ICC Note: Eritrea represents one of the most difficult places in the world to be a Christian. Arbitrary imprisonment, torture, extrajudicial killings, and a climate of fear all play a part in life bring governed by misery for Eritrea’s population. But Christians are often treated the worst, considered enemies of the state. All of these factors result in the tiny East African nation on the Red Sea Coast producing the third-largest refugee flow in the world.
By Charlotte Alfred
2/17/16 Eritrea (Huffington Post) – The historic tide of people braving the journey to Europe in the past year has refocused the world’s attention on wars most of the refugees are fleeing — in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
But after these three countries, the largest group of people fleeing to Europe last year hails from a small African nation that gets much less international attention.
Eritrea is a totalitarian state, ruled by the country’s first and only president, Isaias Afwerki. Few outsiders are allowed to see what goes on inside its borders.
But those who have escaped tell harrowing stories that include indefinite forced conscription, prison camps and widespread torture. A United Nations commission report last year, based on interviews with over 500 people who had fled the country, said the regime may be responsible for crimes against humanity.