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


Ateny flip-flopping, where is his loyalty to President Kiir? 2017-01-15 07:57:11 By Chuor Deng Chuor The world knows that Ateny Wek Ateny is supposed to be the Press Secretary and official spokesperson of President Salva Kiir. but the reality of the matter is that Ateny has (...)

Obama’s promises and pledges for Darfur went unheeded with lifting sanctions 2017-01-15 06:43:31 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman Barak Obama's Lifting of Sanctions off the genocidal regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) in Sudan is based on weak, unconvincing, pretty flimsy excuses and very (...)

The Final Betrayal of Sudan: Partial Suspension of Sanction 2017-01-14 21:31:35 “The Final Betrayal of Sudan: Obama administration’s lifting of economic sanctions; UN Ambassador Samantha Power justifying the move, claiming a ‘sea change’ of improvement in humanitarian access” (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Abduction of S. Sudan Chief Justice’s aide illegal, should be condmened 2017-01-16 05:27:50 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16th January 2015 Legal Watch Associates South Sudan has learned with shock and dismay the abduction of Mr Gama Thomas, an aide to the Chief Justice, Chan Reech Madut. (...)

Carter Center welcomes new regulations on humanitarian affairs 2017-01-12 07:53:16 The Carter Center ATLANTA, Januarg 11, 2017 – The Carter Center welcomes the recent regulations issued by the government of Sudan aimed at facilitating humanitarian relief throughout the country (...)

Nertiti massacre in Central Darfur exposes the criminal nature of Bashir’s regime 2017-01-03 11:54:47 Sudan Democracy First Group Nirtiti massacre in Central Darfur exposes the criminal nature of Bashir's regime 2 January 2017 On the first day of 2016, and only one day after President Bashir's (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.