“There are some people who are not allowed to attend this meeting” – By Tesfagabir Berhe – South Africa
This was what one of the cronies of the Eritrean embassy in South Africa has to shout as we were trying to make our way to the venue (Hellenics Conference Centre/Johannesburg/South Africa) where top officials
This was what one of the cronies of the Eritrean embassy in South Africa has to shout as we were trying to make our way to the venue (Hellenics Conference Centre/Johannesburg/South Africa) where top officials of the Eritrean regime: Yemane Gebreab and Osman Salih were scheduled to deliver a speech yesterday, 11 January 2012.
We could not believe that there are Eritreans who are not allowed to attend an Eritrean meeting:
What is your name the guy by the door asked: Tesfagabir Berhe (George) I responded
“Your name is on the list” shouted the guy who is known by Fish (Saudi Arabia)
“Who are you to prevent me from attending this meeting” I shouted again
Another so called Eritrean by the name Dawit Yohannes came to the scene and asked me to move away from the gate. I insisted that I was not going to move anywhere and he sent me three huge Congolese securities and they pushed me aside.
I was not the only victim of this ordeal; many comrades who mostly belong to the Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (EMDHR) have been refused entry from attending the meeting which was held in Johannesburg by the above mentioned officials (their names will be mentioned at the end of this article).
Some of us had to travel 1000 – 2000 kilometers to attend the meeting and of course if we were allowed entry to the meeting we were going to ask some critical questions to the officials and I think that is the very reason why we were not allowed entry into the venue.
Some of our prominent figures of EMDHR and of course future leaders of Eritrea like: Bereket Gezae, Henok Haile and Kuluberhan Abrham were also refused to attend the meeting. However, we were not willing to just go away, without voicing our disgust at how irrational are those who still support the dictatorial regime of Eritrea.
The giant Congolese security guards were pushing all of us aside, even though we told them that we are not terrorists, we are Eritreans who just want to attend an Eritrean meeting. As they were pushing us aside, one of our comrades managed to grab a video as well as pictures of the entire event, especially the role of Dawit Yohannes in preventing us from attending the meeting (the footage is in our collection for anyone interested).
Dawit Yohnnes did not like the idea of taking pictures and videos and he informed the security guards to delete the photos but we were not willing to allow them to delete any footage at all, as History will be asking people like Dawit when Eritrea gets its freedom from dictatorship.
Amanuel Yohannes (Johannesburg) and Samsom Tikabo (Pretoria) were also playing a significant role to prevent us from attending the meeting as well (this is just for the record)
At this juncture, Osman Salih and Yemane Gebreab were making their way to the venue, “jeganu asirka, jigna zkonka mesiluka msh?!” shouted comrade Henok Haile, he was referring to the fact that scores of our top officials, along with our journalists, have been languishing in jail without due course of law for ages and ages…
Dawit Yohannes called the South African police for intervention and as soon as they came he was asking them to detain us all and he was insisting his pictures must be deleted but when we got our chance to talk we told the police that we are not criminals, we are Eritreans with different opinion and to Dawit’s disappointment neither did they detain us nor did they delete the pictures and the videos.
Ten minutes after the meeting was started, two of our comrades were pushed out from the venue. Apparently they were not on the “list” as the people were making their way to the venue. Their names are: Meron Andemichael and Medhane Negasi. They were pushed out because apparently Meron questioned the officials if they have anything new to say because, according to the information I got from both of them, the top officials were busy talking about the eradication of polio and malaria while the Eritrean people are craving to know the end of dictatorship in the country.
Unfortunately I am not the right person to give a report on what the officials said in the meeting but I heard that even though most of our comrades were not allowed to make it into the venue, those who attended the meeting managed to interrogate the officials that Eritrea needs change now! It is reported that one of the participants reminded the officials that even Gadafi has gone and threatened that the Eritrean regime may also face the same fate.
Finally those who were refused entry went to a certain coffee shop by Bedford view and did some debriefing on how our resistance went. We affirmed that even though we were not allowed to make it to the meeting we have made history; we assured the officials that wherever they go the resistance of Eritreans is gaining momentum and of course we can see a big light at the end of the tunnel!
The comrades who were refused entry are:
- Bereket Gezae
- Kuluberhan Abrham
- Henok Haile
- Tesfu Misgna (Uncle)
- Solomon Druy (Wedi Druy)
- Meron Andemichael
- Tesfagabir Berhe (George)
- Medhane Negasi
- Iyasu Andemariam
- Binyam Gebreab
This article is not meant to boast about what we did but to tell the global Eritrean solidarity that we are with you, all along. “The struggle continues…”