Sunday, April 15, 2012

Massive Demonstrations planned in Eritrea on May 24 - Topix

Eritrean Youth are at it again: Massive Demonstrations planned in Eritrea on May 24

By ErivoltMay28 | Posted April 9, 2012 | Asmara, Eritrea

ASMARA, April 9, 2011 – A coalition of Eritrean Youth all over the world are planning massive nationwide protests against the regime of Isaias Afewerki, who has clinched to power for 21 years. Eritrean Diaspora are organizing for support within Eritrea by disseminating flyers in Eritrean bars, schools, and restaurants and also using "Robo-calls" to an estimated 10,000 Eritreans (see: (TGRNYA)%20%205-4-2012.pdf ). The group Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change (EYSC) which boasts 11,000+ members has organized a campaign inside Eritrea called "Arbi Harnet" which translates to Freedom Friday. The Freedom Friday Campaign calls upon the people inside Eritrea to protest dictatorship by emptying the streets of Eritrea’s cities every Friday after 6 PM.

In the past 21 years, Isaias Afeworki had failed to deliver on the pledges he made in the areas of political, economic and cultural democracy. Eritrea once a “Beacon of Hope” now has one of the worst authoritarian rule with violations of human rights, religion and suppression of the press. Eritrean remains the only county in Africa without a working constitution. The country’s process towards democratization has essentially ended, as there are no elections and no multiple party systems. The only political party existing in Eritrea is the ruling party known as the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ).

The regime in Eritrea has shocked many Eritreans in the diaspora when the president denied the defection of the entire Eritrean soccer team to Kenya (Interview on Al-Jazeera TV). Eritreans were also shocked at the level of human trafficking taking place in the Sinai and its own government's tight lips on the issue. Thousands of Eritreans flee the country each month due to the regime's repressive rule and mismanagement of the economy. Routinely, Eritrean refugees are subjected to torture, rape, and abuse by human traffickers in Egypt and Sudan until their family abroad can pay their ransom. Ransoms for Eritrean refugees have inflated from $4,000 to almost $60,000 USD today. One of the many factors for this is due to Israel building a large electric fence on its border with Egypt, thereby impeding the human trafficking system. To this day, the Eritrean government has not condemned this situation, and even worse, the President claims those Eritreans are "going for picnic." The CNN documentary "Death in the Desert" showed the remarkable risks Africans were prepared to make to try to get to Israel.

Eritreans are demanding the country's defense forces and the police to stand with the people's aspiration for freedom. They also demand Eritreans abroad to withdraw funds and material support from the Eritrean regime. Eritrean Opposition youths have repeatedly crashed Pro-government festivals and events in protest of their support and as a show of force.

Eritrean opposition youth movements around the world are coordinating major demonstrations on May 24 in order to bring down the regime of Isaias Afewerki. Coalition groups include, but are not limited to: Popular Movement for Democracy and Justice, May 24 – Eritrean Youth Movement, EYC-EYSC NA Interim Board, Eritrean Youth Movement for Change.

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