Given its independence 25 years ago, Eritrea is one of Africa’s youngest nation states. The country is often compared to North Korea as it is almost entirely sealed from the outside world and operates in the shadows of our planet.
By: DAAF BORREN
According to Human Rights Watch, the Eritrean government’s human rights record, is considered among the worst in the world.
Over the last decade, many Eritreans have risked their lives and fled their home country. As a result, more and more horrendous stories reach us, about ‘president’ Isaias Afwerki’s ruthless regime. Aside from forcing young men into military service, mostly for a lifetime, Afwerki rules his country with iron fist, not tolerating any contradictions. Consequently, unlawful imprisonments, torture and politically motivated killings, are daily routine.
But even when they reach the shores of Europe, Eritreans aren’t entirely safe. Because, partially similar to Turkey, the Eritrean government constantly pressures its citizens living abroad. For instance, refugees are forced to pay taxes (2% of their income), and it is said that spies of the regime constantly monitor and harass Eritrean communities, threatening them mentally and physically. Frequently, refugees mention how their family members – still living in Eritrea – have disappeared, as punishment for their escape.
Reporters without Borders invariably ranks Eritrea as the country with the poorest freedom of press, alongside North Korea and Turkmenistan.
For The Bright Continent, Teame (26), who fled Eritrea several years ago, has bravely decided to share his story. The interview offers a glimpse into his life, wherein he speaks about his troubled life in Eritrea, his escape from the country and his future. A compelling and heartbreaking story, which underlines how Afwerki’s regime, ruins the lives of many.