Eritrea: UN rights expert urges end to crippling media restrictions

GENEVA  (2 May 2018) –  As the world marks Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B Keetharuth, has called on the Government

GENEVA  (2 May 2018) –  As the world marks Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B Keetharuth, has called on the Government to end its crippling restrictions on freedom of the press.


“Journalists remain at risk of arbitrary arrest, imprisonment and enforced disappearance in efforts to intimidate and control them, and these human rights violations happen with total disregard for the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, as well as individual rights,” said Ms. Keetharuth.


“Freedom of expression is an inalienable right and includes the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, either orally, in writing, in the form of art, or through other forms of communication, including across frontiers,” she added.


“The actions of journalists are closely watched in Eritrea as a means of domination and instilling fear in an oppressive context where the media is fully state-owned. Arbitrary arrests and imprisonment are used to muzzle journalists and provoke a situation of self-censorship. No critical analysis or comment on government policies or actions are permitted,” the expert stressed.


According to public reports, the detention of two journalists in April 2018 following the funeral of the elder Haji Musa Mohamed Nur were recent examples of the continuing hostile environment in which journalists work in Eritrea, said Ms. Keetharuth. According to the reports, both journalists have now been released, but their arbitrary arrest was deplorable, she added.


The Special Rapporteur has documented more than 90 arrests of journalists in Eritrea since 1997. Although this figure is not exhaustive, she says it illustrates the precarious situation of journalists in the country.


Among those detained have been award-winning journalists, such as Dawit Isaak, who was awarded the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in 2017 in recognition of his courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression. Dawit Isaak and other journalists arrested during a 2001 crackdown on the free press in Eritrea are still held incommunicado in an undisclosed location without charge, with no access to legal representatives and/or family, and with no indication that they will ever be tried in a court of law. Their state of physical and mental health is an ongoing concern.


“A free press is critical to the rule of law, ensuring that the population of the country is well-informed to foster participation and decision-making based on knowledge.  An atmosphere in which freedom of speech and the press exist and where journalists can exercise their profession without fear brings transparency, which is much needed to hold those in power to account, thus promoting justice,” said the UN expert.


“The restrictions imposed on a free press by the Government of Eritrea are not proportional, not necessary for the interests of national security, public order or even national unity and constitute a violation of the right to seek, receive and impart information,” the Special Rapporteur emphasised.

Review overview
  • Yemane May 8, 2018

    K. Tewolde- Time is up for the 57-years recycled Ghedli lies and fabricated history. With your blatant denial you must be a former Jebha or some one who exited to safety long ago. in your other day posting you Identified Isayas, Hagos, Yemane M, Yemane G and others as “Tegaru”. you are else where in the white world and I’m here at the Mereb river and it good to see the young Kebessan youth to uncover it’s true Identity and History. that is what matters for my project of unification!
    Samuel; a terrified moslem in disguise, or a son of one night stand whose identity is unknown- or else one of the herds of brainless PFDJ beast( አባጊዕ)- you are good where you are (ጉርዲ) stay there. The white world is good for retarded with intellectual disability!

  • Wedi Hagher May 8, 2018

    Is there a way to send Tigreyans left behind by Derg to their country, possibly including those leading Higdef and looting the country, before we start good relation with Ethiopia ?
    There are many of them here, people suffering from lack of a clear national identity..
    This is a serious issue. The thing is they cannot speak openly in front of any Eritrean gathering, but spoil Assenna forum by insults. That is the only thing they are good at..
    “Antum sebat maas ina kinighelaghel kabzom kirdad ?”

  • Aba thimmer May 8, 2018

    Wedi Hager, indeed, you observed timely issue that must be addressed in every our talk and conference. If we think seriously we have golden reference of history which still live what happened during feudalism era many many years just to mention ras youhans before was chop up by DURBUSH. later Alula, killed saho tribe in Dogoli /Arobto surrounding areas. And later his own NefThegna Lig. Imbayey who terrorised the Seganeiti. That cost him his life by Bahta Hagos ( Aba thimer ) known never trust Tegaru.

