Reporters Without Borders

Predators

Eritrea
Issaias Afeworki
President

Freed from Ethiopian domination in 1991 and enslaved again in 2001 by Issaias Afeworki’s authoritarian lunacy, Eritrea is governed by Africa’s most ruthless dictator, whose state of health is the cause of rumour and speculation. A former rebel chief and hero of Eritrea’s war of liberation, he makes no bones about his totalitarian tendencies.

He believes a price must be paid for Eritrea’s independence. Basic freedoms were officially “suspended” more than 10 years ago, after ruling party dissidents started pressing for more democracy. Any hint of opposition is seen as a threat to “national security.” The privately-owned media no longer exist. There are just state media whose content is worthy of the Soviet era.

Ruled with an iron hand by a small ultra-nationalist clique centred on Afeworki, this Red Sea country has been transformed in just a few years into a vast open prison, Africa’s biggest jail for the media. Around 30 journalists are currently being held in prisons, undergrounds cells or metal containers.

Four of them have died as a result of the extremely cruel conditions or committed suicide. Others have just disappeared. And others flee the country illegally, at risk to their lives. But when President Afeworki is asked about the imprisoned journalists, as he was by Al-Jazeera in May 2008, he replies: “There were never any. There aren’t any. You have been misinformed.”

Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz Al-Saud - Saudi Arabia Alexander Lukashenko - Belarus Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - Iran Baloch armed groups - Pakistan Bashar Al-Assad - Syria Camorra (Naples), 'Ndrangheta (Calabria), Sacra Corona Unita (Puglia), Cosa Nostra (Sicily) - Italy China – Xi Jinping - China Choummaly Sayasone - Laos Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov - Turkmenistan Ilham Aliyev - Azerbaijan Islam Karimov – President, Uzbekistan - Uzbekistan Israel Defence Forces - Uzbekistan Issaias Afeworki - Eritrea Jabhat Al-Nosra - Syria Kim Jong-un - North Korea King Hamad Ben Aissa Al Khalifa - Bahrain Leaders and members of extremist religious groups - Maldives Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Maldives Mexico : Miguel Trevino Morales, alias Z-40, and the Zetas drug cartel - Mexico Miguel Facussé Barjum - Honduras Mullah Mohammad Omar - Pakistan Nguyen Phu Trong - Vietnam Nursultan Nazarbayev - Kazakhstan Paul Kagame - Rwanda Philippines: private militias - Philippines Ramzan Kadyrov - Russia Raúl Castro - Cuba Somalia - Al-Shabaab, Islamist militia - Cuba Swaziland - Mswati III, King - Swaziland Teodoro Obiang Nguema - Equatorial Guinea The intelligence services - Pakistan The Islamist group Boko Haram - Nigeria The Rajapakse brothers - Sri Lanka The ruling Muslim Brotherhood - Sri Lanka Vasif Yusif Oghlu Talibov - Azerbaijan Vladimir Putin - Russia Yahya Jammeh - Gambia Zimbabwe - Robert Mugabe, president - Zimbabwe “Otoniel” and Los Urabeños – paramilitaries - Colombia
close
close
close
Contact us | Who we are ? | Our U.S chapter | CGU