MIDDLE. Eritrea defected Information Minister Ali Abdu Ahmed washes his hands clean of the regime.
In an alleged interrogation for asylum in Australia, he accuses the country’s president Isaias Afwerki to enslave the people, supporting terror groups in Somalia and the militarization of the whole people.
He claims that he and a number of high-ranking generals planned for a power coup that failed.
”I fled to the president planned to assassinate or arrest me,” he should have said in the hearing.
For many years served Ali Abdu Ahmed regime in Eritrea, faithful. He was the country’s Information Minister, President Isaias Afwerkis right hand of the man who ruled the country with an iron fist media for 13 years.
He is accused of being one of those who took the decision to arrest a number of free journalists, including the Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak.
In December 2013, without warning disappeared Ali Abdu trace. Express could be the first newspaper in the world reveal that he had fled the country and sought asylum.
Expressen has taken note of an alleged interrogation protocols now spread on multiple sites controlled by the opposition. The protocol reported to come from Ali Abdus asylum in Australia and he will in the hearing reveal a whole range of new details about the escape via Sweden and the regime in Eritrea.
He claims that he, since 2007 began working in secret to overthrow the regime.
”In 2010, I wanted to show the world that the president was unstable and arranged an interview with him on al-Jazeera English. Just as I thought he was unstable and sounded crazy. He was stoned. ”said Ali Abdu Ahmed in what is claimed to be a transcript of the hearing.
Ali Abdu wanted to get the people of Eritrea to realize that Afewerki was not able to run the country and that he was a ”monster”.
The president agreed to the interview.
Opposition news sites mocked him. Afewerki wanted to erase away the interview and gave orders to Ali Abdu to make contact with al-Jazeera.
He explained that it was not in his power.
”When I refused to obey orders I was captivated for 12 days from February 22 to March 6, 2010. I was released to attend an important national ceremony. The president did not want people to ask questions about my absence. ”
”I was warned on several occasions to know my place. One time when my younger brother applied for a passport, he was asked to prove that he was Eritrean citizens. When he told me that his brother was a minister, they said both to him and to my father (it was clear message to me): ”usually we receive guests at the high level of government here”.
In another section of the alleged interrogation Abdu Ali goes back to 1995.
Then based Government National Police Service.
It was that young Eritreans were forced to take an 18-month military service.
It consisted of military training but also by the community as combating malaria, for example.
Ali Abdu supported the project at first.
It would be just 18 months of service was extended in the war against Ethiopia in indefinitely.
Ali Abdu reveals that it was ”a way to provide firms owned by the ruling party PFDJ with free labor and slave labor.
The girls who were summoned had more ”humane fate”: They became maids and sometimes mistresses of corrupt generals ”.
There were tens of thousands of young people to flee the country to Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen.
Abdu says in the interview that the president’s philosophy is to let people become hungry because they do not have the energy to think about politics.
Ali Abdu claims that he since 2007, collaborating with the opposition’s US-based website awate.com. He claims that wrote under the pseudonyms ”From the Belly of the Beast”.
”My intention was to reveal the government’s brutality and the president’s unbalanced personality as well as a number of other discriminatory factors against minorities and Muslims,” he allegedly said in the interview.
The website has their sponsors in Eritrea, particularly among minority group Jeberti as Al Abdu belongs.
The website revealed a series of news material that could only come from people with inside information on government and especially its involvement in the support for the terrorist group al-Shabab in Somalia.
”Now that it is known that my brother was news chief” joked ”people in the government with me and said that I was the source of a number of innovations. I was the source, ”he says.
Ali Abdu reveals that there is a group of people who are arrested without trial. The only imprisoned and gets forgotten. It’s just like in the case of the Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak. He does not mention but Isaak talks about how his own father was arrested.
”Back to 2001, when my father was in the age of 70 and was arrested. Although he was not accused of having committed a criminal, he was put in prison for 4.5 years. He was not political active and neither leading figure in Islamic society. He was a businessman. It was not clear why he was arrested. It is not untypical. In Eritrea, those who get arrested but to stand trial are not entitled to a defense and will never be condemned. The only imprisoned. When he, after four and a half years in prison has been released with health problems, he asked: ”Why was I arrested to begin with?” They said to him: ”So your son gets the message”.
Ali Abdu claims that he disliked the president’s plans to form its own defense force and also arm the people. A number of high-ranking army generals approached Abdu to discuss the change in Eritrea. They wanted to make a coup against Afwerki, claims Ali Abdu.
”Because they were soldiers, they wanted to use my popularity and wanted me to be a frontman in their proposed military solution. I’m the only one that they think I can look in the president’s eyes and say ”this is wrong”. However, he would never listen to me. ”
Ali Abdu says that Afwerki berated him for 6 hours. He told the story of China, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq. ”He said that Saddam Hussein was overthrown because he was addicted to his own modern defense. It does not work. You have to fight with your own people and your citizens. Its people’s armies live and die together. ”
The president was afraid of uprisings in the Middle East, in 2011. He controlled all the information ministry had to report on. He was afraid that a similar uprising would take place in Eritrea. When Egyptian President Hossni Mubarak was toppled did Afwereki a statement that Mubarak deserved it because he did not follow the ”Afwerkeis way.”
Ali Abdu should also say that he was working to seamlessly get people to rise against the dictator. He gave permission for a television program called ”Honesty”. People had to say what they thought about everyday problems such as water, electricity and inflation. In the interview, he argues that the only solution to bring to get rid of Afwerki was ”Tahrir Square style”, meaning peaceful uprising in Egypt.
Afwerki dismissed Ali Abdus television programs and was ”furious”. Ali Abdu became afraid for their own safety. One day he was visited by the Minister of Defence. He said ”the president do his dirty work while he is abroad. That way, he can order the arrest or execution, and when he comes home he pretends he be surprised and ”shocked”.
Ali Abdu began planning for his own escape. He understands that such a step would cost his family and friends very much. Therefore, he helped a number of people who worked for him escape. One of them is ”Colonel Fitsum from the security services.” He fled to Sweden.
Remained Ali Abdus old father, younger brother and own 15 year old daughter. In October-November 2013, he traveled through Europe, Canada and the final destination of Australia.
First he went to Canada. The trip started in Dubai via Germany, Sweden and on to Canada. He met his wife, and his son, who four years earlier had fled to Canada to live a secret.
Meanwhile, he tried to smuggle out his 15 year old daughter from Eritrea. He paid the smugglers $ 7,000 in advance for taking her to the Sudan. The regime intercepted a conversation with Ali Abdus brother Hassan. On December 8, became both his daughter, brother and father arrested.
”I am concerned for each family member who was arrested, especially my 15 year old daughter and my brother and my father in prison. I suffer from insomnia, heart trouble. I had serious thoughts of suicide. When I found out about my daughter’s fate December 8, I want to take my life because I felt I lost everything. I’m so lonely. I am in great need of getting my new wife and my children here. I am in desperate need of emotional support for my family. I have major economic problems, ”said Information Minister who in some way be held responsible for a series of dissidents and journalists Swedish-eritreanen Dawit Isaak.
Of Kassem Hamade