Detained Eritrean journalist is 2011 Golden Pen of Freedom Laureate
Isaak, who has dual Eritrean-Swedish citizenship, was imprisoned following a September 2001 suppression of the independent media in Eritrea - this year's world's worse country for press freedom according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The country has no private newspapers, radio or television stations.
His crime was to have printed a letter in his now-closed daily "Setit" - a letter written by a group of government ministers and generals calling for democratisation in Eritrea. Of the 14 newspaper owners, editors and journalists who were also arrested, four of them have died in jail, reports WAN-IFRA.
Eritrea is Africa's biggest jailer of journalists, with at least 19 in jail, says WAN-IFRA. Others have been forced to flee the country. The government's repressive policies have left Eritrea largely hidden from international scrutiny and with almost no local access to independent information. The few foreign correspondents in the capital, Asmara, are subject to intense monitoring by authorities.