According to Catholic world press sources, Eritrean Bishop Fikremariam Hagos Tsalim ( was reportedly arrested on October 15 upon his arrival at Asmara airport on his return from a trip to Europe.

The prelate was reportedly taken to Adi Abeto prison, where two other priests from the same eparchy in Segheneity, Mihretab Stefanos and Abba Abraham (, have reportedly been under arrest for about a week.

Although the Eritrean government has not given any indication regarding the arrest, the reasons for detaining the bishop and the two prelates are said to be due to repeated complaints about human rights violations in the country, with particular reference to military mobilization policies and threats to the families of renegades and defectors (

The episode is part of a dynamic of growing tensions between part of the Eritrean Catholic community and local authorities, which, only last August, had led to the requisitioning of the Hagaz Technical-Agricultural School, run by the De La Salle Brothers congregation.

Bishop Fikremariam Hagos Tsalim had repeatedly opposed the confiscation procedures and, more generally, had been critical of the government on human rights issues.


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