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Ciham’s Fifth Birthday Inside Isaias’ Jail, More Arrests

Today, April 4, 2017, Ciham Ali Abdu turns twenty inside an Eritrean prison. She was fifteen years old when she was arrested in December 2012.

Her ninety-years old grandfather, Abdu Ahmed Younis, and her uncle, Hassen Abdu Younis were put in prison in a few days following her arrest.

Ciham is the daughter of the former information minister, Ali Abdu, who abandoned the regime in 2012.

The arrest of Ali Abdu’s daughter, father, and brother by the Isaias regime, is believed to be a warning to other officials who might think of abandoning it.

Ciham is a USA citizen, but US officials have failed to secure her freedom.

Since 2015, six US citizens of Eritrean ancestry were arrested in Asmara where they arrived accompanying remains of people who died outside Eritrea. The government arrested the people who accompanied the caskets because the funeral rites for the dead persons was conducted at a church that the government doesn’t recognize.

The Eritrean government heavily interferes in the religious affairs of the country and has caused a split in the Orthodox church.

In other news, Weizero Mihret Gebremichael, the 95-year-old mother of Petros Solomon died in Asmara. Her remains were interned last Friday. Weizero Mihret is the mother of five daughters and one son, three of her children had joined the Eritrean struggle for self-determination. While her daughter Hana was martyred in the struggle, Aster survived and now lives in the USA.

Petros was a cabinet minister when the government of Isaias Afwerki arrested him with others who came to be known as G15. Sixteen years later, their whereabouts is unknown.

Petros’ wife, Aster Yohannes has also been in prison since December 2003. She was arrested at the Asmara airport where she arrived from the USA after completing her studies. Fourteen years after her arrest, her whereabouts is also unknown.

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The PENCIL is's editorial and it reflects the combined opinions of the Awate Team and not the individual opinion of team members.

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  • bardavidi

    Who is the Innocent and who is Guilty…..???

    They Dance for, Hail, and Applaud the Devil,help him Devour all his Enemies and when they fall in to his Trap…… WOW…….all of the Sudden they are innocent and Victims……..What a Fairytale even a child would not go for………Wake-up and smell the Coffee………….We live in a world of Reality where Criminals do not turn Innocent and switch Alliance on a turn of a Dime……..Pure Garbage…….

  • Mebrahtu

    I have never seen a selfish, cold and calculating human being like her father (Ali Abdu). He cares about no one but himyself. He did nothing to help his father who spent the last years of his life in PFDJ notorious jails without the due proces of law. By doing so, he probably thought his supreme leader (DIA) will promote him to full general so that he can intimidate and imprison most of his rival military and national security commanders. As soon as he knew that was not happening, he left his inoccent daughter at the hands of brutal regime to save himself. She doesn’t deserve it all.

  • saay7

    Hey Blink:

    Ayisemam. Could u speak louder?

    Seriously, this thread is about Ciham Ali Abdu, who was arrested when she was a minor, as IA and flunkies pay tribute to the Right of the Child, a UN convention they are a signatory to.

    Whoever wants to comment about her grown-ass dad, Ali Abdu, can open a new thread. And maybe I will share what I know. Maybe. About my tweets re his successor Yemane G, I am on records saying that if all the ministers were waterboarded they would have no clue about the actual going on in Eritrea as they are just figureheads and absent from the real parallel power composed of IA and his confederates. AND THAT Whole “Abdella Jaber was a Saudi agent” was so absurd (remember: Abdella Jaber was in charge or organizational affairs of PFDJ, a member of its Executive Committee) that even Haddas Ertra knew its accusation that he is a Saudi agent would be absurd and presented it as “believe it or not”. In any event, his arrest preceded the Saudi Wikileaks and all it showed is that he met with the Saudi ambassador which may or may not have been within his job description.

    Abu Salah, in your litany you forgot “the White Mans burden”: its not just a Rudyard Kipling poem but a mindset that the white man has the duty to civilize the natives he has colonized. Similarly, in Eritrea, the Tigrinya has the burden of civilizing the Eritrean 😂


    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Saay,

      If there are Eritreans who think “the Tigrinya has the burden of civilizing the Eritreans” , then tell them that sehab gemeln kobkab adgin are the same uncivilized Eritrean population. Why do the look at the speck of sawdust in their brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in their own eye? Boasting and arrogant attitudes are the beneath behavior that keeps eating us in our real world. In fact “the white man burden” saying doesn’t suit them as they are not civilized in themselves. Don’t worry about those who want to divert the topic from the issue of a minor Ciham and her liking who are languishing in the prisons of PFDJ.

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Ismail Ahmad

        Selam Aman,

        You are absolutely right. There is an adage in Tigrigna that pertinently fits what you have written:
        ‘እቶም ዝንዕቁንስ ክንደይ ከምዝንዕቆም እንተዝፈልጡ ክንደይ ምጸበቀ’. The tragic thing in all this is that the reactionary residues of feudal mentality is still polluting the culture. Many think they are more civilized than others just in their imagination without reflecting back to their actual lot.
        I remember once in Sudan in mid-70s when walking in a group we saw human waste on the side of a road in one of the suburbs of Khartoum. One among us seemed to be surprised to see such a thing and said: ‘እዞም ሱዳን ገና ኣይሰልጠኑን። ዓይኒ መረት (lavatory) ዘይሎም ክሳብ ሎሚ።’. But in the village the guy was born and grew, there was not a single toilet. He was just reflecting his mindset without being impeded by eality of his origin.

      • blink

        Dear Mr. Amanuel
        I don’t really want to go farther with people ,who are just not ready to be open about things they know ,neither do I try to let them avoid from looking to the right question . They will never ever full any one. Their choice is to simply act or deflect from the issue.

  • Ismail

    Selamat Ciham/All

    Alas! What can we say about PFDJ that we haven’t said before a thousand times! Imagining that young tender soul at the mercy of a wild lawless government is too painful to contemplate.

    Dear Ciham,

    I can’t expect you to be happy even on your birthday so I am not going to wish you happy birthday. I will pray instead for your freedom and the freedom of all innocent prisoners that are languishing in various Eritrean jails. Keep your gaze on the future Ciham and remain hopeful. Whatever the circumstances, always remember that your mind and spirit are your best allies. Cultivate them to their fullest. … and inshaAllah you will one day look back at your current situation as a time when you fully matured and attained a keen insight into life’s mysteries which reminds of Goeth’s (Carlyl?) poem.

