Executive Office Explanatory statement on the detention of the President of the Eritrean Islamic Congress Sheikh Hassan Mohamed Salman.

On the sixth of Ramadan 1432, corresponding to the sixth of Aug., 2011, the President of the Eritrean Islamic Congress Sheikh Hassan Salman traveled towards Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah in legitimate and legal procedures. According to the Saudi Embassy, there were no any barriers preventing his entry into Saudi territory. However upon his arrival in Jeddah International Airport, the Saudi authorities detained him without giving any reasons or justifications. From that moment, the Executive Office of the Eritrean Islamic Congress began to make contacts and continuing with his brothers and friends to get to know his whereabouts and to check on his safety and make an end to the mysterious process of detention. Over the past period, the Executive Office has devoted its efforts and interest to intensify and coordinate continuously with the brothers and friends so that he would be released and to put an end to the process of detention at the earliest time. The Executive Office still adheres to continue the same approach with our brothers and friends, but at the same time expresses its strong dissatisfaction with the act that exposed one of the prominent leaders of the Eritrean Islamic movement and who is well known to the senior scholars of Saudi. His detention will only serve the Eritrean dictatorial government, who is looking forward to the disappearance of such leadership at a time when the Eritrean people need exemplary leaders and particularly when the opposition and the field are experiencing important political developments. Sheikh Hassan Selman, even though he is the head of the Eritrean Islamic Congress, he is one of the national leaders of the Eritrean Islamic movements. He had various political roles and he had moderate ideology (intellectual). Furthermore, he is well accepted and respected by his political and social surroundings. These credentials helped him to play very important roles and influence the arena within the Eritrean opposition movements. In this context the Executive Office of the Eritrean Islamic Congress expresses its deep thanks, great gratitude and sincere appreciation to all those who have shown solidarity and expressed their support on the issue of detention of Sheikh Hassan Salman. Particularly to all the forces, political and informational sites, civil society organizations and the Eritrean writers and brothers and friends from all peoples and nations who had their positive support. Hereby, the Eritrean Islamic Congress reaffirms its determination to pursue the issue of detention of its President on the widest possible range. It also calls on the Saudi authorities to immediately release Sheikh Hassan Salman and asking them to maintain the integrity of his psychological and physical state. Furthermore, it calls upon the Eritrean Democratic Alliance and the Eritrean National Commission, civil society organizations, media centers, human rights organizations and all parties concerned to play their effective role for the release of Sheikh Hassan Salman, as a one of the prominent Eritrean leaders. We further hope that the friendly and brotherly countries and organizations contribute and support the efforts exerted for the sake of the release of Sheikh Hassan Salman. Executive Office Eritrean Islamic Congress 29/10/1432 H 27/09/2011 M.A

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