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Eritrea Releases Christian Prisoners On Bail

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Eritrea Releases Christian Prisoners On Bail

The Eritrean government has released on bail more than 20 prisoners who had been in detention for years because of their faith. The US State Department estimates there are twelve hundred to 3,000 prisoners of faith in Eritrea.

The prisoners, from Christian evangelical and Pentecostal denominations, are among those being held in a prison outside the capital, Asmara. Campaigners advocating for religious freedom also say three Jehovah witnesses have been in prison in the country for more than 25 years. A US-based Hannibal Daniel, who campaigns for religious freedom, said people imprisoned for about 16 years were among those freed.

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He said their conditional release could be linked to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Eritrean government has not officially commented on the reported release of the prisoners, but it has previously dismissed accusations of religious intolerance.

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Only four religious groups are officially recognized in Eritrea – Christian orthodox, Catholic church, Lutheran church and Sunni Islam.

A report by the US commission on international religious freedom says since 2002 all other religious groups have lacked the legal basis to practice their faiths publicly, including holding prayer meetings or weddings.

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Uganda: Two Arrested Over Makerere University Fire / ANN News

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Uganda Two Arrested Over Makerere University Fire ANN News

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Soaring Inflation Hampers South Sudan Government / ANN News

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Soaring Inflation Hampers South Sudan Government / ANN News

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Bah Ndaw Sworn In As Mali’s Transitional President Following Coup

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Bah Ndaw Sworn In As Mali’s Transitional President Following Coup

Mali’s new interim president Bah Nda`w has been sworn into office today, Friday at a ceremony in the nation`s capital, Bamako.  The former defence minister and retired army colonel was picked by coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, to head a transitional government until elections are held. Colonel Assimi Goita, will serve as deputy president.

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Nda`w said, in his inauguration speech, that he will end militant insurgency in the country’s north and stop organized crime.

The military junta in Mali took over power and forced Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta out of office five weeks ago. ECOWAS leaders have overseen negotiations for a return to democracy.  The appointment of a civilian president was a condition for the west African regional group, ECOWAS, to lift the sanctions it earlier imposed after the coup.

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Mali leaders are hoping ECOWAS will lift sanctions on the country after the inauguration. The new government is expected to be in office for a transition period of 18 months that will lead to an election.

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