For ten years, Amanuel Ghirmay worked as a journalist for the information ministry in Eritrea, which is ranked last in the Reporters Without Borders media freedom index and is Africa’s biggest prison for media personnel. He had no choice but to work for the government, relaying its propaganda, because Eritrea’s privately-owned independent media were all “suspended” a decade ago.
He finally risked his life to flee abroad because he could no longer stand working for a cruel and tyrannical regime and because he feared that he would suffer the same fate as many other journalists who are held incommunicado in Eritrea’s network of detention centres.
And so this well-known and respected journalist became just one more anonymous Eritrean refugee experiencing the harsh conditions of the refugee camps in Ethiopia. He now lives in France, working for the Eritrean exile radio station Radio Erena. His story reflects the suffering of Eritrean journalists and refugees.