    “Who never ate his bread in sorrow, Who never spent the darksome hours Weeping, and watching for the morrow, — He knows ye not, ye gloomy Powers.”

    I pray to Allah to give you strengthen to keep your spirits above the circumstances you find yourself in.

    Wishing you a triumphant and joyous future.

    Ismail (pointblank)

  • Saba

    Hello Justice seekers, dankera seekers and power seekers.
    Many young people are under isayas dictatorship but they did not get their voice heard because they are not VIP. I understand that the opposition aka opposition to Eritreans is in fledgling mode.

    • Abrehet Yosief

      Selam Saba,
      I don’t think we heard the voice of anyone in prison. If you meant the Awate Team wrote about Ciham because she is VIP, indeed as a family member she is a very important person to them. But when we read about Ciham, we don’t only remember her. We remember all the young that are in prison for reasons known and unknown. In Eritrea it is more dangerous for those in prison and their family members if their names are publicized. So while the rest of us are silent about our loved ones, some families, having weighed the pros and cons, have asked about theirs in public. The Awate Team also must have considered the risk this public appeal poses to the well being of Ciham. Indeed, as a family member of a public figure, her situation was first announced by others. I for one am grateful for those brave enough to ask about and remember their disappeared relatives in public. I grieve with them and I hope any good that comes out of it will benefit mine as well.

      • Saba

        Hello Abrehet,
        Are you saying it is about “lazy” journalism?
        A real journalist should also write about the forgotten woman and man. The silent Eritrean majority are so angry and do not trust anyone including the Eritrean opposition parties and their news media. As a result for an organization to be credible the bar is set so high. So the half truth and the controversial personalities will rally only the few.
        Who would you advocate first? For wedi isayas or wedi Meley?

        • Abrehet Yosief

          Hello Saba,
          ካብታ ዝወግኡኒስ እታ “ሃይ!” ኣይትበሊ ኢልኪ ኣፈይ ትዓብስኒ ተጒህየኒ። Advocating for one is advocating for all. Why don’t you protest for those that are dearest to you. We will be there with you. If you do not cry out for the ones you know, you cannot cry out for the ones you don’t know.

          • Saba

            Selam Abrehet, Shim yimerih tiwaf yebrih.
            What you said in tigrigna is powerful. “Hay” Zebil aytirkebi.

            I do but the “forum activists” will not hear or see the “layperson”. It seems that only Himamka iyu hay zebileka.

      • Peace!

        Hi Abrehet,

        Please don’t feed trolls. As you may know the goal of a troll is to disrupt an online discussion, picking on one person, or on everyone who expresses a particular point of view.

    • Selamat Saba and Abrehet Yosief,

      Saba says: “Many young people are under Isayas dictatorship but they did not get their voice heard because they are not VIP.”

      This may very well be the only partially true statement. Though I will ask Saba to pause and give serious thought to what I feel is lacking in her statement. Sincerity.

      I will return to this point after I this thought to complete Ayya Ismael AA’s statement I asked Abraham H to contemplate further which I am looking forward to read his thoughts on along with the questions I asked him. Hopefully he will not fumble!

      Ayya Ismael AA continues: “…To facilitate this, thus,” (I.e ” their efforts for common national purpose”) “the change seeking forces will have to be identified and deployed in accordance with their nature and place in the social and political realities of the nation.”

      Saba, do not read this as the opposition being in “fledgling mode.” According to how your second sentence, YOU are in opposition to the “dictatorship” system that is “many young people are under.”

      As a Member State of the United Nations, the State of Eritrea must have answered to the specific case of Ciham Ali Abdu. There should be documentation of the inquiries from UN’s desk of Children’s Rights made to Eritrea’s Ministry of Justice. Who is resourceful enough to provide us the Eritrean People the details?
      Article 9 of the UN’s Children’s Rights, I presume, must have a mechanism of inforcement. I noticed Saba did not differentiate between incarcerated and free “many young people In Eritrea.”
      I would rather not delve into Ali Abdu’s VIP status.

      And Saba, TRUST ME, every human who suffers injustice is a VIP. For SheAbna/Hzbeina Meley the ultimate sacrifice has been paid in full for every Eritrean child to be VERY IMPORTANT PERSON.


      • Abraham H.

        Selamat tSAtSE
        I fully endorse this comment of yours, though sometimes you confuse me as to your position vis-a-vis the current Shaebia, which I would rather refer to as Isayas regime, and when you sympathise with its adherents like the Ghetebites. The Shaebia of yesteryear had Central Council, Executive Branch/Politburo, Charter, Congress, oversaw ratification of Eritrea’s post-independence Constitution, tolerated free press, and gradually but surely was moving towards political pluralism and respect of human rights.
        In one of your comments below you asked me why I used ‘wetru’ instead of ‘ameley’, well, Tsatse, I know you left Eritrea when you were a manjus, if not ‘hitsan’ so I understand if you’re not sure about my use of the word ‘wetru’. If you say ‘fishikhta amelu’, or ‘wetru higus’, or ‘wetru fishikh’, you’re basically saying one and the same-the person in question is an ever happy type who is difficult to make angry:) So , I still consider you such a person and would have really enjoyed sitting with you in a pub:)

        • Selamat Abraham H,

          RUBBISH response. You missed the pertinent point. I Suppose when one goes to the market he only shops for what he is capable to purchase. Sorry to dissapoint you, but I have never left Eritrea. Your patronising is appreciated though. In due time manjusay Abraham H you will recognize the pertinent fully.

          The Jocker, the villain nemesis to Bat Man has a permanent grin from ear to ear. The Jocker has a Wettru Fishikhta. Please wipe out your Jocker’s Wettru Fishikhta so I can wear my Fishikhta Ameley as I listen to ShaEbia Meley. 🙂


      • tes

        Selam Solomon,

        This line of yours is strong:

        … every human who suffers injustice is a VIP.

        No one can say it better than you. Just appreciation. I know your heart when it is not shadowed by shabia mentality.


      • Saba

        Selamat GitSAtSE, the master of digital poetry.
        Thank you for making every person who suffers injustice a very important person.
        I oppose the PFDJ regime and we need a REAL party for a REAL change. I do not subscribe to the various opposition parties as they are detrimental to the quest for freedom.
        Do you know the story of Unkuray TsaTse? I used to hear it in my bed time stories but now i remember only the name:(

        • Selamat Saba,

          “I oppose PFDJ and we need a REAL party for a REAL change.”

