An Eritrean passport. These didn’t exist before independence in 1993, when many Eritreans had Ethiopian nationality. It shows a camel, the national emblem. © Private
A young woman from Eritrea describes how her country’s joy of independence was smothered by a political stranglehold that is still keeping thousands of people locked up.
“We are moving back to our home country, it’s a beautiful place – you’ll see,” my parents told me. It was 1993, the year when Eritrea, a small nation in the Horn of Africa, finally gained independence after a 30-year liberation struggle with Ethiopia.
We arrived in the capital, Asmara, in early 1994. Those were exciting times. Many families who had fled the conflict and settled abroad were slowly returning, some after a 30-year absence.
I could feel the euphoria in the air…
Government criticism under President Mohamed Morsi is being met with a similar response to that of the Mubarak era. © Mahmoud Khaled / Demotix
By Diana Eltahawy, Egypt Researcher at Amnesty International
While the world is celebrating the 20th World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, the crackdown on freedom of speech and dissent continues unabated in post-Mubarak Egypt.
Instead of drawing from the lessons of the fallen President, Hosni Mubarak, and accepting criticism and opposition as a healthy and natural outcome of the “25 January Revolution”, Egyptian authorities are lashing out against critics. Reminiscent of the past, the official discourse seeks to discredit opponents as being “thugs” and playing into the hands of Egypt’s enemies conspiring to destroy the country. Continue reading
Russsian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the press after the annual call-in show on Russian television April 25, 2013 in Moscow © Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images
By Lydia Aroyo, Europe and Central Asia Press Officer at Amnesty International, who recently returned from Moscow.
The press centre of the Russian Interfax news agency was rapidly filling up with journalists and the pile of press packs that we had prepared was quickly going down.
I felt overjoyed. The joint press conference Amnesty International had jointly organized with Human Rights Watch (HRW) was pulling in record crowds. The two organizations were going to present their respective reports, Freedom under threat and Laws of Attrition, exposing the ongoing assault on freedoms of expression, association and assembly in Russia – abuses that have gathered strength under the watch of President Putin in the first year of his third presidential term. Continue reading