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A rare protest in Asmara by Students of Al DIA School that broke the Climate of fear in Eritrea.

By Petros Tesfagiorgis On 31/10/2017 the students of Al Diaa Islamic School marched  from Akria to the City Centre, angered by the decision of the regime to take ownership of the school and imprison the  92

By Petros Tesfagiorgis

On 31/10/2017 the students of Al Diaa Islamic School marched  from Akria to the City Centre, angered by the decision of the regime to take ownership of the school and imprison the  92 years old Haji Musa Nur, the chairman  of school board,  for opposing the decision.  The Army used brute force to disperse the demonstration. Lots of shooting   was heard throughout the area.  They arrested many students and subjected them to torture.

It was a rare protest which has a historic significance. In the past the disabled war veterans marched peacefully in protest appealing to the Government to improve their poor living conditions. The protest was dispersed by shooting at them and many were killed and their demand was ignored. At other time the Asmara University Students refused to attend classes when their chairman was picked up at night from his house and jailed. They demanded his release or to be brought to the court of law. The Government agreed and a day was fixed for him to appear in court.  On that day university students came in big number to the high court to attend the hearing.   The Student chair did not appear in court, instead, all of a sudden Commandos clad with Kalashnikov and buttons jumped out of Lorries and started aggressively beating the students and threw them at the back of the Lorries.  I was watching the crowd from a window of the Commercial Bank of Eritrea where I was assigned to work. I could not believe my eyes. The cruelty of the army horrified the residents of Asmara. But at the same time it was done deliberately to pacify the population and create an atmosphere of fear and indifference when the population are subjected to gross human rights violations.

Soon, the University administration circulated a notice giving an order to all the students who stayed at home to come to the university the next day, which they did.  They drove them all to a place called WIA along the red sea coast. In WIA the temperature was above 40 degree centigrade and 2 students died of sunstroke. The worst was to come on 18 September 2001 president Isaias Afwerki imprisoned   11 high ranking Government officials known as the G-15. They haven’t done anything illegal – in the meeting of the central committee they demanded the overdue PFDJ congress to take place, allow the formation of political parties so they can participate in the all-out general election expected to take place at the end of 2001. At the same time the editors of all private papers were imprisoned ending freedom of expression.

That day, 18-09-2001, marked the darkest day in Eritrea. The entire population was gripped by sadness and fear. Next day, in the morning, there were no private papers to buy and read.  As I walk along the streets I could only see sad faces of people with looks of defeat. Since then fear was entrenched in the body politics of Eritrea and to come out to the streets to protest was unthinkable. Unopposed, the regime began to subject the population to religious persecution, arbitrary imprisonment, disappearance and forced /slave labour. Al these cruelty gave rise to the influx of huge number of refugees to exile.

The AL Diaa students   demonstrated at the risk of their life. They knew they will be imprisoned, tortured and even killed but they decided to take the risk.   In contrast, the case of Orthodox, Catholic and Pentecostal was different. It is not that the church leaders did not resist. They did resist the interference of the regime in religious affairs but they ended up in prison. They were brave. For example the Christian Orthodox Patriarch who has been in prison for 14 years and Pastor Fitsum the only psychiatrist in Eritrea were incarcerated. The problem was their congregation and the public at large did not protest for their release. They maintained silence out of fear and those arrested are left alone defenceless to languish in the awful dungeons of the regime where some are in chains.

The AL Diaa student’s demonstration has a special historical significance of bravado, for they broke the climate of fear. In this critical time when Eritrea is the fastest depleting country of its people, the demonstration is a light of hope. Inspired, the Diaspora   rose up in demonstration expressing their solidarity with the students.  We have never seen like this before. In Sweden there was one Christian woman holding the picture of Haji Musa and on her left and right two Moslem women each holding the picture of the Imprisoned Orthodox Patriarch.  It is an expression of love and respect to the selfless and committed student demonstrators in Asmara.  This was a message to the repressive   regime   that they cannot succeed to divide the two brotherly communities by labelling the demonstration instigated by Muslim extremists.  The regime’s evil intention of “divide-et- Empera” to prolong the reign of terror is frustrated.

