Imprisoned – The Untold Story of Dawit Isaak

Photo: Pressens Bild

Photo: Private

”First and foremost the film puts the headlights on racism. We would rathjer not admit to it, we would rather not see it, but there it is. Built into the system, like a spinal reflex, in spite of our well polished appearance.”

Johan Croneman, Dagens Nyheter

On the 23rd of September 2001 the Swedish-Eritrean journalist and author Dawit Isaak is arrested by Eritrean authorities. More than ten years later he is still imprisoned in Eritrea without any charges pressed or a trial held. Dawit Isaak is today the EU-citizen serving the longest imprisonment term based on political reasons.

Gellert Tamas’ and Maria Magnusson’s film Imprisoned – The Untold Story of Dawit Isaak portrays the person and describes the political game that Dawit Isaak has become a victim of.

Through unique pictures, from private movies to TV interviews, we meet and get to know Dawit. We see and read Dawit’s increasingly desperate mails to friends in Sweden the weeks before the arrest and we find out about a formerly unknown attempt to free him through the EU. But the documentary also reveals how the tentacles of the Eritrean regime reach right into the heart of Swedish society and how it creates fear and divides families – here as well as there.

“The documentary dispassionately presented a background through interviews, archival clips and private pictures that gave a full picture both of this particular case and of the Eritrean regime. It was very interesting and equally frightening.”

Maria Näslund, Expressen

“But what the programme most of all conveys is the shock that this could actually take place and can continue to happen, year after year, right in front of all of us enlightened Swedes and EU-citizens, who have prided ourselves on our democratic spirit and our influence on the surrounding world, and in addition have dared to claim that we have learned from the past.”

Astrid Söderbergh Widding, Svenska Dagbladet