ERITREA: Helen Berhane is Released!

Eritrean gospel singer Helen Berhane, jailed since May 2004, was released from prison earlier this week and is back home with her family in Asmara, capital of Eritrea.

She is still confined to a wheelchair due to leg injuries sustained as a result of beatings in prison. These injuries led to Helen spending three days in hospital last month.

Helen, 31, is reported to be in good spirits despite her prison ordeal. One person who has seen her said, “Her face was shining brightly and she was praising God.”

Helen spent over two years detention in Eritrean prisons, where she was sent shortly after releasing an album of gospel music. She repeatedly refused to sign a paper recanting her faith.

Dr Berhane Asmelash (Director of Release Eritrea) said in a statement today: “I am extremely relieved to hear that Helen has finally been released from prison. I would like to thank the authorities for making this humane decision and hope that this will be extended to the remaining prisoners of conscience.”

(Information from Release Eritrea)