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Human rights cases

Saleh Kekiya, Eritrea

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

Saleh Kekiya was a high-ranking public figure who joined a group of government critics calling for reform in May 2001. He was a former minister of transport and communication, vice-minister of foreign affairs and head of the office of the president before his arrest in September 2001.

He and the others were accused of plotting to overthrow the government of President Isaias Afwerki, but none was ever charged or tried. Access to families and lawyers was refused and the 10 men and one woman were completely cut off from the outside world.

Unconfirmed reports state that Saleh Kekiya died in August 2003 of injuries he sustained after hurling himself from a vehicle transporting him and other detainees to a separate detention centre. His death has never been confirmed. He was born in 1950.