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Eritrea: The fact that the flight itself might cost the refugees lives, is telling
Statement to press conference "Eritrean deserters report about imprisonment and torture"
by Yohannes Kidane, Eritrean Antimilitarist Initiative
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
First of all I would like to thank you all for joining us in this press conference today. Next, I’d like to congratulate Frau Antje Becker, the members of Connection e.V. and Pro Asyl, in the name of Eritrean Antimilitarist Initiative (EAI) for their invaluable effort and for making this day real. I’d also like to congratulate and welcome Yonas and Petros for their newly acquired freedom.
As we all know, people from poor countries like Eritrea may leave their homeland for obvious and no obvious reasons. Some of the obvious reasons that have been driving people to migrate within their political borders, across their political borders and across continents can be:
After enjoying and benefiting from the freedom and peace in my daily life for seven years in Germany, I personally give right to all those people who flee for such causes. According to my understanding all are reasons enough to leave such hostile environments.
Human beings have been fleeing such causes for thousands of years. Never in human history have they tolerated them nor will they tolerate them in the future, for they are against the human sprit that strives for freedom, survival and change.
From my experience for me as a contemporary Eritrean, Germany is by far different for Eritrea. Germany has well established the principle of individual freedoms and liberties, it is very peaceful and it has never imposed restriction on individual creativity and innovative capacity.
To the contrary, Eritrea today is suffering under the rule one of the contemporary world dictators. Bold human rights abuses and violations, restrictions of all kinds, and man made poverty and hungers are obvious. But to mention a few:
Still Germans can probably relate better than any other nation in Europe to such a terrible situation. The memories of the shootings at the German-German border are still fresh. The Second World War has forced countless millions of people to flee. As the Eritreans some fled persecution by the state, other fled war and violence and yet other left to escape economic hardship after the war. People from the former GDR too, experience life without basic rights such as the right to speak or travel freely, or the fear of government agents spying into people’s private lives.
The list of persecution, abuse and human rights violations, of deprivations and hardships in Eritrea is long. And worst is, that there seems no hope or means to change the situation. The fact that the flight itself might cost the refugees lives, is telling. If you risk death to escape from a situation – how bad must it be? Therefore, today as we are here, I ask you judge the Eritrean cause for yourself. Do you think it was right to deport such innocent citizen who made it out of such a country?
Thank you very much.
Yohannes Kidane, Eritrean Antimilitarist Initiative: Statement to press conference, September 9, 2010