In London alone there were 3 protests. On  3/11/17 and on 10/11/17 in front of the Eritreans Embassy and on 4/11/2017  at Downing street in front of the Office of the Prime Minister.  There were demonstrations in Sweden, Rome and in New York on 3/11/2017. There were also protests in Germany, Egypt, Norway, California, Seattle, Washington and many other places. .

It was not only protests but lots of supportive comments in face books tweeters and other social Media. The most outspoken was Reverend  Yohannes Ghebrehiwot of Medhanie   Alem Christian  Orthodox Church in Manchester UK  who delivered a speech   in support of the protestors and praising Haji Musa as daring hero and an exemplary father. He explained in detail the repression taking place against his Orthodox Church as well.

The selfless and risky demonstration presents the diaspora with formidable challenge to put their acts together and collaborate in various critical activities to end repression in Eritrea.

As one activist tweeted. “I am concerned after the situation cools down people will go back to their routine and not bother to collaborate with determination and commitment in future activities.  First there is a need to assess the strengths and weaknesses of solidarity protests and put out an action plan to maintain the momentum

Well thought plan on how to collaborate in the following critical issues are timely. These are subject to debate to create understanding among the different fragmented justice seekers.                            .

  1. To campaign rigorously to give protection to refugees. Put pressure to EU who has a policy change that denies refugees asylum
  2. To lobby foreign governments to put pressure on the Eritreans regime to condemn and end the repression.
  3. For the lobbies to be effective organised peace movement is essential.

Although peace campaign has already started between Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia and their Ethiopians counterparts,   the Diaspora in the West have an advantage. They can get help from International organisations because peace movement is appealing. It addresses the present acute problem in Africa and the Middle East.

The end

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  • yosef kibret November 16, 2017

    ኣብ ሰውራ ቶዃሉ ዘውደልድሉ ኣባጊዕ ደለይቲ ፍትሒ
    ዝኾነ እምነት ወይ እኩብ ማሕበር ኣመንቲ (ሃይማኖት) ክምስርትን ክዋሳእን መሰሉ እዩ ።ንዝኾነ ኣምላኽ ገዲፍካ ንገመልካን ኣድግኻን ከም ኣማልኽቲ ክትኣምን ናይ ማንም ውልቀ ሰብ ይኹን ኮሙኒቲ ዘይንቕነቕ መሰል እዩ። እዚ ኣቦይ ሙሳ ዝመርሕዎ ሰውራ ግን ናይ ብሓቂ ናይ ዲሞክራሲ ሕቶ ድዩ ፧ እንድሕር ኣብ ቴክኒክ መጺእና ናዚ እውን መሰል ጸዓዱ ለተግብሩ ሰላማዊ ውዳበ ክገብሩ መሰሎም እኳ እዩ፣ ግን ኣብ ኤውሮጳ ዘይፍቀደሎም ክን የው እቲ ሰላማዊ ምትእኽኻብ ዘሎ ሳዕቤን ተራእዩ ክሳዕ ማእሰርቲ እውን ይብየኖም።ምስልምና ካብ ዝስረት ጀሚሩ ብኽሳድ ምቝራጽን ኮሚኒታት ምዕናውን ን፩፵0 ተራእዩ፣እዚ ዝፈጸምዎን ዝፍጽምዎ ዘለዉን ጂሃዳዊ ምቝራጽ ቁር ኣን ስለ ዝእዝዞም እዩ፣ስለዚ መምርሒኡ ካብቲ ናይ ናዚ ዝገደደ እዩ፣ ነዚ ሸለል ኢሎም ምስ ሓረድቶም ዝቋጻጸዩ ግን ነታ ኣብ ገበላ ዘላ ቀያሕ ሓርማዝ ክርእይዎ ዘይደልዩ ሓሳባውያን እዮም።ጽውጽዋይ ት ሽዓተ ብሄራት ዝብል ሓሳዊ መንነት ኤርትራውነት ነቲ ትግርኛ የጥፍኦ ኣሎ፣ዘስደምም ድማ እቶም ጸጋማውያን ኣባጊዕ፣ ኣብ ሰውራ ተዃሉ ቀንዲ መሳሰይቲ ኾይኖም ጻውዒት ጂሃድ ኣቦይ ሙሳ ኣልኣኽርያ ከም ጻውዒት ዲሞክራሲ ጌሮም ተረዲኦሞ ንመንእሰያት ከጋግዩ ምርኣይ ዘሕዝን እዩ።ኣሰና ድማ ግንባር ቀደም ኮይና ምምርሓ ዘሕዝን እዩ።

