Happy Birthday Eritrea. Independence without freedom is nothing

Africa ExPress Special Correspondent
Saba Makeda
Somewhere in Eritrea, 24th November 2015

On this day as we celebrate 25 years of independence let us also strike a sombre note, a minute of silent contemplation a prayer even for the many prisoners of conscience in our, for the many who are snared into a never ending national service, for those who are crossing deserts and seas to pursue a dream of freedom, for all of our brothers and sisters.

Freedom, and the right of self determination was the dream of Idris Awate, Woldab Woldemariam, Petros Solomon ,Aster Solomon, Amna Melakhin.

A migrant shouts a slogan as he wears a Tee Shirt with the message, "Open The Way" as he stands on the seawall at the Saint Ludovic border crossing on the Mediterranean Sea between Vintimille, Italy and Menton, France, June 14, 2015. On Saturday, some 200 migrants, principally from Eritrea and Sudan who attempted to cross the border, were blocked by Italian police and French gendarmes.   REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
A migrant shouts a slogan as he wears a Tee Shirt with the message, “Open The Way” as he stands on the seawall at the Saint Ludovic border crossing on the Mediterranean Sea between Vintimille, Italy and Menton, France, June 14, 2015. On Saturday, some 200 migrants, principally from Eritrea and Sudan who attempted to cross the border, were blocked by Italian police and French gendarmes. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

For us in 2016 the struggle is to remember that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Specifically on this 25th anniversary of our independence the struggle is about:

  1. The right to freedom of opinion and expression. This was the dream for Sium Tsehaie, Joshua, Dawid, arrested and disappeared with no trial since 2001. FREE THE JOURNALISTS
  2. The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion .This was the dream of many including my humble Jehovah witness friend, a healer, arrested with no trial since 2009. It was also the dream of Abbuna Tedros and certainly of the Catholic Church when they reminded us that we are our neighbours keepers.. FREE ABBUNA TEDROS. FREE, JEHOVA WITNESS and PENTECOSTALS. FREE PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE
  3. The right to take part in the governing of Eritrea either directly or through a freely chosen representative is the dream of all Eritreans. TWENTY FIVE YEARS OF RULE IS ENOUGH. IT IS TIME FOR ERITREANS TO FREELY EXERCISE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE. NOW IS THE TIME
  4. The right to be free of torture, free of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is what all Eritreans dream of, and dream of. Yet it has come to pass that torture, cruel and inhuman treatment is now being practiced by Eritreans on Eritreans. STOP TORTURE. STOP THE PRACTICE OF DISAPPEARANCES. STOP DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL. ABOLISH THE SPECIAL COURT. ALLOW FAMILIES TO ACCESS All PRISONERS
  5. The right to be free of slavery or servitude. STOP NEVER ENDING NATIONAL SERVICE.
  6. The right to life and security of person. FREE PAPA ABDU. FREE POLITICAL PRISONERS.

Happy Birthday Eritrea!! Many happy returns

Saba Makeda
makedasaba@ymail.com

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Corrispondente dall'Africa, dove ho visitato quasi tutti i Paesi