Defending the Indefensible: Andargachew Tsige Lionizing Isaias Afewerki
In today’s Eritrea, people are routinely subject to imprisonment without explanation, trial, or any form of due process. Incarceration often lasts indefinitely. Senior government officials and journalists, arrested twelve years ago after they raised questions about Isaias’ rule, remain jailed incommunicado. Defecting guards report that most of these officials have died.
On average, over 1,500 Eritreans flee the country monthly despite shoot-to-kill orders to border guards and immense dangers along escape routes. Not only are ordinary citizens defecting, so are those the government had privileged with authority, foreign travel, and publicity.
Amnesty International’s report said that at least 10,000 political prisoners have been imprisoned by the regime of Isaias Afewerki. With no known exception, not a single political prisoner has ever been charged with a crime or tried, had access to a lawyer or been brought before a judge or a judicial officer to assess the legality and necessity of the detention.
According to eye witnesses whom Human rights watch spoke to, conditions in Eritrea’s detention facilities are abysmal, with minimal food and medical care. Prisoners are held in underground cells and shipping containers, subject to boiling and freezing temperatures. Many prisoners die from the harsh conditions.
Torture and other abuses during detention are routine. Punishments include mock drowning, being hung from trees by the arms, being tied up in the sun in contorted positions for hours or days, being doubled up inside a rolling tire, having handcuffs tightened to cut off circulation, as well as frequent beatings. There are no institutional constraints on Isaias Afewerki’s Eritrea.
We have no doubt that Isias Afeworki is the worst ruler in this planet. However, Ginbot 7 leaders are engaging in dramatic hypocrisy by praising this East African thug. According to Ginbot 7’s Secretary General Andargachew Tsige, authorities of the Eritrean regime are backing Ethiopian opposition groups due to the fact that they are generous. Please watch this funny interview.