          My dear, again, I feel the lack of sincerity in your declaration above. The truth of the matter is that I am not into party politics. I have been in my dugout trench defending my right to breath from REAL PFDJ and or PFDJ affiate gangsters. You speak of “merzi opposition astiomkha doom?” to Peace. And I feel you have this wrong also. It is the opposition to opposition, the GoE supportets, that makes Eritreans drink opposition poison.

          This is not to say that 80 to 90 percent or more Eritreans inside Eritrea are not working diligently to better their very own lives in spite of the system they will eventually make their own.

          Your first comment ‘s worth is this and us telling of Saba as “in The Know” person: Ciham Ali Abdu at best us now UNDER HOUSR “ARREST.”

          In the future Aggnia Children’s Press, ala John Le Carre, you will have for by your bedside. Funny you remind me of Weini at Triple A’s .

          Party politics is another triviality. If you are opposed to PFDJ then you are in luck as the current opposition is your best bet! As for tSAtSE, metkelawinet dictates PFDJ is mine to COMPLETY REFORM. It is not a political party. It is a Front/Gmbarr, and I am in the Front lines every day facing life or death. And you can take that to the BANK!

          Politicians of any party will sell you any given moment but a fellow soldier in The front lines depends on your survival over his own for his very survival.
          Your Awgett crushed!!! WHAT YOU GOT NEXT?

          Night night…lights OUT!


    • Haile WM

      Aye Saba,

      you see the problem with us eritreans is that we are like you, we choose to hide our heads like an ostrich on the sands of perdition. here is a girl, an innocent girl, who was underage when the monsters made her disappear, and you and many of us, triviality seems what we spin on… VIP non VIP issue, her father vs her uncle… May God/Allah forgive us all.

      • Peace!

        Hi Haile,

        The best way to deal with online trolls is to just refuse to interact with them and give no reply to any of accusations or remarks. All they want to do is inflict pain, ridicule, and humiliation.

        • Saba

          Hello Peace, a reply to a reply of my post is a reply to me. You see you just interacted with me:) And your claim is just debunked lol.
          Anyway what is wrong with you? You were for the forgotten people. Did they make you drink merzi opposition? “Get out” the movie is now playing.

    • tes

      Selam Saba,

      These are what we are reading these days:

      – When we talk about Biteweded – so;e say – why we talk about him only. There are G-15 and many hundreds victims of EPLF.

      – When we talk about PFDJ victims from Keren, some say they are jihadists and who cares about them.

      – When we talk about G-15, some say, they were by themselves criminals.

      – When we talk about Lampedusa tragedy, some say, why they first started the journey.

      – When we talk about victims of direct shooting of soldiers in the heart of Asmara – some say who told them to speak.

      – When we talk about Christians who became target of their own faiths, some say how about the Muslims.

      – When we talk about EPLF victims, so;e say how about the ELF victims.

      – When we talk about University of Asmara, some say how about the other dismantled institutions.

      – When we talk about lowlands grievances, other say how about the highland grievances.

      – When we talk about Afar People grievances, some say how about the Kunama.


      And now you are coming to say, why we talk about Ciham when there are many children are also victims.

      Dear Saba, all these counter defense talks are to neutralize things and to forget not talking about any one, just to keep quite.

      What it should be is like this:

      – Biteweded + G-15 +victims of EPLF = Grievances

      – PFDJ victims from Keren = Grievance

      – G-15 =Grievances

      – Lampedusa tragedy =Grievances

      – Shooting of soldiers in the heart of Asmara = Grievances

      – Christians who became target of their own faiths + Muslim victims = Grievances

      – EPLF victims + ELF victims = Grievances

      – University of Asmara + Other dismantled institutions = Grievances

      – Lowlands grievances +Highland grievances = Grievances

      – Afar People grievances + the Kunama grievances = Grievances

      – Ciham + Other childrens case = Grievances

      Sum total:

      Justice Seekers Equation

      Biteweded + G15 +victims of EPLF + PFDJ victims from Keren + G15 + Lampedusa tragedy + Shooting of soldiers in the heart of Asmara + Christians who became target of their own faiths + Muslim victims + EPLF victims + ELF victims + University of Asmara + Other dismantled institutions + Lowlands grievances + Highland grievances + Afar People grievances + the Kunama grievances + Ciham + Other childrens case = GRIEVANCES

      This is all we are talking about. The grievances we have is the total sum of all grievances. Otherwise,

      We will have this equation as per your and many alike minded peoples’ assertion, where the PFDJ junta is trying to equate it.

      PFDJ Equation

      Biteweded – G15 +victims of EPLF – PFDJ victims from Keren – G15 – Lampedusa tragedy – Shooting of soldiers in the heart of Asmara – Christians who became target of their own faiths – Muslim victims – EPLF victims – ELF victims – University of Asmara – Other dismantled institutions – Lowlands grievances – Highland grievances – Afar People grievances – the Kunama grievances – Ciham – Other childrens case = “NO GRIEVANCES”

      We need to choose between equation 1 and 2 and know who we are.


  • Mez

    Dear Robel,
    What benefit could KSA get out of this mentioned coup?

    It didn’t give much sense. If they wanted, they could achieve the removal of this government in close cooperation with Europeans, the US, … in a broader coordination and collaboration.

    See how things go in Libya, and Egypt for example… the Eritrean government is not that much mighty; it rather is a perpetually self injuring entity with no explicit exit…

  • blink

    Dear all
    It is simply beyond any explanation for any leader to hold a kid in prison for such long time . Very bad people’s mind is always bad. The man is sadistic in nature . What did she really do? I mean , I don’t understand at all. So many weldegeba who slaughtered our families for no reason were freed just after 2 years and Yet this kid is in prison for no crime. I don’t want to paint the color over any one but we all have to ask one fair question and that is , where is Ali Abdu (her father) ? He was the right hand of this horrible regime for long time.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Robel Cali,

    You have said: “ELF did have Islamic jihadist in its rank.” Now by the mere fact of your accussation to Wedi Ali and his colleague as Islamist, (despite you don’t know what Islamist entails) do you agree EPLF/PFDJ had and has Islamist in its rank? Don’t forget your statements will hunt you back when make a baseless accusation and as such that hurt the unity of our people.


    • Robel Cali

      HI Amanuel

      Are you upset by historical facts? ELF did have jihadists among its ranks but they were small in number. All those terrorists killing Eritreans in the 1990s were ELF remnants. That’s why the Eritrean army went to war with them in 1994.

      Unlike the ELF, EPLF was a highly centralized organization. If there were jihadists, they sure didn’t show it. EPLF fighters were educated on secularism and socialism.

