18 May 2017
Escape from a prison state: Cruelty, violence, intimidation and religious persecution are the norm in Eritrea Premium
The hope that independence from Ethiopia brought in 1993 has been replaced by the despair of an oppressive regime
Escape from a prison state
A large number of the migrants risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean are fleeing the small and secretive African country of Eritrea. Religious believers - and, in particular, Christians – are amongst its most oppressed citizenswrites John Pontifex
In the world, Eritrea has earned the dubious epithet of the “North Korea of Africa”.
Isaias Afewerki’s premiership began in 1993 in a wave of optimism, after a thirty-year struggle by the Eritreans to gain independence from neighbouring Ethiopia. In the years since then, hope has steadily given way to despair. Whereas the regime presided over a programme of building new schools, hospitals and roads in the mid-1990s, a generation later, Afewerki’s Eritrea, located above the Horn of Africa, is frequently described as a “prison state”. Egregious cruelty, violence and intimidation are routinely inflicted on any citizen who steps out of line...
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