    • Yonatan Negassi November 16, 2017

      Haw Yosef,
      You are absolutely right, Islamists or aslam are only known for ‘miHirad seb’. Only aremeyens/beasts are similar to these so called humans.
      Assenna and people like Petros should be ashamed to lecture us on fake brotherhood with the moslims. We don’t need artificial brotherhood or with a hidden islamick evil agenda or revolution or uprising in our peaceful Eritrea.
      I won’t be surprised if my comment is deleted as Amanuel only serves and obeys his moslim tormentors and insulters who normally treat him like an Arab dog. But how long for is the big question? How long he is relying on these moslim bastards who want to destroy our Eritrea and our civilized way of life?

    • tesmin November 16, 2017

      Yosef, are you serious what you are saying? at least refrain blaming others. instead , take one minute for reflective

    • zemen November 16, 2017

      You are a God less person and I hope you end up in hell you useless Eritrean who like betrayed he own people for the price of Nakfa. Wrtheless.
      People like you don’t have any identity you will always be a refugee that includes your children.
      Fight for justice and humanity.

    • Asmara Eritrea November 17, 2017

      Rare protest indeed. But sadly Isaias will never go by peacefully means. I envisage a number of scenarios for his demise; (a) Indra Gandhi style (b) Whiskey – busting his liver or try to drive to Massawa after downing a bottle of the stuff, misses a turn and ends up a 150 meters down a ditch with his head missing (c) the army at last wakes up to take action, and (d) an act of God – well, killing even by God can’t be peaceful..

      Eritrea forever, death to dictatorship.

    • Bini November 18, 2017

      Bravo brother Yosef Kibret,
      I couldn’t agree more with you brilliant brother, we have to destroy this fake and bogus 9 biherat shit. As you put it rightly this 9 biherat shit is just a tsiwitsiway and is truly destroying/vanishing the Tigrigna biher. Higdef is getting paid by evil moslem Arabs to maintain and poison our people.

    • Berhe Tensea November 18, 2017

      Men iyu ketfaaka, Tigrigna of Eritrea is no more it is almost extinct , because of Isyas;s endless wars, policies that systematically and forcibly cause the people especially the youth to flee,
      Go to a Tigrina village and what you see is old people just waiting to die;
      Most villages almost empty and their residents are equal to the percentage of the 1600ies or about 50- people per village if by chance a village has residents.
      Abagea are the Tigrina people who are dying an agonizing death .
      Hebey Mai Dima, as most people you must have been shiro and expired injera only day in day out and that has caused yo u to have a very low IQ.
      Menesyat, where are the meneasyat? Why are speaking about things that don:”t exist, ?
      Weather you like it or not 90% people believe Haji Musa a hero who sparked the first popular uprising that is coming to sweep pfdj and send people like Tesfazion and Agazian to where they belong.b

      • sami November 18, 2017

        Berhe Tensea, you sound like a typical begiE lost in wildness or as you ignorantly put it in a Tigrigna village and is now desperately seeking haji evil guidance to take you back to your old criminal barbaric evil Islamic ELFmendef hell. PFDJs are still in power because of your sheer weakness and opportunist/indecisive nature as well as because you are a hadami (as you were chased away with your begiE tails behind your befiE legs). Simply, don’t bloody expect others to die for you idiot ignorant begiE while you keep fake acting like a tiger behind screens, no one even your evil haji or chicken hadami like you (Wedi Ali forto) are going to hand you power or changes on a plate! You should be freaking send back to your diQala evil Islamic hell to rot savagely and to where you truly belong hadami/tebelatsi evi loser.