      What hurts the unity of our people? Stating a historical fact or you turning a blind eye to Tigrinya bashing on this website?

      • blink

        Dear Rob
        Mr. Amanuel is happy by the bashing in fact he is not alone, look at tes , he thinks the dictator in Asmara is favorable to the Tigrinya or the highlanders .He said “PFDJ policies are in favor of the Tigrinya “. So accept the Tigrinya bashing is wholeheartedly supported by many in this forum. So don’t pick on him.

        • Robel Cali

          Hi blink

          I agree. For many on here, bashing Tigrinya people is part of the awate experience.

        • Abraham H.

          Hi blink, so are you denying that the key and most important positions in the PFDJ mafia regime are not held by the Tigrinyas? I think we should never shy away from pointing to the facts, even if it is painful to be associated with such horrible people; whom I feel disgusted to share my Eritrea with them. Remember I’m in no way claiming that the Tigrinya people are beneficiaries of the Isayas regime; on the contrary the great majority of them are victims of oppression in the same way as other ethnic groups.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abraham H.,

            What is the relevance of their ethnicity? Aren’t you meant to oppose the ideology they follow? Or, do you believe that their ideology is inseparable from their ethnicity?

          • Kokhob Selam
          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Kokhob,


            But also, Nation building involves screams and pain, it is not all song and dance. That is what history shows in relation to great Nations in the World.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank You Simon.

          • tes

            Dear Kokhob Selam,

            Welcome back home. I can understand through what you are going all these time. Stay strong and take care.


          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank you tes,

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear moderator:
            Thank you very much for your correction and reminding me … here this was after the incident I face damage in the brain – I am no more touch typist ..

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Kokhobay, sorry to learn about your difficult health situation. I hope you are doing better now? Please let us know, if there is anyway we could help.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Abraham H.
            I know you all care about me – I am sure you’re all kind people..

          • Legacy

            Hi Kokhob,

            Nice to see you and hope you are doing okay:)

          • Kokhob Selam

            Hi -Legacy –

            I am doing okay:)

          • Nitricc

            Dear Kokhob: you will be fine, any adversity it takes facing it head-on and accepting it. I am sorry you had to through what you are going through, however; it takes strong will and positive attitude to deal the situation at hand and I can’t recall any fit and strong enough other than Kokhob Selam. My friend no one is well equipped than you with strongest will to any obstacles. Yes, you can do it stay with us.
            Thank you Kokhob as much the griff I have gave over the years, please accept my absolute respect and love for you, sir!!!

          • Kokhob Selam


            Thank Your ,,for your above comforting message..

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Kokhob Selam,
            It is great to hear from you. I wish you the best. Be patient, it will come together for you. I want to second the statement General Nitricc made below, as well.
            You are truly a star.
            Mr. K.H

          • sara

            Dear kokob,
            stay safe and calm, don’t push your self to comment, and take things you read here easy.
            we want you to recover quick and enjoy your compatriots never ending discussion about

          • Abraham H.

            Hi SimonK. and RobelC., in my view the PFDJ has been increasingly dominated by the Tigrinyas, esp., after the ‘mini-coup’ that was enforced with its transormation from EPLF in 1994. The situation has become even worse after the major-coup of September 2001, when dictator Isayas revealed his true face to the Eritrean people. I’m of the opinion that the PFDJ junta is an exclusive Tigrinya club of bandits without any sense of Eritrean empathy. Ab ekhli krdad yblu abotatna; beal Isayas, Yemane hbey, beal Filipos mienjilu, kea gele kabtom krdadat iyom. You asked me of the PFDJ ideologY? No man, I’m not in a position to answer that question; even the mafia boss himself didn’t have an answer to give when he was asked that question. The only thing I can say is the PFDJ clique doesn’t have any ideology; it rules by the rule of the jungle through the whims of its psychopath at the its helm.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abraham H.,

            The ideology is crystal clear. Erase all traditional modes of thought and fuse all disparate components of Eritrea into one Nation, based on exclusively the Ghedli saga. Wasn’t this the binding contract the Eritrean people agreed to during ghedli? No pain, no gain!

          • Abraham H.

            Selam SimonK, Eritrea has been free from foreign occupation, a major impediment for its development, for 26 years. What has this ideology that you are speaking about brought in terms of development to the Eritrean people? I think if the people where left free to exercise their innovations and potentials, coupled with good and open relations with their neighboring people, they could have achieved better progress by many folds in comparison to whatever has been done under your so-called Gedli saga rubbish talk.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Abraham H.,

            Maybe you did not read the contract, or you failed to understand it. I advise you to go back and read the small print.

            PS. I am a non-partisan, I am only telling you history as it is, unfolding in front of your eyes.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam SimonK, if this history that is unfolding in front of our eyes continues unabated for the not foreseeable future; then it will be a serious threat to the contuinity of the Eritrean nation. Because the terrible circumstances the Isayas regime has created in Eritrea are unsustainable in the long term.
            PS. I’m also non-partisan; my only party is justice to the Eritrean people; irrespective of ethnicity, religion, etc.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Simon,
            You are a skilled provocateur 🙂

            I totally understand your explanation, it is a fact that can be proven in history–the non-visible small prints, eh?

            However, that was not a poker game where you are forced to live with the cards you are dealt. And I do not think you are saying, “accept it and don’t whine!”

            Our present reality does not help us forget the past and move on, or to pretend the small prints do not exist. On the contrary, it encourages buyers remorse, turmoil and gambling with our heavy investments in emotions, loss of bones, sweat and blood. All the lives lost must mean something and we cannot afford to make it a factor in the robbery of our earned freedom, by escaping to an illusion of small prints. No Eritrean signed for slavery, be it in small or bold script.

            Simon, I guess you were delivering your comment in the manner you received it–an intelligent person like you cannot consciously erase the quest for freedom by referring Eritreans to small scripts that, if they ever where there, were buried somewhere in the lines that Eritreans inked in blood.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Saleh J.,

            I was just commenting on the claims/assertions that the EPLF was democratic in the field, that Isaias and the PFDJ hijacked the movement after the 1991 liberation, that the ELF was more tolerant and democratic than the EPLF, that the G15 were fighting for democracy and so on.

            The facts on the ground indicate that Eritrea is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, each with its own competing narratives. There was also a guerrilla movement that brought independence and aspires to build a nation from scratch using its own field experience. Its narrative happens not to follow the multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious ‘happily ever after’ utopian society advocated by post-WW2 European liberal elites.

