Petition against Eritrean government subjected to severe religious persecution
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We, the undersigned, Americans in the state of Washington, urgently petition you on behalf of Diaa Islamic school and its custodians who are being subjected to severe religious persecution. The government of Eritrea, already notorious for its harsh religious persecution of Muslims, orthodox Christians, and Jehovah witnesses among others has dramatically escalated its campaign against Muslim institutions and leaders. Diaa Islamic school has become its latest target. We are particularly concerned about the fate of Haj Musa Mohamednur (hereinafter referred as “Hajji Musa”) who has been detained on trumped up charges of insubordination. Haj Musa is a peaceful 93 years old chair of the board of directors of the school and is well-known and highly respected in the community. His only crime was to protest the proposed arbitrary interference and possible closing of the school.
Soon after Haj Musa’s arrest, spontaneous protests erupted everywhere in Eritrea and abroad. As reported by multiple credible sources including the Washington Post, outraged Eritrean students, parents, men and women demanded the immediate release of Hajji Musa, and for the right to freely express their religion. True to form, the Government’s response was quick and merciless. As described by the U.S. Embassy on October 31, 2017, government forces fired live ammunitions on unarmed citizens, arrested hundreds of protesters.
The Government of Eritrea has a well-documented history of clear human rights violations as reported and documented by the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the UN. The latter’s Human Rights division has issued extensive report on some of the heinous human rights violation that continue to occur in Eritrea. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/CoIEritrea/Pages/ReportCoIEritrea.aspx The conditions on the ground have been deteriorating for some time, and may have come to a tipping point.
It is to be noted that AL-Diaa Islamic school is a private institution that was built, financed and operated by the local community since 1967 and has been operating peacefully for decades through two previous regimes without any problems. It has always been apolitical and its central goal is to supplement traditional school curriculum with basic religious instruction. It is against this highly regarded historical institution that the government of Eritrea is now waging an all-out campaign by first attempting to enforce a rigid adherence to its dictates and finally arresting its venerated Board chairman. This is causing deep consternation in the community and will be highly disruptive to the education and well-being of the approximately 2000 students that study there.
We, the United Eritrean Americans, kindly ask you to take the following actions:
● Demand that Hajji Musa Mohamednur and other prisoners in Eritrea be released without any coercive measures;
● Demand the government of Eritrea’s adherence to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as adopted by the United Nations and ratified by Eritrea;
● Demand that Eritrean government comply with Article 18 of The Universal Declaration of Human rights and respect its citizenry’s right to freedom of religion; and
● To issue a statement or to urge the State Department of the United States to strongly condemn this incident and to denounce all the barbaric and cruel atrocities being committed by the Government of Eritrea.
Your support in this matter is much appreciated.
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