Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and former CEO, on Friday, tweeted in support of Ciham Ali Abdu, who has been held for more than a decade by the northeast African country Eritrea.
What Happened: Dorsey, quoting a tweet from Swedish–Eritrean human rights activist Vanessa Tsehaye urging people to light a candle and do 10 minutes of silence for Ciham, wrote "#FreeCiham."
This comes a day after international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch demanded Eritrea immediately release Ciham.
According to Human Rights Watch, Ciham, who holds dual American-Eritrean nationality, was unlawfully arrested a decade ago when she was only 15.
The report said Ciham, who was born in the U.S., moved to Eritrea with her father, Ali Abdu Ahmed, he took up a position under Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki. In 2012, her father, who was then the information minister, fled to Australia after a rift with the Afewerki. Soon after that, Ciham was arrested while trying to escape to Sudan for her safety.
Ciham has never been charged with any offense and has not been seen since then, noted the Human Rights Watch report.
The Eritrean government had also detained Ciham's 87-year-old grandfather and her uncle after her father fled. While her uncle remains in detention, her grandfather died shortly after his release in December 2017, Human Rights Watch said.
Terming Ciham's detention "disgraceful," Flavia Mwangovya, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and Great Lakes Region, said, "The last years of her childhood and early adult life have been stolen from her, while her family faces the agonizing despair of not knowing where she is."
Mwangovya also demanded that Ciham be released from secret detention.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden, on Thursday, formally announced the release of Brittney Griner from prison in Russia, where she was held for the past 10 months on charges of possessing some cannabis oil, which was legally prescribed to her in the U.S.
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