The most relevant of the many brave writers I have met or written about is the Eritrean poet Amanuel Asrat, who has been imprisoned in Eritrea for years. As one of the Norwegians who started the first Eritrean association in Oslo in the mid-1960s, I have tried to follow what is happening in Eritrea and Ethiopia, where brutal dictators took over and continued the wars.
In October, Jamaican Linton Kwesi Johnson received the PEN Printer International Writers' Award, which he decided to share with Asrat. Asrat was arrested on September 23, 2001, along with editors and journalists after criticizing the government.
According to the British branch of PEN, Asrat and his fellow prisoners have been tortured and denied medical treatment. Asrat's brother, Daniel Mebrahtu does not know if he is alive. "We wish Amanuel knew. . .
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