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Last updated: 12 may, 2010 - 17:19 GMT

A journalist's prison escape

Yonas Embye

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Everyday Eritrean journalist Yonas Embye holds a lone vigil outside the parliamentary offices of a city hundreds of miles from the homeland he was forced to flee.

Armed with placards and a deeply held sense of justice, Yonas walks the streets of Uganda's capital, Kampala, trying to draw the world's attention to the plight of journalists in Eritrea who he says are persecuted by the government.

The campaign group Reporters Without Borders accuse Eritrea of being one of the worst offenders against press freedom in the world, with around 30 journalists currently held in prisons in the country.

Although Eritrea has no privately owned media, the government insists that journalists are free to report as they see fit.

But Yonas says that he was detained without trial for four years because of articles he wrote which criticised the regime.

Yonas eventually escaped from prison by using a fork to scrape away the mortar between the bricks in his cell. He fled first to Sudan and then to Uganda, where he is now seeking asylum.

Matthew Bannister spoke to Yonas and heard all about his extraordinary experience.

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