Imprisoned Christian dies in Eritrea

By July 31, 2008

Eritrea (MNN) — Voice of the Martyrs Canada is reporting
that a 37-year-old Eritrean Christian woman has died while in custody in
Eritrea. 

According to accounts from Compass Direct, the woman, Azieb
Simon, succumbed to malaria while being held in the Wi'a Military Training
Center. Already weakened by
mistreatment she'd endured since her arrest in December, she contracted the disease a week prior to
her death, and authorities reportedly refused to give her treatment.  She
was a member of the Kale-Hiwet Church in Assab.

Other Christians imprisoned in the centre are under constant
pressure to recant their faith.  Compass sources say eight other Christians being
held at the Adi-Quala prison needed emergency medical care due to torture by
military personnel at the camp.

Despite the continued targeted round-ups, the government
continues to support its statement issued in May 2003 that "no groups or
persons are persecuted in Eritrea for their beliefs or religion."

Yet, 32 additional Christians from Assab were also imprisoned
and taken to Wi'a earlier this month. Close
to 2,000 believers remain in Eritrean prisons where they face deplorable
conditions. According to Release Eritrea, these numbers mean that approximately
one in ten Eritrean evangelicals are presently being detained.

Simon was among the more than 2,000 believers who have
been imprisoned for their faith.  Pray
that Eritrean Christians will remain faithful in the face of pressure to deny
Christ.

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