  • rezen May 8, 2018

    Dear Readers,
    First Point. Reminder>>> The title of the Main Article is: Quote “Eritrea: UN rights expert urges end to crippling media restrictions” Unquote About ninety-five percent (95%) of the commentaries are outside the Article of the UN Expert!!! Never mind – let us proceed.
    In any case, as a regular reader, I am disturbed by the escalation of insults among mature Internet Readers — obviously oblivious of the cardinal issue and raison d’etre of It is sad. The urgent problem of Eritrea is set aside, wasting valuable energy and talent, on exchange of insults. Where does it lead us to? Why do MATURE individuals spend their time hurling insults at each other ad nausea? Why do LUCKY people who found themselves out of purgatory(or hell) in their respective countries and enjoying tranquility and peaceful life in their adopted places waste their time insulting each other and demeaning themselves over the Internet? In fact, why do they abuse the PRIVILEGE of Internet Space tolerantly provided by One is forced to ask: Is it possible that the cruel experience that they have faced in their respective countries make them hopelessly weak and deranged? Needless to say, it is way beyond me to fathom and understand the mystery of psychological damage that cruel experience can make an entire society as helpless as an INDIVIDUAL who found himself/herself in mental asylum!!! It is beyond me.
    But still, let me continue and say the obvious. Excuse me for my simplicity, bordering idiocy. Anyway, here it is >>> Ethiopia is Ethiopia and Eritrea is Eritrea. Both are independent and sovereign countries. Both are Members of the UN Organizations. And both have their respective internal systems and problems. Both countries are in the process of finding THEMSELVES – in their own way, at their own rate and in any manner applicable to their system. PERIOD. Over time anything can happen – as the ancient Hollywood song goes: ‘ Que sera, sera; what ever will be, will be; the future is not ours to see. ’ Google it.

    Now, speaking for, and about, Eritrea ONLY, it is hoped that Eritreans of all walks of Life concentrate, with intensity, on the acute problem facing Eritrea, caused by its own internal indigenous governance as well as {let us be honest] by its own age-old sociological problems of religion, region, and other demeaning sociological factors. Are WE ERITREANS capable of admitting and handling our own problems? If the answer is YES, what is then keeping us from implementing it? On the other hand, if the answer is NO, then we are forced to the conclusion why other forces are attracted by such dysfunctional state to use ‘helpless’ Eritrea as their own stepping stone. Let us admit: IT IS OUR HISTORY. Please note the footnote.
    Dear Eritrean Readers. Search your own Souls deeply and ask yourself WHY WE ARE NOTORIOUS IN BEING SUBSERVIENT TO OUTSIDE FORCES, AS WELL AS BY OUR OWN INTERNAL MALAISE FOR TIME IMMEMORIAL. Unless we find honest and bold answers to these questions, one hundred and one (101) parties and meetings will NEVER solve the fundamental problem of ERITREA. Issayas knew it and he used it effectively – for his own benefit and ultimate agenda that has yet to come out, to our horrors. Don’t forget his open-ended mantra >>> “ከርእየክን እዬ” Let us not pretend: we are culprits of our own devastating parochial sentiments that prevented us from being effective for the common good in our Eritrea. Our destiny falls squarely upon OUR ‘shoulders’ – no ‘IFS and BUTS’ about it. Success or failure is OUR OWN >>> and it shows glaringly on the Internet. THE END
    Footnote: You may wish to read a book, out of three volumes, on history of Eritrea: by ኣለምሰገድ ተስፋይ “ ኤርትራ ካብ ፈደረሽን ናብ ጐበጣን ሰውራን 1956–1962” The following quotation is revealing: “ህዝብና’ውን’ኮ ሰቡ ኣይፈቱን’ዩ።ህዝብና’ውን ባዕሉ እዩ መዘዝ ዘምጽእ። ካብ ወዲ ዓዱ ጓና ይመርጽ።” ገጽ 12
    “እቶም ሽዑ ዝመርሑ ዝነበሩ’ኮ፡ መብዛሕቶም ነንጥቕሞም፡ነታ ኸባቢኦም ዝሰርሑ እዮም።”መሳፍንቲ ኤርትራ“ ድኣ ይባሃል ንስሙ’ምበር፡ መሳፍንቲ ዘይነበሩ’ቲኣቶም! ሓደ መስፍን’ኮ ሓይሊ ኣጥርዩ ንዓዱን ንግዝኣቱን ዝከላኸል’ዩ። ኣሽንኳይዶ ንሃገሩ፡ ንስድራ ቤቶም ዘይከላኸሉ’ኮ እዮም ስም መራሕቲ ለቢሶም ዝነበሩ።” ገጽ 33
    Amazing! Sixty-two (62) years later we are still on the same frame of mind. Let us be honest and see the behaviour of our Intellectuals with Doctor of Philosophy Degrees. They can’t get together to solve A COMMON problem. What does it tell you? Would you then blame Issays?!?!?! Be honest, at least to YOURSELF, in the safety of your bedroom under the blanket!!!!!

