Since 2004, your cards, letters of encouragement and financial gifts have helped many hundreds of Eritrean Christians who have been imprisoned because of their faith.
A significant number of those who were behind bars, and those who are still incarcerated, have families or parents that they cared and provided for before their arrest and detention. Those needs still exist and your help continues to make a vital difference.
At present there are an estimated 200-300 Christians imprisoned in Eritrea, many of them long-term prisoners who have been detained for more than five years.
One such prisoner is the focus of this month’s alert. Mussie Eyob still needs your prayers and your support.
Please write now to your brother Mussie (see attached pdf for details).
Prisoner Name: Mussie Eyob
Arrested: February 2011
Sentence: November 2011
Arrest and background
Mussie Eyob became a Christian in 2008. In 2011, while living in
Saudi Arabia, he visited a local mosque in an area of Jeddah known as
Haya Roda, to meet and talk with attendants there about Christianity.
On February 12, he was arrested for preaching to Muslims and was
imprisoned. Proselytising is a capital offence in Saudi Arabia, but following appeals from various
human rights groups and individuals (including Release supporters), petitioning the Saudi authorities on
Mussie’s behalf, the Saudi authorities decided to deport him instead of carrying out the death sentence.
He was deported back to Eritrea in November 2011.
One of Release’s partners, Release Eritrea, who were the catalyst for the campaign to release Mussie,
had suggested that he choose deportation to Ethiopia, but Mussie opted to be returned to Eritrea. He
arrived in Asmara, the capital, at the beginning of November 2011 and about three weeks later, news
reached Release Eritrea that he had simply disappeared into the vast prison system, where many Eritrean
pastors and evangelists have been detained incommunicado. For a long time, because Mussie had been
living abroad and was not well known to local Eritrean Christians, no one knew exactly where he was
being held and had no way of communicating with him.
Recently we have received news that Mussie is in fact a prisoner in Me’etr prison which is located in
North West Eritrea. Me’etr prison camp was opened in 2007, speciﬁcally to house Christians who had
been arrested because of their faith. In 2009, at least two detained Eritrean Christians, Mogos Hagos
Kiﬂom, 37, and Mehari Gebreneguse Asgedom, 42, died in Me’etr.
Presently Me’etr is not as brutal as some of the other prisons but it is situated in a dry barren
inhospitable area with harsh weather conditions for most of the year. Currently there are believed to be
around 89 prisoners in Me’etr, all of them Christians. ‘Esther’ from Helen Berhane’s book, The Song of
is also a prisoner in Me’etr. The prison itself is like a labour camp where prisoners are
required to work hard on the land, something that is extremely difﬁcult for both those prisoners who
are older or inﬁrm. Thankfully Mussie appears to be in reasonably good health and tries as he can to
work on behalf of the sick and the weak.
Most prisoners in Me’etr have been there for more than six years; some for ten. All those imprisoned
need and deserve our prayers. Pray also for their families. Before he was arrested Mussie supported his
mother and sister.
1. That all remaining prisoners in Me’etr will be released and reunited with their families.
2. That Christians in prison across Eritrea would experience God’s presence, peace and power.
3. For continuing good health for Mussie and that God will use him to encourage the other prisoners.
When writing, please do not mention Release International, advance your political opinions
or include anything which could be insulting to the authorities.
Send a card of encouragement to Mussie Eyob
Please consider sending a card or letter of encouragement to Mussie to let him know that he is being
prayed for. Release will endeavour to forward these cards and letters to his family in Eritrea.
Mark cards for Mussie Eyob and send to: Release International, PO Box 54, Orpington, BR5 4RT.