            All in all, in Eritrea, facts seem to be stacked against the chances of democracy, as defined by the West.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam haw Simon,

            You wrote: “There was also a guerrilla movement that brought independence and aspires to build a nation from scratch using its own field experience. Its narrative happens not to follow the multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious ‘happily ever after’ utopian society advocated by post-WW2 European liberal elites”.
            This statement caught my attention not only because it is too loaded but the sense and logic it seems to project contradict the sentence before it. If you accept the existence of Multi-ethnic and Multi-religious society in the country, and these do have own narratives as you put it, why should only one narrative of a guerrilla group had to be imposed for merely because that group happened to bring independence!, which actually is not true since the credit had to go to cumulative endeavors of those owners of the narratives.
            In other words, the sons and daughters of the owners of the other narratives you want to exclude in order to make way for the leaders of the guerrilla movement should be written off. The sane thing to do should have been merging all those narrative under the banner of the nation. This could have enabled to keep the youth inside the country, at least, I mean.

          • tes

            Selam Ismail AA,

            I think I have to appreciate Simon for telling the truth about EPLF and now PFDJ grand project/mission

            Here is what SImon is telling us to swallow, whether we like it or not:

            1. Eritrea was a nation of diversity.
            2. There was no common identity
            3. The guerrilla movement want this new indentity from a scratch.

            I think that is the reality in PFDJ’s mindset and beliefs.

            They hate diversity – wanted to create one indentity and how they achieve is through destruction of the diverse identity.

            Simon is an honest criminal> He says its straight for what he is doing.

            Bravo Simon.


          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Ismail AA,

            I said: “The facts on the ground indicate that Eritrea is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, each with its own COMPETING narratives.”

            The question is how can you run such a country, where the people are at each other’s throats the moment the external enemy is gone.

          • Ismail Ahmad

            Selam haw Simon,
            Well, competing or cooperating, what difference would that make. My contention was the latter would have served the case (aspiration “to build a nation”) better than going for one narrative. The point is the other competing narrative(s) owners had also paid in blood and sweat to bring independence. I am sure you won’t deny that the guerrilla movement did not operate in separate social and human environment from the owners whose narratives it chose to exclude.

          • iSem

            Hi Simon:
            You have spoken mostly truth except that the following, I am not feeling sympathy for the long deceased ELF, but yes it was much much much more tolerant than EPLF, remember I am not saying it was much more democratic. But the rest I cannot agree more ( I agree).
            so if you believe in this “All in all, in Eritrea, facts seem to be stacked against the chances of democracy, as defined by the West.” What is our recourse, since the odds are stacked against us what should we? Also since the odds of defeating Ethiopia was stacked against us, should not we take some inspiration from that and maybe our starts would be aligned and the “Soviet U” will crumble and we can sneak in democracy as “defined” by Eritreans
            Are we doomed for the vicious cycle that will has been the hallmark of Eritrean since its inception

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Semere &Simon,

            Remember democracy is relative. In ELF we had the freedom to speak and to question the leadiship in whatever decision they took. Let me give you an example: In 1976 when PLF split into Issayas group and Sabe group, ELF leadership came up with a declaration unity with two sides of PLF (hizbawihailetat) splits*. Whether it was correct or not the bases of ELF fighters challenged the leadership to have unity with PLF in the field (meda). On the same issue we were also debating with PLF fighters where ever we meet them. while the ELF fighters debate independently without any pressure, the PLFite fighters had not that freedom and every question was addressed by the political commissioners. The freedom to express in ELF was there without any control. Now in hindsight the ELF leadership was correct to have a position on unity with two hizbawihailetat. In any case my point is, in ELF we had the right to express our view without fear of any repurcation to our lives. In short we had the rudimentary democratic exercise.


          • Abraham H.

            Dear Aman, thanks for these historical tidbits that you and Isamail come up with from time to time. It is very helpful for those of us who grew up listening to one narrative that glorifies one side/the Jebhet Shaebiyet side; while another one that dehumanizes the other side/Jebhet Tahrir side. You can’t imagine how terrified I was getting when somone mentioned the name ‘Ama’ or Abdella Idris. It was feeling as if the organization was not even made of people, but rather of monsters, that should be avoided at all price. Unfortunately, today, I’ve lived long enough to know how the REAL monster looks like. Tsatse, I’m NOT manjus.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Amanuel H.,

            On the continuum of National Liberation Revolution within a Revolution, the ELF begot the EPLF, and anarchy was replaced by centralism. One cannot run a guerrilla movement on the principles of Western democracy.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Simon,

            Democratic centralism allows basic democratic rights, while “undemocratic centralism” doesn’t. ELF represent the former and EPLF the later. In democratic centralism, issues are debated collectively and once the decision are made, the centralism enforce the decision. In undemocratic centralism, it is always decided by a single person and the others being enforcers of his decision, as exemplified in all authoritarian regimes. Let me give you an example of an organization that is close to our home TPLF (did not use ELF to avoid bias accusation). TPLF leadership debated for weeks just to join EPLF in the Nakfa front. Finally with the majority vote to join, sent 3000 armed forces lead by Samora to protracted war for a long duration. Second for any disgruntled part of their leadership, they do not go after his life rather they give his freedom to leave the organization with a blessing “mengedi tsa’Eda y-tsenahk.” So Simon democratic centralism is not anarchism nor does it run after the lives of individuals simply of having different opinions. TPLF has never been after individuals in the rank and files who become disgruntled on the strategy of the organization. No single life of TPLF rank and files was taken of being having different opinion, unlike in EPLF it was and become rampant practices. Life taking was cheap commodity within the organization.

          • Thomas

            Hi Saleh,

            This simon guy has been saying all along that “We must accept it (Issayas mafia way of governing) if we cannot change it”. This is something that the whites say to the black here in the U.S. This guy likes a strong leader and he thinks african/eritreans must be governed by dictators like Issayas because he thinks we, Eritreans, are difficult to govern people. He is one of those interesting animals:)

          • Mez

            Greetings Simon,

            This looks like a sort of the “Chinese Cultural Revolution “…


          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Mez,

            Not quite. In China the issue was class.

            In Eritrea, it is creating a National identity.

          • Robel Cali

            Hi Abraham

            There is a simple explanation to your question. PFDJ reflects the demographics of EPLF.

            No one complained when EPLF was dominated by Tigrinya people, so why should you complain now when the government is dominated by Tigrinya? You want a piece of the pie? Earn it.

