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Lifesaver for ages 9 and up – Eritrea: Free Aster Yohannes!

    Friday, May 8, 2020 - 14:27

    Aster Yohannes in a photo taken about a year before she was put in prison © Private 


    This is Aster Yohannes (pronounced Yo HAN is). Her husband is Petros Solomon. They have four children, including two daughters, Hanna and Meaza.

    Petros was arrested in 2001 because the government did not like how he criticized their policies. His family has not seen him since. Petros expressed his views peacefully. He should never have been put in prison.

    Aster was arrested when she arrived at Asmara airport on December 11, 2003.

    Do you know why the government arrested Aster?  The only reason is because she is related to Petros. That’s not fair! 

    Aster should never have been put in prison. Hanna and Meaza have not seen her since, either. Meaza says “I haven't seen my parents in so long, I cannot remember what they look like.”

    Amnesty International thinks that Aster is in Karchele prison in the capital city of Asmara and that she is not well. She has both asthma and a heart condition. Aster is not able to see anyone outside the prison. 

    Will you ask Eritrea’s president to release Aster? 


    Please send a message to the president of Eritrea. You can fax or email him directly. There is no mail service to Eritrea during the pandemic so if you will be posting your letter, mail it to him at Eritrea’s embassy for Canada and the USA in Washington.

    • Start with Dear President Afewerki and tell him something about yourself to make your message different from others he will receive.
    • Ask him to free Aster Yohannes right away since she is in prison only because of her husband’s views.
    • While she waits for the prison door to open, ask him to make sure she has all the medical care she needs to be well, including treatment for her asthma and heart condition. 
    • Insist as well that her lawyer and her children can contact her regularly. 


    President Afewerki  
    c/o Embassy of the State of Eritrea 
    1708 New Hampshire Avenue N.W. 
    Washington, DC 20009, USA 

    Postage: $1.30
    Fax:       1 202 319 1304 


    We cannot send a greeting to Aster but you can hear more of her story from her daughters Hanna and Meaza who are safe in the USA. Click the link below to watch the video. ! Parents/teachers may wish to preview the video to make sure one or two moment are not disturbing to young viewers.
    Video credit © Vanessa Berhe and One Day Seyoum

    If you have not received this Lifesaver directly from Amnesty International’s Toronto office and would like future actions, reach us at There is no cost.