Eritreans deny arrest of Christians, against all evidence

By Incorrect Author 11 December 2009

Eritrea denied reports of alleged mass arrests of Christians in the capital, Asmara, saying any such detentions wouldn’t be based on religious grounds. But a US rights group says some 30 Christian women were arrested while praying last weekend. The UN is preparing sanctions against the country for backing Islamist radicals in chaotic Somalia, and for threatening its neighbour, Djibouti. Eritrea's information minister Ali Abdu told Reuters that he hadn’t seen any reports of arrests, adding they wouldn’t have been religiously motivated. But the rights group said the church the women belonged to was forced underground in 2002 after a government crackdown. The group’s arrest claims have been confirmed by a Western diplomat, although there is uncertainty about the number of people detained. Read more: Reuters, AFP