Release International has confirmed a total of 69 Christian prisoners of faith have been released in Eritrea.
Assist News reports they have been released on bail, which could be forfeited if they attempt to leave the country.
News of the release caused many Christians to take to the streets in celebration – prompting another round of arrests.
Authorities seized five women who stepped outside to pray and rejoice at the news.
Release International’s Eritrean partner Dr Berhane Asmelash says the further arrestees were all mothers who were cheering from the roadside.
Given these latest arrests, Dr Berhane fears it could be premature to hope for a change of heart or softening of policy towards Eritrean Christians.
Dr Berhane estimates around 300 Christian prisoners of faith are being held indefinitely in Eritrea, and without ever having been offered a trial.
The US State Department estimates currently there could be up to 3,000 prisoners of conscience in Eritrea.