October 31, 2006
Helen Berhane, a well-known Christian evangelical singer, was released from captivity in Eritrea. She had been detained incommunicado without charge or trial for two and a half years. Most of her detention was spent in inhuman and degrading conditions inside a metal shipping container which was used as a prison cell. The authorities reportedly tortured her many times to make her recant her faith. Helen was hospitalized as a result of beatings and is said to be confined to a wheelchair. She refused to abandon her faith despite the threats and ill-treatment. AIUSA activists sent cards of support and appeals for her release as part of AIUSA's Holiday Card and Easter Actions. We'd also like to thank Music for Human Rights supporters and their fans, including Gwen Stefani, Duran Duran, Coldplay, Sting, Anti-Flag, Incubus, Bright Eyes, Astralwerks Records and Axis of Justice who helped make Helen's release a reality.