Name: Twen Theodros
Country/Area of Origin: Eritrea
Background: Theodros is an Eritrean Christian
Reason for Arrest:
Theodros was originally arrested in Asmara, Eritrea in 2004 for her spiritual beliefs, but she was swiftly released after her father convinced her to sign documents pledging that she would neither evangelize nor engage in Christian worship or activities. Theodros was arrested a second time in 2005 while she was attending an evening prayer session at a clandestine church, and she was subsequently imprisoned at Mai Sirwa Prison.
In 2006, another large group of Christian prisoners were sent to Mai Sirwa Prison after they were arrested for attending a Christian wedding; Theodros befriended this group of prisoners. The entire group was transferred between various prisons, including the notorious Wi’a Prison and then the Me’eter Prison.
During her detention, Theodros befriended Eritrean gospel singer Helen Berhane, and they spent time together when they were both detained in a shipping container. Theodros would often take beatings and physical punishments in place of Helen, and Helen wrote about Theodros in her book, Song of the Nightingale. Helen, however, still was beaten in prison and, when the physical abuse made her injured and ill, Theodros would care for her, tend to her wounds, and feed her.
At one point during her imprisonment, Theodros herself became ill and was granted a month of medical leave during which she stayed with her family and received proper treatment. Rather than attempting to escape the rest of her prison sentence by leaving Eritrea, she returned to the prison according to her own will.
Eritrean prisoners that have met or befriended Theodros all say that she is a faithful Christian, a humble servant of Jesus, and is steadfast in her beliefs.