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ICC Note

Eritrea is one of the most repressive regimes in the world today. Until this year, Reporters Without Borders has ranked them as the worst nation in regards to freedom of press. They now sit in second place, only surpassed by North Korea. The government has complete control of all tv, internet, and radio news in the Country. There are however groups that work to send information into the country from outside areas. This is crucial, especially for Christians, as it is one of the few ways to help send encouragement and the Gospel into this country.

 

2017-11-13 Eritrea (AlJazeera) For nearly 10 consecutive years, media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders has ranked Eritrea at the bottom of its annual index on press freedom. This year, it rose by one place above North Korea.

After a 30-year war of independence with Ethiopia, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, who has now been in power for 26 years, chose not to hold elections but keep the country on a war footing. In 2001, he shut down all privately owned news outlets and began expelling foreign correspondents until none were left in the country.

All that remained was state media, news outlets that toe the government line.

“So there is only one government newspaper, one TV station, one radio station all run by the state,” says Abraham Zere, executive director of PEN Eritrea. “The media basically portrays the country as if it’s progressing, whereas everybody knows that the country is regressing again.”

With only state media operating on the inside, Eritreans rely on news outlets based outside the country.

Radio Erena is perhaps the most prominent. Based in France, the channel beams into the country via satellite and provides one of the only sources of information in Eritrea that are not state-controlled.

It was set up in 2009 by a group of exiled journalists who used to work for state media. Now, from the safety of France, they can report on issues like the constitution, national service and immigration.

 

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