Decision of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights on the Preliminary Objection Communication 428/12 – Dawit Isaak v Republic of Eritrea Summary of the Complaint 1. The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Secretariat) received a Complaint on 29 October 2012 from Prisca Orsonneau, Jesus Alcala and Percy Bratt (the Authors) representing Dawit Isaak (the Complainant), against the State of Eritrea (the Respondent State). The Complaint is submitted in terms of Articles 55 and 56 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, (the African Charter). 2. The Respondent State is a State Party to the African Charter having ratified the same on 14 January 1999. 3. The Authors allege that the Complainant (a dual Eritrean and Swedish citizen), editor and coowner of the newspaper Setit, was arrested by the Eritrean police on 23 September 2001 and since then detained incommunicado, kept at an undisclosed location without having been charged with any offense; and without having been brought before a magistrate and without being allowed access to counsel. 4. The Authors state that according to news reports, presidential adviser Yemane Gebremeskel stated that the Complainant and other journalists may have been arrested for avoiding national service. 5. The Authors aver that the detentions came in the wake of the closing down of eight newspapers by the State authorities on 18 September 2001 and that all those detained have had their bank accounts frozen and assets confiscated. 6. It is alleged that the latest reports indicate that the Complainant is being held at Eiraeiro prison camp, 10 miles north of Asmara, along with a number of other detained journalists. 7. The Authors further allege that as of January 2010, the Complainant was being kept in solitary confinement, in a tiny cell with no windows and was in very poor physical and mental health. 8. The Authors state that no evidence has been brought forth to substantiate the Complainant’s arrest, and no formal charges have been lodged after more than nine years of consideration.

Select target paragraph3