You can demand the release of prisoner of conscience, Aster Fissehatsion

What’s happening?

In 2001, Aster Fissehatsion was arrested together with 10 other members of a group of political dissidents known as the Group of 15 (or G-15), including her former husband, former vice-president and foreign minister of Eritrea, Mahmoud Ahmed Sheriffo. Before their arrest, the G-15, who were all senior party officials in the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice Party (PFDJ), Eritrea’s only political party, wrote a letter to party members describing and proposing solutions for the “crisis of Eritrea”. The letter contended that the President and the PFDJ were obligated by the Constitution to call internal party meetings, follow correct parliamentary and government procedures and follow up on a number of promises the party had made, particularly regarding judicial reform.

In August 2001, the Secretary General of PFDJ accused the G-15 of attempting to destabilize the country and in response the G-15 published a letter in a newspaper, calling upon the Eritrean people to help solve the country’s problems. On the night of 18 September 2001, 11 of the 15 signatories of the letter were arrested.

For close to 14 years, Aster’s family has not seen or heard from her.

Amnesty International’s efforts

Amnesty International are working to get Aster released from prison.

“The President and his cohorts are guilty in the court of conscience; therefore, they are the real prisoners. My parents’ conscience and ideals are roaming free within and beyond the four walls of their cells.”  – Ibrahim Mahmoud Ahmed Sherifo [Aster’s son]

Supporting Amnesty International

Phoenix Rising For Children (PRFC) is an accredited out-of-home or foster care agency providing services in Sydney, including the greater metropolitan areas, Central Coast and parts of the Hunter region of NSW, Australia. PRFC was founded in 2001 to provide quality foster care to children and young people in NSW, including contemporary, quality, family-based foster care and effective and specialist support services to children and young people and their families. PRFC operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support organisations that encompass similar ideals.

Have you considered fostering a young one? PRFC undertakes regular planning and evaluation and has a focus on personal development and training. We are always interested in hearing from those passionate about making a meaningful difference for a child in foster care or a family requiring assistance. If you would like to become a foster carer and join our team providing effective and meaningful care to children and young people, please contact us!

We also provide family contact services, and these specialize in contact supervision for children in out of home care with their parents and other significant family members.

We can be reached at

Learn more about our foster care agency in NSW at

How you can help

You can send your message and join with Amnesty International to demand the release of Aster.

“I urge you to immediately reveal Aster’s whereabouts and fate, to ensure that she is granted access to her family and to legal representation, that she is protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and provided with all necessary medical care.”



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