The World’s Worst Dictators Ranking – Updated

Isaias Afewerki, Eritrea Years in power: 20 Afewerki, 65, once led Eritrea to independence, but today he deprives his citizens of all freedoms. There is no formal constitution, and every male starting at age 18 must enter

Isaias Afewerki, Eritrea

Years in power: 20

Afewerki, 65, once led Eritrea to independence, but today he deprives his citizens of all freedoms. There is no formal constitution, and every male starting at age 18 must enter “national service,” which is forced labor of indefinite length (evaders are jailed or killed). People with unsanctioned religious beliefs are imprisoned and tortured, as are journalists and activists. More than 50,000 Eritreans have escaped to refugee camps in Ethiopia. Western officials allege that Afewerki is aiding Al Qaeda–linked militants in Somalia.

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Review overview
92 COMMENTS
  • The Bee December 21, 2011

    Dictators are so self-serving and because they put their selfish desire before the country and are disrespectful to their own people they wait until almost the end of their life to announce their predessesor. Do we know who will be next if Issayas dies of heart attack tomorrow? One thing we all have in common is that we don’t know when the heart will give the last beat, or even worse when the brain’s wires will get partially disconnected. Is his son Abraham next in line according to Issayas? Eritrea is the N. Korea of Africa as you know, and who knows according to Issays our fate could be that of N. Korea.

    Note: In any civilized society governments have the chain of command that goes up to 4 to 6 followers for just in case.

  • Yohann December 21, 2011

    In Mohamed Mahmoods lyrics “Lehulu gizewn yitebkletal bemalet Solomon Diro tenagrotal” and YES Issayas and the like will be gone as many did before them. Even Hailesselassie the rain maker, Mubarek the Middle East wild card holder, Ghadafi the master power operator, Sadam the Bagdad murderer, …etc are all gone. Have faith, even the mighty/Super power Soviet Union and its satelites of Eastern Block have been gone for good for DECADES now.
    There is time to everything! Thanks

  • warsay@warsay.com December 22, 2011

    Congratulations to all of us Eritreans.

    Our dear leader is number 1. May God protect wedi afom forever!

  • aurora bruk December 22, 2011

    it is actually true Eritreans (especially people who were part of the eplf leadership machinery) created eseyas, (eseyas afewrki tekalakalay tanki nska tigadel adeka tbeki enatebahle twis tesasiulu u nezi denkoro) but they had no idea the monster would get this big and come back to haunt them. and if i am not mistaken there is a saying “every people gets the leader it deserves. does it mean, a people unwilling to take responsibility of its own fate hands it over to someone who is dieying to get his hands on power and do with it whatever it/the monster wants? now when eseyas dies his son is going to rule our beloved people and nation. how does this sound? there are peope who think this is about eseyas. it is not it is about constitutional governance.

  • Abnet Tesfai December 23, 2011

    WE ARE TO OUR COUNTRY AS OUR COUNTRY BELONGS TO US!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WE HAVE NO REASON TO SERVE INDIVIDUALS AND DICTATORS.

  • shanet December 28, 2011

    well it would be impossible to say I am not your son to a mother and she to say you are not her son for you are already her part and she your part, just can’t!!!

  • selam November 7, 2014

    people r getting tired of saying yes to his every whim so i guess its a start and he hasn’t done anything about it yet,so it doesn’t look he will be no 1 for long.

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