Didn’t even know…..
All beautiful people, and yet we heard nothing about it
A little context on what they were fleeing from:
Eritrea is one of the most repressive countries on earth, regularly referred to as Africa’s North Korea. Reporters Without Borders ranks it 179th among 179 countries when it comes to freedom of expression, lower than North Korea itself.
Barely anyone is allowed a mobile phone. You need a permit to host a dinner party. A permit to travel to an adjacent village. Writing down a song or poem on a piece of paper could see you jailed for producing anti-government propaganda. Even reporters for state-run outlets live in constant fear of arrest.
The UN, in a report last year, concluded the population is kept in “a permanent state of anxiety”.
Extra-judicial killings, torture, enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrest are commonplace. There are at least 10,000 political prisoners in jail to silence political dissent (x)
There is mandatory indefinite military conscription from ages 18 through to 55 (in a country where life expectancy is 61) where 1 in 20 of the population currently serve. The regime keeps the state on a war footing so it can conscript citizens into a form of forced labour, spending more time building homes for officials and officers than defending the country. There is also systematic sexual abuse of women in the military and pregnancies are banned.
One soldier complained about lack of vacation time and was jailed for two years, where he got one meal a day and one shower a month.
He said “Hell is better” than Eritrea (x). Prisoners are regularly beaten, bound and tortured.
It accounts for less than 0.1 per cent of its continent’s people, yet last year there were more Eritreans arriving in Europe than from any other nation apart from refugees escaping war-torn Syria.
Every month about 5,000 people flee the repressive nation.