          • blink

            Dear Abraham
            Forget the positions held , I am speaking about any policies that favor Tigrinya. That is my main disagreement with these bashes. Tes is only counting the praise from the leaders of a rotten ideas so called ethnic federalists.

          • tes

            Selam blink,

            So much disillusioned perception about me.


          • Berhe Y

            Hi blink,

            You have been beating around this topic for sometime. I am an ethnic Habesha (Tigrina) and I want to ask you honestly.

            As far as we can remember, the Tigrina Habesha were in charge for the most our existence since the world war.

            Tedla Bairu,
            Tedla Uqbit
            Asfaha Woldemichael
            qeshi Dimetros
            Isayas Afeworki
            Dr. Issak..
            the commadis

            and what have you…..

            Let’s leave the others for now.. Can you please if there is anything this “Tigrina” leaders have done something for the benefit of the “Tigriana” people.

            I am not looking 10 things..but only 3 things for example…economic development, education, infrastructure, health care, etc…

            And I want you to compare to the things use to be before they come to power…..

            Aren’t the “Tigriana” leaders (ok we blame Ethiopia before Independence) but since independence (25 years and counting) the source of all the miseries of our people.

            P.S. I haven’t seen anyone bashing the ethnic group, but may be the leaders, which is rightly so….so who are we suppose to blame for all the misery these leaders have caused and they continue to do so.

            Can you please give me your perspective on this please? Just imagine an Eritrea without this “Tigriana” leaders in power, do you expect it to be worst than it’s today?


          • Robel Cali

            Hi Berhe

            I have never met a Tigrinya person claim they are “ethnic Habesha”. This is a weird classification to me. Tigrinya identity comes from the language they speak. What does an ethnic Habesha speak?

            Eritrea is a developing country facing real existential threats from Ethiopia. It is no worse or better than most African countries in terms of development. I highly doubt any person belonging to any ethnic group would change Eritrea’s circumstances much.

            Eritrea without Tigrinya leaders would still be part of Ethiopia. Isaias’ stubbornness is the only reason why we are independent today. Of course his stubbornness is also why he refuses to change some of his bad ideas.

            So there you have it. Eritrea without Tigrinya leaders is Ethiopia.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Blink,

            What happened to you dear brother? Really to “forget the position held”. The positions held are either to administer or to dictate situations. If the positions held are by the tigrigna speaking, then all the predicaments the Eritrean people facing are by the hierarchy position holders in the government – the instruction givers and the instruction enforcers. Identifying the government officials is as important as identifying the problem we are facing at this crucial time. Even if the government officials suffocate the whole Eritrean people, it doesn’t preclude them from being the tigrigna speaking people. The power is in the hand of tigrigna speaking Eritreans. One thing for sure is: they do not represent the tigrigna speaking social group. So Blink we can only seperate between the ruling group and the tigrigna population. Otherwise we can not avoid the identity of the ruling group being from the tigrigna social group.


        • tes

          Selam blink,

          Indeed PFDJ favours highlanders and Christians over the lowlands and Muslims. If you are in doubt refer Nihnan Elamanan and then check who is in the helm. But the Christian highlanders are tools for his satanic political mission. Christian Highlanders are not beneficiars but mercenaries.

          Not forgetting anyone can be used for the means there are lots of varieties within the PFDJ rank manipulated for the political mission.

          Above all, PFDJ is a colonizer. He follows colonization principle to rule over the colonized.

          PFDJ belong to no one one except to PFDJ. It is not Eritrean though it uses Eritreans. For this reason, PFDJ is not for Christian highlanders but manipulates them to conquer the rest of Eritreans.

          To please them, land is freely distributed to the highlanders in the lowland Eritrea. If not, how can he colonize the whole.

          Am I then Anti-Tigrigna and ignorant? Let me be if this is the case for my labeling.


          • Thomas

            Hi Tes,

            I have to disagree with you on this one. If you are talking about the representation of power in our current time being dominated by the highlanders (I can even dare to say that there is almost no official within the mafia ruling from the our lowland region: religious divide from Muslims). However, we have seen patterns in Issayas evil actions for he uses people from the lowlands of Eritrea to do the dirty job for him. For example, 1) the committee set up to take out the Asmara University faculty had some members from our lowlands (I suggest you to make some research on this one- who were used as committee/being influential for that project) 2) Mustapha Nurhussein was used for the G-15 case and go and watch the Video on You tube. 3) I can mention many others like Abdella Jaber and alamin mohammed seid.

            N.B. Issayas has played all his cards and he can no more manuplate anyone, highlander or lowlander. By the way, I have too much for the people who live in both regions. All I see is Eritrea in their hearts no less no more.

          • tes

            Selam Thomas,

            I don’t think we are saying different things. We are on the same line. In case, here is what I stated and I believe it includes your concern.

            Not forgetting anyone can be used for the means there are lots of varieties within the PFDJ rank manipulated for the political mission.


            PS: You(Thomas) iSem, Hayat Adem, Abraham H. Berhe H., SGJ, Ismail AA. Fanti Ghana are those whom I feel confortable with. Most of the time I agree with almost 100% of what you say. I don’t debate or react therefore.

  • Selamat Forum,

    “I plant white roses in January and July.” 17! July 17, 1991 Mohamed Maranet “First Eritrean Prisoner of Conscience.

    Ciham Ali Abdu may very well be the First Eritrean Juvenile Prisoner of Conscience. On April 4th, Ciham celebrated a birthday, and I pray she will foot note with astorics only five of her birthdays. Many, Ciham’s age of 20 years old, College Juniors/Seniors along freshmens and sophomores were on Spring Break and going through a Madness of a different kind.
    Madness in Ciham’s circumstance is…well…

    Unfortunately, the obvious and pertinent questions have not been raised by the entirety of the comments. They were all RUBBISH!!! Saay7’s included. I AM MAD.


    • Hameed Al-Arabi

      Salam Sase,

      I think the question you quest about raised by Queen Hayat Adem.


      • Selamat Hamid Al Arabi,

        Stand down soldier.


      • Selamat H A A,

        (I prefer tSAtSE or Solomon. J in s
        Spanish is pronounced as H. I would not be justified to address you as Jamed Al Kharbani.)

        Of Jewels and RUBBISH is it you are thinking?

        Well, Hyat Adem does indeed wear a Jewel on her crown fit for a Queen.
        I will point you to her thoughts on the Angel Jibril.

        Good to see you and Awatista Poet Extraordinaire! Kokhobe Selam.

