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Prisoner Profile

Mussie Ezaz

Arrested September 2007 in Eritrea

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Mussie Ezaz was arrested in September 2007 when Eritrean authorities came after him for his work as a youth minister with the Kale Hiwot (Word of Life) Church. He worked as an evangelist for 14 years and served with Youth for Christ for a number of years before developing a ministry to youth at the Kale Hiwot Church, and other believers described him as a kind, generous and gifted leader.

Mussie was taken to a small village prison staffed by young soldiers. He managed to escape and tried to flee the country with the aid of fellow Christians. He called his family to let say good bye, and then he headed for the border. When he reached the border town of Adi Kaih, about 60 miles away, he called his family to let them know he made it. Shortly afterward, authorities caught up with him and he was rearrested.

After his arrested, authorities arrested a number of other Christians, including Pastor Oqbamichel Haimanot (also on, because Mussie called him while fleeing.

For a long time after his arrest, his family had no idea where he was and had no information about his health. Eritrean believers feared he’d been killed or left alone in a remote prison cell somewhere in the desert.

Recent reports indicate Mussie is located at the maximum-security crime investigation unit (Wenjel Mermera) in the capital city of Asmara. Many other pastors and church leaders are and were imprisoned there, some for more than 10 years. As with other Christians imprisoned in Eritrea, Mussie has never been tried or charged. His family has no idea whether he will ever be released.

Mussie is married and has three children waiting for him to come home.

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