Haile Weldetinsae (DuruE), former Eritrean fighter for independence & liberty, former minister (among others Foreign Minister) and … Jailed on September 18, 2001 and held incommunicado since that day…like countless known and unknown Eritrean prisoners of conscience…
“THE STRUGGLE OF MAN AGAINST POWER IS THE STRUGGLE OF MEMORY AGAINST FORGETTING“
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Millan Kundera (one of my favorites)
LEST WE FORGET THEM, our prisoners of concience, our brothers, sisters, our fathers, our mothers, our daughters, our sons, our religious leaders. Lest we forget them! This season is the season of new year and celebrations; but not for the countless prisoners of conscience in Eritrea. Not for their family members. Day and night, now for 10, 13, 15 or more years, they have been surviving like half-dead. They can’t sleep normally, they can’t eat normally, they can’t live normally. Where is my daughter? Where is my son? Where is my father? Where is my mother? Where is my sister? Where is my brother? In what conditions are they in? Are they still alive?
The regime has deleted the prisoners of conscience from historical audio-visual archives. The regime tells us: “we don’t know them!” “They have never existed”, “How can the Eritrean regime of PFDJ tell you where they are, if the regime doesn’t know who these people are”. These have been the reactions of the regime. What is ours? If we don’t dare to ask about these Eritreans, if we don’t act and stand up for them, then we are worse than the dead. No excuses… Imagine if you were one of them, if your father was one of them, if your mother was one of them, if your brother was one of them, if your sister was one of them, if your son was one of them, if your daughter was one of them; would you keep quiet and forget them?
These people who served Eritrea and the Eritrean people their whole life are never charged officially with a crime, never tried before an independent court of law, they have never got the chance to admit to any accusations or defend themselves openly.
How can we condemn them by siding with an illegal regime that is bleeding Eritrea? Silence is conspiracy and this means implicit support to the dictatorial regime.
Haile Woldense (imprisoned): Haile was a militant student in the beginning of 1960s, before he joined the Eritrean struggle in 1966. In 1973 he was captured by Ethiopian soldiers and jailed in Asmara, only to be rescued by his fellow ELF-fighters in 1975. Two years later he became a member of EPLF’s Politburo. After Independence he became the Minister of Finance and Development and served in that capacity until the beginning of Eritrean-Ethiopian War of 1998. He was then shuffled in the Cabinet to the Minister of Foreign Affairs position. Haile was a school mate of Isaias Afewerki in, among others, the former Luul Mekonen High Secondary School in Asmara. He has tatoed the letter E on his right shoulder. Like many others he spent his whole life for Eritrea and the Eritrean people. His diplomatic strength and the way he defended the Eritrean cause during the Algers Agreement and beyond was highly appreciated by various renowned international diplomats