwerki.

Berhane Gebregziabeher, born in 1947, is a former Eritrean army major-general and head of the National Reserve Force. He was also a member of the Central Council of the ruling People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) and served as a provincial secretary of industry.

In 2000, he was dismissed from his post and stripped of his military rank by President Isaias Afwerki.

The following year, he was one of a group of MPs who signed an open letter criticizing the president and urging a return to democratic dialogue and the rule of law through “peaceful and legal ways and means”. 

Six months later, he and 10 other MPs who had also signed the letter were detained for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government, but no charges were ever brought and no trial held.

Unconfirmed reports from a former prison guard state that Berhane Gebregziabeher was executed in June 2002. There has never been any government confirmation of this.