22.10.07

Verfolgte Musiker

Schon mal von Helen Berhane gehört?


BBC News Monday, 22 October 2007, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7056120.stm

Asylum for Eritrean gospel singer

An Eritrean Christian gospel singer who was tortured and detained without charge for two years in her homeland has been granted asylum in Denmark.

Helen Berhane was imprisoned inside a metal shipping container and beaten in an effort to make her recant her faith.

Freed in December 2006, she had taken refuge in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, before being granted asylum.

Ms Berhane uses a wheelchair because of severe injuries to her legs and feet sustained in prison beatings.

More than 90% of Eritreans belong to one of four recognised religions - Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran Churches and Islam.

Ms Berhane is a member of the unregistered Rema Church, and had just released a cassette of gospel music when she was arrested in the Eritrean capital on 13 May 2004.

She was one of an estimated 2,000 members of illegal Evangelical church groups in Eritrea who have been arrested in recent years, according to the human rights group Amnesty International.

Arbitrary detention

After an international campaign, she was released in December 2006 and feld with her sister to Sudan, fearing she could be killed to cover up what had happened to her at the Mai Seraw military prison camp near Asmara.

Ms Berhane's daughter, Eva, who joined her in Khartoum, accompanied her to Copenhagen where they two were greeted by campaigners and well-wishers on Friday.

Dr Berhane Asmelash, Director of Release Eritrea said: "We are relieved that Helen and Eva are finally safe and would like to thank everyone who has supported them."

"We hope that Helen will now have the peace and space to recover her health and rebuild her life."

Christian Solidarity Worldwide's Chief Executive, Mervyn Thomas, said: "We are thrilled that Helen has now finally found refuge for herself and her daughter after so many years of suffering."

"We cannot forget, however, that 2000 other Christians still languish in Eritrean detention centres simply for holding on to their faith," Mr Thomas said.


amnesty international 09.11.2006 http://www.amnesty.ch/de/aktuell/goodnews/2006/gospel-saengerin-aus-haft-entlassen
Helen Berhane
Gospel-Sängerin aus Haft entlassen

Die eritreische Gospel-Sängerin Helen Berhane wurde nach fast drei Jahren Haft Ende Oktober freigelassen. Helen Berhane war inhaftiert und gefoltert worden, weil sie ihren christlichen Glauben nicht ablegen wollte.

Die eritreische Gospel-Sängerin Helen Berhane hatte eben ihr letztes Album veröffentlicht, als sie im Mai 2004 festgenommen wurde. Ihr «Verbrechen?»: Sie weigerte sich, ihren Glauben und ihre Musik aufzugeben. Helene ist Mitglied der Minderheiten-Kirche Rema, die wie viele andere Glaubensrichtungen in Eritrea verboten ist. Die Briefe, die zu ihren Gunsten von der ganzen Welt aus verschickt wurden, haben zu ihrer Freilassung im vergangenen Oktober beigetragen.

Während ihrer Gefangenschaft war Helen Berhane in einem Metall-Container im Mai Serwa Armeelager festgehalten worden, wo sie tagsüber brütender Hitze und nachts eisiger Kälte ausgesetzt war.

Amnesty International schätzt, dass nach wie vor Tausende von Männern und Frauen – JournalistInnen, politische AktivistInnen und Mitglieder religiöser Gemeinschaften – in Eritrea ohne Anklage festgehalten werden

1 Kommentar:

Rainer hat gesagt…

Danke für Hinweis