A dictatorship in which the media have no rights
The peace accord signed with neighbouring Ethiopia in 2018 has unfortunately not led to any relaxation in a dictatorship that leaves no room for freely reported news and information. Ever since the suppression of independent media and the accompanying wave of arrests of journalists in 2001, RSF has constantly called for the release of the detainees and for evidence that they are still alive. RSF believes that at least 11 journalists are still languishing in the regime’s prisons, without access to their families or to lawyers.
Like everything else in Eritrea, the media are totally subject to the whim of President Issayas Afeworki, a press freedom predator guilty of “crimes against humanity,” according to a June 2016 UN report. He has no plans to loosen his grip. “Those who think there will be democracy in this county can think so in another world,” he said in 2014. The only independent and politically non-partisan radio station providing Eritreans with freely reported news and information is Radio Erena, but its signal is often jammed in Eritrea. Run by Eritrean exile journalists based in Paris, it celebrated its 10th birthday in 2019. It is even hard to access credible news online in Eritrea, where the Internet penetration rate is less than 2%, one of the lowest in Africa. Eritreans are closely watched and, in Internet cafés, must provide their ID details before being allowed to connect.
178 in 2019
80.26 in 2019