Today, the Göteborg Book Fair and a number of other organisations are inviting Dawit Isaak to the 2019 Book Fair. 
4982 BOK sidhuvud press engelsk
19 August, 2019 Web version
5579 Dawit Isaak 600x424 webb
Press Release 19 August 2019:
Dawit Isaak Invited to the Göteborg Book Fair
The journalist Dawit Isaak was arrested on 23 September 2001, accused of exercising his freedom of expression. He has now spent nearly 18 years in prison without a trial. Today, the Göteborg Book Fair and a number of other organisations are inviting Dawit Isaak to the 2019 Book Fair.

Dawit Isaak is now the author and journalist that has spent the longest period in prison on account of expressing his opinions.

Today, an official invitation to participate in the Göteborg Book Fair 26–29 September will be sent to Dawit Isaak via the Swedish ambassador to Eritrea, the Swedish Consulate in Asmara and the Embassy of Eritrea in Stockholm. The invitation, which will also be published in today’s issue of the newspaper Expressen, is signed by Göteborg Book Fair, the Swedish Authors’ Union, the Swedish Union of Journalists, Swedish PEN, Reporters Without Borders and Expressen.

It is common knowledge that the situation in Eritrea is serious, not least as regards human rights and freedom of expression. Year after year, Eritrea is found at the bottom of the Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index, and Human Rights Watch are sending signals about the situation in the country that are cause for concern. The situation for Dawit Isaak remains unchanged in spite of the peace treaty signed by Eritrea and Ethiopia just over a year ago.

At 15.00 on Thursday 26 September, the Book Fair will be organizing a debate and manifestation in aid of Dawit Isaak on the Global Square stage with Esayas Isaak, Dawit Isaak’s brother, Aaron Berhane, Dawit Isaak’s editor, the Eritrean poet Yirgalem Fisseha Mebrahtu and the journalist and author Martin Schibbye in conversation about the man behind the symbol of freedom of expression and the political situation in Eritrea. The debate will be introduced by Frida Edman, Göteborg Book Fair, facilitator will be Karin Olsson, Expressen.

After the debate, the Book Fair will unveil an empty chair that will be reserved for Dawit Isaak until the day he is able to attend, or choose not to. It will be placed next to the chair of Gui Minhai, which was installed during the 2018 Book Fair. These chairs are painful reminders of two Swedish citizens, both from Gothenburg, who are in prison because of their opinions.

“By sending an official invitation to Dawit Isaak, and installing a chair for him too, we show and emphasize the importance of continuing the discussion about the situation in Eritrea as well as in China. But we must never forget the person behind the symbol. By listening to people close to Dawit Isaak, we are able to hear his voice, understand the situation he is in and learn from his work,” says Frida Edman, director of Göteborg Book Fair.

The Göteborg Book Fair has also been given the opportunity to exhibit the Italian illustrator Gianluca Costantini’s drawings of journalists in Eritrean prisons, including Dawit Isaak.
Visit: https://www.gianlucacostantini.com/2019/06/28/human-rights-in-eritrea

Martin Schibbye’s recently published book Searching for Dawit describes the author’s two journeys to Eritrea, his encounter with Dawit’s cell companion and how the recent political landscape at the Horn of Africa can affect the chances of Dawit Isaak’s release.

Invitation to Dawit Isaak (in English) >>

Press photo, drawing by Gianluca Costantini >>

The Göteborg Book Fair takes place between 26 and 29 September. The seminar programme was presented in Stockholm and Gothenburg on 28 May. This year, the focus is on the guest of honour, South Korea, media and information literacy, and gender equality.

Read more at www.goteborg-bookfair.com

For more information, please contact
Charlotta Parkås
, press officer, Göteborg Book Fair
+46 (0)736-60 69 61
The Göteborg Book Fair takes place September 26–29, 2019 at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, Göteborg, Sweden.
South Korea, Gender Equality and Media and Information Literacy (MIL) will be in focus.

1260 facebook icon     1259 twitter icon     1258 instagram icon

If you no longer wish to receive information from Göteborg Book Fair, please unsubscribe.
Read the Privacy Policy for the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre.

Göteborg Book Fair, SE-412 94 Göteborg, Sweden | Visiting address: Mässans Gata 10 | Tel +46 31 708 84 00
Website | hej@bokmassan.se