Mussie Eyob | Eritrea
Mussie Eyob became a Christian in 2008. In 2011, while living in Saudi Arabia, he visited a local mosque in an area of Jeddah known as Haya Roda, to meet and talk with attendants there about Christianity. On February 12, he was arrested for preaching to Muslims and was imprisoned for proselytising, which is a capital offence in Saudia Arabia. Following appeals from various human rights groups on Mussie’s behalf, the Saudi authorities decided to deport him instead of carrying out the death sentence. He was deported back to Eritrea in November 2011.
On arrival in Eritrea, Mussie disappeared into the vast prison system, where many Eritrean pastors and evangelists have been detained incommunicado. Recently it was revealed that Mussie is a prisoner in Me’etr prison, which is located in North West Eritrea.
Me’etr prison camp was opened in 2007, specifically to house Christians who had been arrested because of their faith. In 2009, at least two detained Eritrean Christians, Mogos Hagos Kiflom, 37, and Mehari Gebreneguse Asgedom, 42, died in Me’etr.
Presently Me’etr is not as brutal as some of the other prisons but it is situated in a dry barren inhospitable area with harsh weather conditions for most of the year. Currently there are believed to be around 89 prisoners in Me’etr, all of them Christians. ‘Esther’ from Helen Berhane’s book, The Song of The Nightingale is also a prisoner in Me’etr. The prison itself is like a labour camp where prisoners are required to work hard on the land, something that is extremely difficult for both those prisoners who are older or infirm. Thankfully Mussie appears to be in reasonably good health and tries as he can to work on behalf of the sick and the weak.