ERITREA EU plans to provide Eritrea’s oppressive regime with new funding

Reporters Without Borders (
Press release 28 April 2015

EU plans to provide Eritrea’s oppressive regime with new funding

Reporters Without Borders calls on the European Union to condition additional aid to Eritrea via the European Development Fund (EDF) on a significant improvement in fundamental freedoms, including freedom of information.

The EDF is the main instrument for EU development assistance. Under the 11th EDF, the EU’s Eritrean “partner” is to get 312 million euros in aid between now and 2020 – three times what it was awarded in 2009 for the following five years – although it continues to flout freedom of expression and information, and human rights in general.

An Italian delegation that visited Eritrea from 24 to 26 March met with President Issayas Afeworki, his political adviser Yemane Ghebreaben, and several ministers. Ghebreaben assured the delegation that Eritrea would carry out democratic reforms “in its own way” during the next three to five years.

Such promises have been made in the past without any significant improvements ever being seen. The Eritrean authorities continue to be inflexible as regards the detention of political prisoners, including many journalists, claiming that high treason and national sovereignty issues are involved.

“It is astounding that the European Union provides Issayas Afeworki’s regime with so much aid without seeking anything in return in the areas of human rights and freedom of expression, although Eritrea’s constitution guarantees the right to free speech,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk.

“This country, which has never had democratic elections, is subject to a single man’s will. How can the European Union, which defends the rule of law and democratic values, support such a regime? While it is important to maintain a dialogue, there is a limit to how far you can go in accommodating a dictatorship that does not keep its promises”.

“Wouldn’t it be in the EU’s own interest, as the recent deaths of hundreds migrants in the Mediterranean have reminded us, to encourage the development of a government that respects human rights and allows young Eritreans to see an alternative to a future of forced conscription of indeterminate duration?”

Kahn-Sriber added: “We call on the European Union to condition its funding on Eritrean government guarantees for more respect for human rights, including the release of imprisoned journalists who are political prisoners and authorization for media pluralism.”

Reporters Without Borders condemned the five-year EDF funding that the European Union awarded Eritrea in 2009 although the situation of political prisoners had worsened considerably and more journalists had been arrested.

Contrary to its repeated promises to improve respect for human rights, the Eritrean regime has become steadily more oppressive and, although a small country, detains more journalists than any other African nation.

Since closing down all privately-owned media outlets in 2001, the government has exercised complete control over news and information, repeatedly cracking down on independent journalism and trying to jam independent news radio broadcasts from outside the country.

The least critical opinion can lead to permanent incarceration without trial in unbearable conditions in one of the country prison camps. Of the 11 journalists arrested in 2001, at least seven have died or taken their own lives in detention.

Eritrea is ranked last in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index for the eighth year running.

Vigil held for 800 African refugees lost at sea

SAN DIEGO- Dozens of mourners gathered in Mission Bay Monday to remember the hundreds of North Africans who died attempting to flee Eritrea.

Over-crowed, dilapidated boats leave Libya daily, carrying refugees hoping to reach the shores of Italy, but few make it. European authorities report 800 documented immigrants died while attempting the crossing last week alone.

“They are searching for their freedom. How can we deny them?” said Haile Rufael, an Eritrean activist. Even before the immigrants make it to the boats, they are subjected to extreme peril.

“ISIS killed my cousin. He just wanted to leave,” saidTesfay, an Eritrean immigrant.

ISIS is targeting Christians in Libya, and family members say immigrants are sitting ducks while waiting for their boats to arrive.

Activists say the deaths will continue until the repressive regime of Eritrea changes.

ኣገዳሲ ህዝባዊ መጸዋዕታ ንህዝቢ ደንቨር – ኮሎራዶ፤

Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change
North America Branch
ኣገዳሲ ህዝባዊ መጸዋዕታ ንህዝቢ ደንቨር – ኮሎራዶ፤

መስርሕ ምድላው ካልኣይ ሃገራዊ ጉባኤ ንደሞክራሲያዊ ለውጢ ንምቅልጣፍን፡ ዕዉት ጉባኤ ንምክያድ ዘኽእለና ዓቕሚ ንምውህላልን፡ ኣባል ሃገራዊ ባይቶ ዞባ ሰሜን ኣመሪካ ንህዝቢ ደንቨርን ከባቢኣን ሰፊሕ ህዝባዊ ኣኼባ ንምክያድ ተዳልዩ ኣሎ። ኣብ ዝካየድ ኣኼባ፡ ህልዊ ኩነታት ሃገርናን ከይዲ ሃገራዊ ባይቶን ብሰፊሑ ድሕሪ ምግላጽ፡ መረጻ መሪሕነት ዓንኬል ደንቨርን ከባቢኣን ክካየድ እዩ።

ነዚ ተመዲቡ ዘሎ ኣኼባ ዕዉት ንምግባር ዝከኣሎ ምትሕብባራት ንዝገብር ኩሉ ደላይ ለውጢ ኤርትራዊ ኣቐዲምና ነመስግን።

ዕለት፡- ሰምበት May 3, 2015
ቦታ፡- Eritrean Community Center
6677 Leetsdale Dr., Denver CO 80224
ግዜ፡- 3፡00 PM
ኤርትራዊ ሃገራዊ ባይቶ ንደሞክራሲያዊ ለውጢ – ዞባ ሰሜን ኣመሪካ