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Group Objects to Treatment of VOA Correspondent

Group Objects to Treatment of VOA Correspondent

A correspondent for Voice of America has been arrested and forced to finish compulsory military service in Eritrea, according to a statement from the organization Reporters Without Borders.
The group condemned the arrest and conscription into the army of the 32-year-old correspondent and called for the release of him and 18 other media workers in the country. It called the country “Africa’s biggest prison for journalists.”
The group said Akhilu Solomon was arrested at his home on July 8 and taken to an army camp to do his compulsory military service. VOA said he had already done part of it and been exempted from the rest on medical grounds, the group stated.
It said the U.S. embassy had contacted the government about Solomon’s arrest.
“The government shut down all privately-owned newspapers in September 2001 and arrested several journalists, leaving only the official press operating. Three foreign media – the BBC, Agence France-Presse and Deutsche Welle – have stringers in the country,” the group stated.