        Would you be kind and provide me with the correct pronunciation of
        Ciham Ali Abdu’d first name? And does it Ciham mean Star in English?

        Blue Island Black Star Hippos of Tekeze.


    • Abraham H.

      Hi Tsatse, you said “Unfortunately, the obvious and pertinent questions have not been raised by the entirety of the comments. They were all RUBBISH!!! Saay7’s included. I AM MAD.” So why don’t you come with those questions? What is holding you back? remember you can always feel free to exercise your feedom of speech in this place, unlike in the hellish place of your Shaebia.

      • Selamat Abraham H.,

        “So why don’t you come with those questions? (R)remember you can feel free to exercise your freedom of speech in this place, unlike in the hellish place of your ShaEbia.”

        I thought you have already determined that I, tSAtSE, am with “We try Fishikhta.” I suppose the “I AM MAD” in my above comment puts doubt on your earlier assertion. Allow me to provide you with a rational in your error “Manjusay” Abraham H. I believe, the phrase you were searching for is “Fishikhta Ameley.” Your basterdization of such an eloquent Two Word phrase, perhaps you SHOULD explain, after which I can give justification as to whether I should classify your meandering pandering as RUBBISH.

        My childhood friend, classmate, and ShaEbia btSAy, The Legend Abraham A, unlike Abraham H utilizes the word “Ameley” and not “Wetru.” Why do you think that is Abraham Manjus Habromay? 🙂

        A year after my emphatic statement: ShaEbia is NOT Ameley BUT ShaEbia is Meley! I returned to Washington DC with Five Hundred Copies of The 1997 Eritrean Constitution, I personally produced so that I can distribute to Eritreans gathered at the annual PFDJ organized festival/congress. No, I did not have an iota of an appetite to do a single kudda or even sibra with my shoulders all the way from my Bob Eucker’s seat from the bleachers at the Richmond, VA Arena. On the same weekend, I attended an Abraham A concert and he graced me with his presence at my table…..his “ShaEbia Meley Meley, alokhukhi baEley, hzbeye Me let Meley, alekhukhum baEley,” along with his entire unique remix the entire night that only a few would recognize, inevitably peeled me from my chair to to do a one tour of kudda and sibra wearing a Fishikhta from grin to grin. And now,
        your mention of ShaEbia Meley, has not produced my usual fishikhta. However, your response to why you have utilized “wettruu” as opposed to “Ameley” may cause me to at least smirk if not “keep living with hope, (ynebr alkhu btesfa.)”

        The pertinent question are contained within UN’s Article Nine. , Rights of Children that tes has copied and pasted in his response to Nitric.

        For now I will leave you with At a Ismael AA’s statement I would l would like you to further contemplate:

        “Since the opposition camp has become so congested and has been jammed to a state of dysfunction, it is time to put scrutiny with the aim of coming up with a new scheme of organizational framework appropriate enough to harness the various clusters and segments and enable them to calibrate their efforts for common national purpose.”

        BLOCKS- not blocks as in “what blocks me from bringing pertinent questions.” THE RUBBISH
        MAD ABOUT.


  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Salam All,

    Savages of the Stone Age and sadists are ruling the country. Really, they are perpetrating crimes against humanity since they have ruled the country. The case of Ciham is enough to condemn all the Shiftas in Asmara and in diaspora.


  • said


    The Huge Liability on the Eritreans and Eritrean Cause that the Asmara Regimes Pose
    It is never an exaggeration that the Eritrean regime and the current prevalent Eritrean political culture represent a huge drag, but rather a total misrepresentation of the noble ethos of freedom; respect of human rights; justice and fairness that the oppressed Eritrean cause firmly stands for of an aggressed and so unjustly treated people possibly in the whole annals of human history.
    The Eritrean regimes is pure dictatorship totally disconnected from the generally disenfranchised citizenry and constituencies base. This how it has always been and looks, judging on pervasive political culture, would always continue to be.
    The Eritrean regimes and core supporters , adherents of a revisionist, exclusivist, rather a racist doctrine of IA Nus NEhana Alemana ; who on the other hand based this false ideology on mythical and unfounded fear of ELF Muslim religious tendency and narratives; even those ELF is well adherents of by gone era of socialism and secularism are in some cases the right equivalent counterpart of some of the secular Arab regime and with no theologically based – but nationalist based regimes and bassist ideology of Arab world who tend to some degree my equally invoke misinterpreted and misplaced doctrinaire exclusionist of superior philosophies that miserably failed to see the day light .
    The Eritrean opposition in general all encompassing and equally inclusive should’ appeal to the free people of the world, more specifically to the more enabling Western powers upholders of universal values of people’s right to be governed democratically, human rights and social justice; diametrically collides with a prevalent Eritrean status quo of generally ruthless Dictatorship and of increasingly disjointed Eritrean populace more prone into a narrow vision of cultural tolerance and shared universal values.

    As many caring Eritrean tend to take offense every time pro-Asmara regime propagandists brandish as the only self-dependent and self-reliant regime in Africa; however, the truth of the matter, Eritrea is the only one at bottom of the worst regime in the world. Eritrean regime in its near totality, is absolute cruel dictatorship, none elected officials who are in total denial of their citizenry’s right to participation in representative state governance and the right of freedom of expression.
    The truth of the decadence and abysmal failure of the Eritrean polity and Eritrean politics, including failing state in almost every regard, are not, by mere shared inherent religious and cultural affinity, foremost by appearance, contributing to gaining the Eritrean and the Eritrean cause the important support and understanding of the world public opinion and, above all, the enabling thrust of the Western powers.
    Compounding the Eritrean regimes’ abysmal failure to genuinely and meaningfully support the Eritrean in their enduring plight and their noble cause for deliverance, some of these IA regime, rather on the contrary, some Eritrean opposition practice their own oppressive methods and prejudicial policies against the beleaguered Eritrean
    One would have wished that painful facts would have stopped there with regard to the embarrassing abysmal policies and conduct of the Eritrean regime in general had it not been for the rather long travesty of Eritrean regimes an abated oppression and recent moves of pondering fresh opportunistic initiatives to normalizing relations with some Arab regime.
    The real tragedy is that while the helpless and hapless Eritrean are endeavoring to create international public awareness to their plight as to invite material action sanctions a la South-African model and stop all kind of mining to force Eritrea regime to conform to the International Law and to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Eritrean dictatorship is stumbling over in the haste to normalize relations with like dictators like Sudan and Egypt and extending the dictatorship government the veneer of desperately needed measure of legitimacy, the Fig Leaf rendered by neighboring Arab countries .
    The dictatorship regime in entirety, is huge liability, a negative drag seriously compromising and damaging the Eritrean aspiration and the Eritrean liberty cause.
    The Eritrean should start thinking more independently, more creatively, outside the box, for the advancement of their cause by connecting with like progressive elements in the world.

