Home | News    Tuesday 9 April 2013

Female Eritrean Air Force captain defects to Saudi Arabia

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

April 8, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) - A female Eritrean Air Force pilot has defected to Saudia Arabia where he is seeking political asylum in Saudi Arabia, in in a latest sign of embarrassment to the dictatorial regime in Asmara.

Captain Rahwa Gebrekristos deserted to Saudi Arabia after being sent to the kingdom last week on assignment to retrieve a presidential jet that had been waiting for return following the defection of another two air force pilots last year.

However, like her two former colleagues, Yonas Woldeab and his deputy Mekonnen Debesay, who secretly flew president Isaias Afewerki’s plane to Saudi Arabia last October before defecting, Gebrekristos is also claiming asylum.

Opposition sources allege that Eritrean authorities are secretly consulting with their Saudi counterparts to deport the 34-year-old pilot.

She is currently being held at a police station in the western city of Jizan until Saudi authorities decide on her fate.

An Eritrean opposition official told Sudan Tribune that if Gebrekristos is deported she could face torture or other inhuman treatments, as well as a long-term prison sentence or even the death penalty.

Under Eritrean law, military members who defect are considered traitors, a crime punishable by death.

Nessredin Ahmed, the spokesperson for foreign affairs at the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organisation (RSADO), called on the international community to apply pressure on the Saudi government not to deport Gebrekristos, saying she is in need of protection.

RSADO has also urged the Saudi government to fully respect its obligations under international laws on asylum seekers and avoid forcibly returning the Eritrean pilot to her homeland.

The defection of the national air force pilot is another blow to the regime of the reclusive Red Sea nation, which is facing growing public discontent.

Dozens of air force pilots and members have defected from the country in protest against ongoing political oppression and its unpopular military policies.

The one-party state, which has been led by Afewerki since gaining independence in 1993, has among the world’s worst records on human rights and press freedom.

The country is Africa’s foremost jailer of journalists and is also known by right groups as a “giant prison”, with the tiny nation home to up to 10,000 political prisoners.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 9 April 2013 07:13, by trinitri

    this is what dictatorships deserve!

    repondre message

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Sudan’s Independence: 19th of December should not go into Oblivion 2018-11-19 09:27:07 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman These important Reflections came to me against the backdrop of what was said about the date of the return of the Head of the Umma National Party (UNP), and the Imam of the (...)

Sudan’s removal from terror list taints U.S. values 2018-11-10 08:34:32 November, 9th, 2018 The Honorable Michael Richard Pompeo Secretary of State U.S. Department of State 2201 C St NW, Washington DC 20520 USA RESPONSE BY SUDAN LIBERATION MOVEMENT (SLM/A-AW) TO (...)

R-ARCISS: A Peace that divides the signatories and non-signatories 2018-11-10 07:58:28 By Tito Awen, Juba-South Sudan I keep wondering if peace can divide or unite the partners. I am not so young nor unmindful not to have known what happened after signing of the Comprehensive (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Progress observed at end of second month of R-ARCSS implementation 2018-10-22 06:44:02 Press Release 21 October 2018 South Sudanese government released 24 detainees in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (...)

4th Annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum Announced for 25th October 2018 2018-10-15 12:38:14 PRESS RELEASE OCTOBER 14, 2018 Africa’s leading entrepreneurship-focused philanthropic organisation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has announced October 25, 2018, as the date for its (...)

Unity State community in Kenya supports Khartoum peace agreement 2018-08-17 08:33:21 PRESS STATMENT 14th Aug, 2018 Re: We shall Rally behind Khartoum Peace Agreement The Unity State Community Association in Kenya was established in 2010 to organize and mobilize the people of (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.