Ciham Ali

Ciham Ali havde store drømme. Hun blev født i Los Angeles, men voksede op i Eritrea, og var fan af Lady Gaga og Green Day. Hun var fast besluttet på at blive modedesigner, når hun blev voksen. Men som 15-årig blev hendes drømme knust.

Den 8. december 2012 blev hun anholdt ved grænsen til Sudan, da hun forsøgte at flygte fra Eritrea. Hendes far, Ali Abdu, der var tidligere udenrigsminister under præsident Isaias Afwerki, var gået i eksil, da militæret forsøgte at begå statskup. Rygtet var, at Ali Abdu havde støttet kuppet, og at Ciham blev anholdt som gengældelse.

Ni år er gået, og ingen – heller ikke hendes familie – ved, hvor Ciham sidder tilbageholdt. Hun er ikke sigtet for noget og er aldrig blevet stillet for en dommer. Hun er forsvundet.

Eritrea er berygtet for at fængsle mennesker i underjordiske celler, hvor de indsatte lider under ekstrem kulde og varme. Mange mennesker dør som følge af tortur, sult og infektioner i fængslerne. Mens Cihams jævnaldrende begyndte i college, har Ciham gennemlevet ukendte rædsler.

Selvom hun er amerikansk statsborger, har USA ignoreret Cihams sag. USA har magt til at påvirke Eritrea, men har intet gjort. 

Kræv, at USA taler Ciham Alis sag over for Eritrea.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Eritrea, Ciham Ali had big dreams. A fan of Lady Gaga and Green Day, she was determined to become a fashion designer when she grew up. But at 15, her hopes were shattered.

On 8 December 2012, Ciham was arrested at the Sudan border as she tried to flee Eritrea. Her father Ali Abdu, then foreign minister under President Isaias Afwerki, had gone into exile just as the military attempted a coup against the government. The rumour was that Ali Abdu had supported the coup and Ciham may have been arrested in retaliation.

Nine years on and no one – not even her family – knows where Ciham is being held. She hasn’t been charged, nor has she been brought to trial. It’s as if she’s vanished. Eritrea is notorious for imprisoning people in underground containers where they suffer extreme cold and heat. There are reports of many people dying from torture, starvation, infection and other appalling treatment in these jails. While other children her age might have headed to college, Ciham has been suffering unknown horrors.

Although she’s a US citizen, Ciham has been ignored by the US government. So far, they’ve remained silent on her plight, even though they have the power to influence Eritrea.

Tell the USA to speak out for Ciham.