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Eritrea: Let’s lift the shroud of 10 years of misery

By Aaron Berhane/CPJ Guest Blogger Since Zaid Tewelde's husband, an Eritrean freedom fighter turned playwright and journalist, was arrested in September 2001, she has spent each passing day coping with the burning questions of her two

By Aaron Berhane/CPJ Guest Blogger

Since Zaid Tewelde’s husband, an Eritrean freedom fighter turned playwright and journalist, was arrested in September 2001, she has spent each passing day coping with the burning questions of her two young sons, age 9 and 10, “Where is my dad? When are we going to see him?” And she is not alone. Like Zaid, the wives of journalists Seyoum Tsehaye, Dawit Isaac, Yusuf Mohamed Ali, and Temesghen Ghebreyesus, among others, have endured the same haunting questions 365 days a year for a decade. Click on this link to read more: Eritrea: Let’s lift the shroud of 10 years of misery – CPJ

Review overview
  • ተ.መድኅን September 25, 2011

    ኢሳያስ ኣፈወርቂ እሱር ናይ new york

  • Temesgen Medhanie September 25, 2011

    I just finished looking at the 388 pictures (posted on of Eritreans who had come to see Isaias. I really don’t have to scratch my head in search of a better word. I say, Isaias is the luckiest leader in the world. It would be understandable if the turn of out people in Eritrea as opposed to in diaspora was huge as they would come to see him under duress but here in a free world, why would they come out to see him brandishing emotionally charged empty slogans with T-shirts flashing Isaias’ young picture. One of the T-shirts reads: “Egus kem Ambessa” where the caption is flunked by a young Isaias and a lion. When North Africa and the Middle East is swept with revolutions as people say enough to years of oppression and dictatorship, Eritreans are dancing the night away to celebrate the coming of their abuser as they tell him in a clear message that, they can’t get enough of him as he renders them cowards and gutless when in the very same day, Eritreans in back home are yearning for a change; as Eritreans in back home are rotting in prisons; as Eritreans in back home are exhausting all the venues to flee their kids in a dangerous border where the shoot to kill policy is still holding. Sure enough, the PFDJ handlers will have a field day in the coming days as they flash the pictures where the message on their part is, Isaias still enjoys the support of his own people, but beneath the charade, the reality dictates otherwise. Eritreans can not possibly go on and bury their heads in the sand in a bid to conceal the grave and sad reality in Eritrea. Eritreans can not possibly go on and stave off the sad reality by dancing to empty tunes. Eritreans can not possibly go on and praise Isaias in a bid to make his heart soft. The troubled heart is echoing in silence that, to those who are siding with the guilty, history will hold them accountable. And it ain’t too far.

    • beylul September 25, 2011

      To Temesgen Medhanie,

      I could not have said it any better myself. I am a first generation Eritrean-American and am blessed to be the daughter of Eritrean parents who have had enough courage to come to America and express their discontent and opposition to this vicious dictator they call President Isaias Afwerki. The difficulty we face is that the supporters “dancing to an empty tune” as you have so well put it outnumber those who clearly oppose the president. I wish there were more outspoken Eritreans like you and myself that know that are unwilling to pretend that everything in Eritrea is just peachy and that the president is doing a great job. I just wish Eritrean would catch the wind of rebellion that has been blowing around as a result of the uproars in Northern Africa.


      • Temesgen Medhanie September 26, 2011


        You’ve every reason to be proud of yourself. I gather you’re a young girl who could otherwise be duped into joining the high-tech present day replica of Nazi otherwise known as “YPFDJ”. But to the joy of your parents and of course to the clear conscience in your heart, you opted to weigh in where “YPFDJ” is nothing but a totalitarian system in the making with a touch of fascism where its motto is “Hade l’bi hade h’zbi”. Probably, the youth in a copy-cat uniform (read T-shirts) do not know any better but the blame squarely rests on their parents as they let them drift into the hands of a psychotic leader who would walk on the graves of bona fide Eritreans to get to power. But of course, the days are not far where Eritrea again ascends onto the hill to shine one more time where its motto is, “Unity in Diversity” instead.

  • Tsahaye September 26, 2011

    As if we have not been told that the PFDJ is on the verge of exhausting its last days in history, as if we have not been told that the support of the PFDJ is dwindling faster than expected, and as if we have not been told that Isaias Afeworki’s rule is close to an end, the President’s meeting in New York today has proved wrong every woyane’s OOSUB, the woyane-made made warlords and their diaspora supporters.

    What do these notorious warlords and the tragic OOSUB have in common with the frog sitting at the bottom of a hole? They both give a wrong conclusion about their observations of the obvious truth. To the supporters of the warlords, the silent majority of Eritreans don’t seem to matter and exist. Their barometer is adjusted to measure only their own voices. As a result, now reality has struck them on the head hard, but learning from a mistake is not their trade mark. As usual, they will continue to ignore the voice of the majority’s concern about woyane’s hidden agenda and its illegal occupation of our land. They will continue to deceive themselves. Some for their own personal interests and others due to sheer lack of political acumen.

    Please visit to compare the president’s popularity with the warlords’ and see how many decades the warlords you support would require to unseat the PFDJ regime from power. If you still believe in a tooth-fairy that leaves some treats in return to the baby tooth a little child has left her under his or her pillow, your wish may come true probably after your life contract has expired on this planet.

    May God save Eritrea from PFDJ’s dictatorship and woyane’s barbarism.

  • Temesgen Medhanie September 26, 2011


    Please help me out, am I reading you right? All of a sudden you seem to be falling for PFDJ? Did you get a soft heart for Isaias as you get to see him up-close and personal in New York? Did I see you in one of the pictures as you run up to him for a hug and crying out “Papa Isaias, papa Isaias”? I thought, your punching bags were PFDJ and Weyanes. What happened with in the last few days? Talk about confusion!!!