  • rezen May 8, 2018

    Dear Assenna Editor,
    I did it gain!!!!! And I have no clue why. My commentary appeared twice, mysteriously!
    Please delete one of them. THANK YOU for your patience. rezen

  • meretse May 9, 2018

    ልጓም ሰብ
    ወዲ ሰብ ኣብ ርእስኡ ገበን ኣብ ዝፍጸመሉ ግዜ፡ ንሱ’ውን ብፍላይ ኣብ ሓደ-ሓደ ተንቀሳቃሲ ፊልም ኣፉ ክልጎም ፡ እግሩ ክቅየድ ኣስተባሂልና ኣሎና። መቸስ ካብኡ ንደሃር እትተርፍ ሕይወት ፈተናኣ ግዙፍ ኢዩ፤ ምክንያቱ እንባህረረት ኢያ ትነብር። መለክቲ ዋላዃ ኣፍ ህዝቢ ሓሰር ሰጕዶም ዶው ከብልዎ እንተ ዘይከኣሉ ፍሉይ ሜላ ተጠቂሞም ኣፍ ይዓብሱ። እዚ ብዓይኒ ዘይረአ ሜላ ልጓም ሰብ ኢዩ። ኣብ ሜዳ ኣገልጊልዎም ኢዩ። ድሕሪ ናጽነትው’ን ቀንዲ መሳሪሒኦም ኢዩ። እቲ ዘገርም ኣብ እንዳማቶም’ውን የገልግሎም ኣሎ። ብቁል ካብ ዝብሉ ኣብ’ቲ ዝወረደ ኣርእስቲ ተኪሎም ኣይማያየጡን። ትጸንክር ኣይትጸንክር ጓል መንገዲ ኣምጺኦም ነቲ ኣርእስቲ/ክትዕ/ዕላል ኣብ ሃውሁው የንጠልትልዎ። ዘገርም ኢዩ — ኢሰያስ ኣብ ካልኡ ኢዩ ድኹም እምበር ኣብ እከይ ግብረ ስርሓት ነቲ ጸላእ ሰናያት ወይ ዲይብሎስ ዝብሃል’ውን ይሓልፎ ኢዩ። ኢሰያስ ቅድሚ ንሕብረተ-ሰብ ኤርትራ ምምቃሉ ንሱ ኣቀዲሙ ንሓደ ሰብ ከምይ ጌሩ ኣብ 2 ይመቅሎ ኢዩ ፈሊጡ። ሰብ’ዶ ኣብ ክልተ ይምቀል ኢዩ ክትብሉ ትክእሉ ትኮኑ። ኣይውርድ ። ሰብ ኣብ ክልተ ይምቀልን ፈረቃን። ንኣብነት ቀዳሞት ኣቦታትና ወዲ-ሰብ ኣብ 2 ወይ ካብኡ ንላዕሊ ተመቃቂሊ ክርእይዎ እንከሎዉ ብከፊሉ ነዞም ዝስዕቡ ሓረጋት ይጥቀሙ ኔሮም። ከልእ ንሱ ደኣ ምስ ሰብ ድካ ቆጺርካዮ– ቀዳም ሕልንኡ ዝሸጠ —- ብደዉ ዝሞተ፡ — ሰብ ቆጺርካዮ — ዘየሎ ብዶው ክከይድ ስለ ዝረኣካይ ድካ — ካብ እንስሳ ብምንታይ ይፍለ? …ወ ተረፈ
    ኢሰያስ ቅድም ነቶም ኣብ ዙርይኡ ዝነበሩን ዘሎዉን ቀጺሉ ከኣ ንመልእ ህዝቢ ምስ ነብሱ ተፋቲሑ ከምዝነብር ጌርዎ ኢዩ። ኣገልግሎት መልሓሱ ውሱን ኢዩ። ይዋኣዩ ልጉም ሰብ/ልጉም ሕብረተ-ሰብ’። ንከምዚ ናህና ዓይነት ሕ/ሰብ ቀዳሞት ግሪካውያን “ፍትሕ ምስ ነብስካ” ኢሎም ገሊጸሞ ኔሮም። … The ancient Greeks believed, when a person is under intense pressure, the soul literally leaves the body and stays beside it self” እዚ ዓነት እምንቶ’ዚ መረጋገጺ ዝውሕዶ እንተኮነ፡ ኣብ ሕ/ሰብና ግን ኣብ ተግባር ዝረኤ ዘሎ ይመስል። ሕልንኡ ሸይጡ ዝነብር ከይ ጌርካ ሙሉእ ሰብ’ዩ ትብሎ? ከመዓልካ እንተ በልካዮ እንጣጢዕ ንዘርእ ኣሎና ዝብል ኣካል ምስ መን ይቅይጸር። ጥረን ብሱሉን ክፈላሊ ዘይክእል ሰብ በየናይ መለክዒ ትቅርቦ። እዚ ከኣ ስርሓት ኢሰያስ ኢዩ። ንሱ ኣብ መንጎ ኩሉ ተነቀሳቃሲ ኣካል ኣሎ። ኣግኣዚ ግዳ ባዕሉ ዝሰርሖም

