Home | News    Saturday 23 February 2008

Eritrean opposition party founder dies in prison

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By Tesfa-alem Tekle

February 22, 2008(ADDIS ABABA) — Taha Mohamed Nur, one of the co-founders of the Eritrean Liberation Front, died in prison in Eritrea, opposition online news website, Gedab news reports.

He is believed to be in his late sixties or early seventies. Taha had been in detention since November 2005.

Neither he, nor the dozens of Eritrean citizens who were arrested with him including the famous singer and veteran, Idris Mohammed Ali; the journalists Jimie Kmeil and Adem Selshel and ten other civil servants and business people—were charged with any crime or presented to a court of law by the Eritrean regime. Nor have any of the countless of Eritrean political prisoners who have been arrested before or since that time been brought to a court of law.

The family of Taha Mohamed Nur was summoned by government authorities to collect his body and no explanation was given to them—not even about the circumstances of his death.

Nur was one of six intellectuals who founded the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) in Cairo, Egypt, in 1960. The other founders, all university students or recent graduates (and one parliamentarian), were Idris Mohamed Adem, Idris Gelaydios, Mohamed Saleh Hummed, Said Hussain and Adem Mohammed Akte.

They eventually became part of the ELF’s “Supreme Council” and called on Hamed Idris Awate, the father of the Eritrean revolution, to start the armed wing of the revolution.

A graduate of a law school in Italy, Taha Mohammed Nur served the Eritrean revolution in various capacities including as the foreign relations officer of the ELF-PLF.

A long time associate of Osman Saleh Sabbe, Taha returned to Eritrea after Eritrea’s independence.

In 1994, he was named one of the 50 commissioners of the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea, which was chaired by Dr. Bereket Habteselasse.

Taha Mohamed Nur also served as a commissioner in the five-member Referendum Commission of Eritrea (as its secretary) in 1992-93.

(ST)

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