5,000 Independence Day Messages to Eritreans Inside the Country
(05- 21-2012) Eritrean youth in diaspora send 5,000 solidarity telephone messages, to their counterparts inside Eritrea, on the occasion of the country’s 21st anniversary since independence.
In addition to the messages of solidarity and support for young people in Eritrea emptying the streets during the weekend of celebrations, Eritrean youth across the globe will be holding a weekend of protests against the subjugation of Eriteans at the hands of one of the world’s worst dictatorial regimes.
Eritrea gained independence 21 years ago, following one of the longest independence struggles that the world has seen, but is today said to be ruled by a regime considered one of the world’s most brutal dictatorships, only paralleled by that of North Korea; young people are subjected to a life-long forced military service that takes them away from their families and life opportunities. The public is also denied the most basic of rights including freedom of association, worship and expression. The number of people fleeing the country regularly puts Eritrea atop the list of refugee producing countries.
Coordinating this worldwide protest is the Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change (EYSC). The Solidarity is a young movement, both in terms of its leadership and membership as well as in the length of time that they have been, leading such a coordinated protest against the regime that has driven them into exile.
In the short period since its existence EYSC has managed to build trust with people inside Eritrea through its regular, ‘Freedom Friday- empty the streets in protest’, messages that are communicated through random calls into the country. To date the group have made 17,000 calls reaching close to 10% of phone users in the country and many more through satellite radios and word of mouth.
Talking about the current calls for protest, set to take place during the 21st anniversary of Eritrea’s independence on the 24th of May , coordinators say; ‘it is amazing to see many young people getting involved in this and that cities ranging from Cairo, to Tel Aviv to Melbourne will be involved as will European and American cities: Oslo, Stockholm, Bern, London, Frankfurt and Washington DC will all see protests that were coordinated by young people using internet and social media, this is definitely a new Era in the struggle for democracy and justice in Eritrea’.
Organisers have also sent messages to Eritrean Diplomatic missions and Foreign Office Departments in their countries of residence. Alerting them to the tide of change that is fast approaching Eritrea, the letter to Eritrean embassies states: ‘we are not asking your assistance, we are not even asking you to be part of that change, but we are warning you of the consequences of staying on the wrong side of the tide that we are a part of’. Letters to foreign ministries of countries where protests are being held appealed for countries to condemn the Government of Eritrea over the human rights abuses perpetrated against Eritreans.
The one minute long robocall message transmitted directly to 5,000 phones in Eritrea calls people to stay at home and empty the streets in protest and by doing so, to join the global demonstrations against PFDJ over the period that the regime will orchestrate festivities to mark Independence Day on the 24th and 25th of May.
Eritrea got its independence from neighbouring Ethiopia 21 years ago. However today Eritreans inside the country live under one of the most brutal regimes in the world today. The regime prohibits its nationals from exercising their basic human and democratic rights, and is intolerant to any form of freedom of expression.
- PFDJ is Eritrea’s ruling party and the only legal party in the country
- The regime in Eritrea has been criticized by numerous human rights organizations owing to its appalling records of human rights abuse. Eritrea is one of the worst abusers of freedom of press in the world today and the religious freedom violations in the country have also been a cause for grave concern to the international community
- Eritrea’s indefinite National Service has been highlighted as illegal and unjust
- Many Eritrean young people flee the country to escape the National service and all the other human rights abuses. Eritrea is one of the top refugee producing nations in the world today.
- Eritrea youth fleeing the country are faced by numerous obstacles including the government’s ‘shoot to kill ‘ policy for those caught. They also fall pray of unscrupulous people smugglers and traffickers, including those who are involved in illegal organ harvesting
- Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change (EYSC) is a Diaspora based global youth movement, fighting for democracy and justice in the country.
Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change (EYSC)