Within the past month, 70 Christians have been released from three prisons in Eritrea, Africa.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports that six women were freed on Jan. 27 after they were arrested last September for publicly worshipping outside in Dekemhare.
On Feb. 1, the government released 21 female and 43 male prisoners who had been detained near the capital city of Asmara. Some of them had been imprisoned for up to 12 years without ever being charged or tried in court.
Some say the news of the release of these persecuted Christians is an effort to shift attention away from the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region. As CBN News has reported, there have been several media reports highlighting senseless killings, human rights violations, and possibly genocide.
"This good news must not obscure the Eritrean regime's continued complicity in egregious violations of human rights, both within its own borders and now in Tigray," CSW's Founder President Mervyn Thomas said. "We call on the international community to press Eritrea for the immediate and unconditional release of all those detained arbitrarily on account of their religion or belief."
"We also call for urgent action to arrest the unfolding crisis in Tigray, including by imposing arms embargoes on the warring parties, and sanctions on the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea, who bear ultimate responsibility for human rights violations that are allegedly being committed with impunity by their respective forces."
Last month, Eritrean soldiers reportedly ransacked multiple houses, then killed men and boys in Tigray, some as young as 7-years-old.
"They were focused on trying to take everything of value," said a woman named Zenebu. "They would kill you for trying, or even crying."
Eritrean soldiers recruited a 12-year-old boy to run their errands, then he was killed.
"I saw his body," Zenebu said. "They just, like, threw him away."
Human Rights Watch researcher Laetitia Bader urged for "immediate international scrutiny" and an investigation led by the U.N.
"We are investigating credible reports of a whole range of abuses by the Eritrean forces in central Tigray, including extrajudicial executions of civilians, widespread looting and damage of public and private property, including hospitals," she said.