    • Simon G. May 9, 2018

      ኣንታ መረጸ ሓወይ!
      ጨው ዝወሓዳ ድራር ኩልስ ከብል ጀሚረስ: እንታይ ደኣ ረኺቡዋ ‘ዛወሓለ ሰበይተይ ኢለ ክሓሚ ጀሚረ ኔረ።

      የግዳስ: የግዳስ የዘልኩ! ኣሰና ከፊተ ርኢቶታት ከንብብ ምስ ጀመርኩ: ከይተረደኣኒ ‘ዛ ቢያቲ ጻዕዳ ገበርክዋ!
      ዝጸሓፍካዮ መስተማቕር ኮይኑ! ወይ ጉድ።
      ኣንታ ኣምላኽ: እንቋዕ ****ድኻ ኣይገበርካኒ ድማ በልኩ። እንታይ ድኽነቱ? ኔው በሎ!
      ናይ ሓንጎል ድኽነት ዘይብሉ ሰብ ኣብ ዓለም ምንባር ኣየጸግሞን።

      ****ድኻ = ደገፍቲ ህግደፍ: ብሓንጎሎም ክሓስቡ ዘይክእሉ: ፓፓጋሎ: ምስ ዓይኖም ዝዓወሩ- ምስ እዝኖም ዝጸመሙ: ጎደሎ ፍርንጭት (pardon my french): ቦጅባጃት….

      *Think of I2C in terms of master and slave and you will see that “A slave may not transmit data unless it has been addressed by the master.”

      • Sol May 9, 2018

        እዛ ልጓም ሓንቲ ሕካያ (Joke) ኣዘኪራትኒ

        ሳባ በዓልቲ ቤቱ ንውልቀ መላኺ ኤሰያስ ዙርያ ክትገዝእ ኣብ ሓደ ድኳን ኣትያ እዚኣ ኣምጸለይ እቲኣ እውርደለይ ክትብል ንበዓል ድኳን ኣድኪማቶሲ ጠሪጡ ሳባ ሃይሉ ተቆጢዓ ኪድ ረሳሕ በዓለገ ክትብል ጸሪፋቱ ወዲያት ከኣ እንታይ ኾንኪ ሰብኣይኪ ብኣፍና ንስኺ ኸኣ ብመዓኮርና ክትሓትምና ደሊኺ በላ።

        እዛ ንዲይብሎስ ዝብሃል’ውን ይሓልፎ ኢዩ። ዝብልካያ ድማ መስኪናይ ድያብሎስ ኣብ ኤርትራ ካብኡ ዝኽፈኤ ኤሰያስ ዝበሃል ሰይጣን ክምዘሎ ምስፈለጠን ስራሕ ምስሰኣነን ሃጽ ኢሉ ሃዲሙ ናብ ጎረቤት ሃገር ከይዱ።

        • Bajet May 9, 2018

          Wedi Halima savage evil Saho whore snake, mushmush kondaf Yemeni nomad saHab gimel, the ROOTLESS CANCEROUS vicious Islam’s garbage muslim mercenary, the Iraqi jihadi Ali comedian, TsaHitsaHi TEGOMBAHI LEKHIBAT aslamay NEFAHITO, why can’t you fucking stick to your vicious Islamic Mohammed monster shit names, you must be fucking too ashamed and too fucked up to use your criminal terrorist’s muslim shit names, are you not???

    • Gedamu May 9, 2018

      Wey gud, I don’t know how long or how much time you wasted to write this half-cooked story. But I would only say/add “nezi kitTiHinas kindizi tirihitsa”, indeed. What a waste of time.
      In other word, if you’ve got nothing relevant story to tell then just don’t bother to come up with ridiculous writings. However, if it is just ‘amel mis megnez’. then you’ll be forgiven temporarily.