Eritrean officials have made no official response to the reports but Information Minister Ali Abdu told Reuters last week he was not aware of any such arrests, adding that they would not have been religiously motivated in any case.
"The 27 women were released today after being held in an Asmara police station since Saturday. We don't know if any charges were laid," an Asmara-based diplomat told Reuters. "They were given water, and family members came with food."
The diplomat said their release was welcome news for families because concern for the women's health was growing -- all were in their forties or older, one was in her seventies, and a number had health concerns that required medicine.
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