ERITREA: CHRISTIAN WOMAN IN PRISON DIES OF MALARIA – Weakened by torture, Azib Simon succumbs to disease only a week after contracting it.
LOS ANGELES, July 23 (Compass Direct News) – Imprisoned and tortured for her Christian faith since December, 37-year-old Azib Simon died of malaria in Eritrea’s Wi’a Military Training Center last week. Weakened by ongoing torture, sources said, Simon contracted malaria only a week before she died. Christians in the prison are rarely given medical attention, and the sources said authorities refused to provide treatment for Simon’s malaria. She had attended the Kale-Hiwet Church in Assab, one of the independent evangelical churches that have been targeted by the country’s Marxist-leaning authoritarian regime. She was held at the notorious Wi’a Military Training Center, 20 miles south of the Red Sea port of Massawa, since her arrest in December 2007. On June 8 Compass learned that eight Christian brothers held at the Adi-Quala prison were taken to the medical emergency facilities as a result of torture by military personnel at the camp. Simon’s death makes a total of five Christians whom Compass has confirmed have died in Eritrean prisons after being tortured for refusing to recant their faith.