    • amanuel November 21, 2017

      Yosef afaf
      I Read your post in asmarino which is the same but with d/t name. U used the name common sense. That is typical agaminos behaviour. Let me tell u one thing. Tigray has to accept the rule of amharas and oromos and others. Ur divide and rule tactic did not work. Bota meetewi chenikukin mish hiji. Baelikin ekin nabu atikin. Haki kithiza nerukin. Nihna da misahwatna tetew elna ekaena. Iseyas kemakum chenikato kifelalyena kolel tebele may hakinu terifu eyu. Blash eka gin neta nay piro shimka eka kem nefahito tikeyayra-typical nay tigray tefetro. Nihna bhade abina nifalet ahwat ena. Metewika flet.

  • TesfaldetAbraha November 16, 2017

    አታ እንታይ እዩኸ ዝመስል አረጊት ጎምጻጽ ሰበይቲ ተካል ገጹ ዘይሐፍር ከም ሰበይቲ ሰለምለም ይብል ተሰቲርካ ኮፍ ዘይትብል መጅላግ

    • Danilo November 16, 2017

      Tesfaldet,ፍርሒ ድሓን ኩኒ ስለዝበለ ድዩ እዚ ኹሉ ጸርፊ?ጸርፉ ብጸርፉ’ዲኣ ነዞም ሃይማኖት ዘናቁቱ ዘይትጸርፍ።

    • Z. Hagos November 16, 2017

      He is proud to be himself, unlike you. Unlike you, he stands for his people and unlike you, he is teaching and reminding us of the recent destruction to the Eritrean people. The country needs people like him and not like you. Many like you, who do not believe in themselves, are only at the service of those criminals who are causing untold sufferings to Eritrean babies, children, mothers and fathers.
      TesfaldetAbraha, wake up and feel humanity and care to save your people. From what you are showing, you don’t care because you are trying to distract the attention of focusing on the topics discussed. Unless you are one of those made by Isaias a dead-walking-talking-person who looks like a human being but does inhuman things to hurt his people and his country, you need to respond to the calls of your endangered people. .

    • AHMED SALEH !!! November 16, 2017

      Tesfaledet , Xerfii newri iyu . Kubur yekhbreka-husur yehsereka.
      You have the right to defend your blood thirsty master and his
      goons in Asmara but try to comment opinion that makes a sense .
      Nehna-nisu , adna xubuk alo kitblu hagher nidihrit gotitkuma .
      Bejakha betri haki aytektena , libonakha dema aytidakhmo .

  • Tsehaye November 16, 2017

    Brother Petros, you are being so naive and blind that you need double glasses or double spectacles to see clearly what is going on in Eritrea and also what is being cooked “poisoning cooking” by the nasty poisoning moslems/Arabs for Eritreans. If you choose to remain blind and dumb then just stay away and don’t fabricate lies and don’t poison/confuse our innocent christian people. Your wishful fantasies will only become real in your daytime fantasy.

    • Bini November 18, 2017

      I absolutely agree with you about the nasty evil moslems and Arabs poisoning evil Islamic and sharia hidden agendas for Eritrea. But they’ll be defeated and humiliated by our Christians of Eritrea and Ethiopia united as before when defeating the invading savage moslem Egyptians.
      As always the all mighty God will protect and bless the Christians of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Israel.

  • amanuel November 21, 2017

    If assenna had moderator, we would have had sensible people discussing sensible issues aproching each issue from all angles. It is unfortunate that we have hopeless tegaru and hgdf infesting the forum driving brilliant eritreans away.