Sunday, May 13, 2012


According with Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and other organizations that monitor human rights and freedoms worldwide, Eritrea, an extremely poor nation of the African continent in the neighborhood of Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia is considered to be the most repressive nation on earth. A tough and in my view a controversial selection considering competitors in the repressive category such as North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Belarus and other nations. Under the regime of president Isaias Afewerki, 25% of  Eritrea's population has fled over the past 20 years. The Afewerki regime  has turned the nation into a "giant prison" according with Human Rights Watch with over 314 detention centers. Some of the country's prisons are underground, buried 229 feet bellow sea level with temperatures reported to reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. In those prisons there are  thousands of journalists, religious leaders and dissidents imprisoned, detained indefinitely and subjected to medieval tortures that include their feet shackled, tied to a cross or hung upside down and other forms of cruelty. Image from Edmund Sanders / TPN

For a complete report on jailed journalists see: Justin D. Martin, "Which Countries Jail the Most Journalists Per Capita? Taking the CPJ  Data One Step Further" Columbia Journalism Review (April 2, 2012)
For more information on Eritrea see Joel Brinkley, "Eritrea, the most repressive nation on Earth" SFGate (April 29, 2012)

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