  • Dear All,

    We should all accept our failures, for we too are responsible this girl is behind bars from the age of 15 upto now. We have contributed to create a cult personality, and made mortals super humans, thus enabled them to come to power and remain in power, for alone they could have done nothing themselves. Dictators cannot rule without support from others.

    Who really betrayed this girl? Is the regime the only one to blame? Are we all at least partly responsible that she is incarcerated by a gang group that calls itself a government? In my opinion those who participate in the system betrayed her, those who morally support the tyrant betrayed her, the opposition who could not unite for the sake of the victims of the tyrant betrayed her, even the fear-stricken society that does not revolt betrayed her.

    If we support the regime, or if we do nothing at least at the moral and the political level by showing a coordinated stand and action against the regime, etc, what is the use of lamenting about the injustice? With our support we are going to keep the regime in power for years to come, and the regime is going to keep this girl behind bars, and nobody knows for how long. Have we really done enough to give hope to this girl and the many victims who are languishing under the iron grip of the regime? Those who are supporting the regime today; are they going to deny the regime their support tomorrow, or is their rage a momentary surge of adrenaline? Is tomorrow going to be business as usual?

    We should all apologize to her and to the many others in eritrean prisons; and why not for those in ethiopian prisons too, for not doing enough.

  • Robel Cali

    Hi Everyone

    Suleiman Hajj (former Eritrean ambassador to Saudi/arrested), Wedi Ali (killed) , Jaber Dere’e (arrested), Mustapha Nurhussein (arrested), Abdella Jaber (named in Saudi Cables as a Saudi spy/arrested) and Ali Abdu (defected)

    These were all the ringleaders suspected in the Forto Incident who were either arrested, defected or killed. As you can see, not a single Christian participated as ringleaders. Why is that? Because Saudi Arabia was the mastermind behind it all. They didn’t want Christians in power, nor did they trust them. The Forto incident was a coup attempt by Saudi Arabia. They wanted Eritrea to be an Islamic country with Islamic law so they can micromanage the country and turn the Red Sea into an Arab Lake (which was one of their stated goals of the ’70s).

    • Berhe Y

      Hi Robel Cali,

      I don’t think you have enough evidence to make a case what the desire of those who attempted the coup would be. All we know is, Wedi Ali asked a letter be read in the radio / TV and asked for the constitution to be implemented and the prisoners to be freed.

      How I wish he had succeeded.

      The government arrested them, because may be they were sympathetic to his cause and they were just arrested because Isayas felt like arresting them, as he has done and there is no body to challenge him.

      Having we heard all the G15 are deki Akeleguzai and those involved like Durue were accused of treason and wanted to remove the president in collaboration with the Ethiopia and CIA.

      How do you know there aren’t any Christian Eritreans involved?

      How do you justify Isayas collaboration with SA and Qatar in the militarization of Assab? specially if he is convinced what the motive of SA is?

      Wouldn’t make Isayas partner with SA to convert Eritrea to an Islamic state and their agenda.


      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Berhe,
        Isaias is an Islamist and he is in cahoots with the Islamists of the region–he may even be a Wahabi 🙂

        • Fanti Ghana

          Hello Memhir,

          While you are in the world of logic, don’t forget:

          Captain Yonas Woldeab and Captain Mekonnen Debesai who flew the only presidential plane in October 2012 to Saudi Arabia and asked for political asylum.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Ato Fanti,
            C’mon, you should know the two captains are Islamists. Also note that “Abi” is an Arabic prefix similar to “Abu”. Guess who is masquerading as a non-Islamist in this forum 🙂

      • Thomas

        Hi Berhe,

        You know this people very well. The G15 and Akeleguzetai thing really worked for them. It was 100% lie, but there were not enough people back then to expose that. Now, we have 90% the Eritrean people sick and tired of those mafias. Trust me, our people would even dare to sleep with the ghost himself because they are so tired of the mafias in the country. People like Robel Cali simply are not reading the right temperature within the Eritrea’s horizon:) Islamic or non islamic who cares as long as they are people not animals unlike the beasts we have in our own homes.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Thomas,

          You said: ” Islamic or non islamic who cares as long as they are people not animals unlike the beasts we have in our own homes.”

          So you do not care whether the ‘next’ government is secular or some kind of cult follower?

      • Robel Cali

        Hi Berhe

        I keep hearing Wedi Ali asked/forced the Eri TV station to read out his demands about implementing the constitution and freeing prisoners but there is no evidence of this. No proof it ever happened. Yes he was in the building but there is no proof anything was read on air. People record Eri-TV every day, why hasn’t there been a recording of it on a smart phone or anything, especially seeing how unusual it would be to hear such things on Eri-TV? I don’t think it ever happened. I think the TV station was shut down the minute it was breached.

        They were arrested because they were part of it.

        The foot soldiers accompanying Wedi Ali were probably mostly Christians since they are over represented in the military. But the people who plotted the coup were Muslim and had the backing of Saudi Arabia.

        Two different administrations. Isaias and Saudi Arabia were not on good terms when Saudi King Abdullah was alive. But after his death and the crises in Yemen, the new Saudi administration under King Salman started to work with Isaias.

        Qatar has been on good terms with Eritrea for a long time. Aside from having temporary peace keepers near the Eritrean-Djiboutian border, I don’t see what you mean by them militarizing Assab? Perhaps you’re confusing Qatar for the U.A.E., which has a military base near Assab?

        G-15 is for another day.

        • Abrehet Yosief

          Selam Robel,
          According to Sactism the following tegadelti with Christian names were part of the coup “ኮሎኔል ተስፋማርያም ሃይለ (ወዲ ኣሜሪካ) ኣካያዲ ስራሕ ቤ/ጽ ዞባ ደቡብ; ሌ/ኮሎኔል ኣለም መንግስትኣብ (ግዝዋ) ክ/ሰ 42 ኣዛዚ 2ይ ብርጌድ; ሌ/ኮሎኔል ኣብርሃም ገብረሚካኤል (ግላዋ) ክ/ሰ 49 ኣዛዚ 2ይ ብርጌድ; ሌ/ኮሎኔል በርሀ ዕቑባሚካኤል ገረዝጊሄር (ዕንሹ) ክ/ሰ 42 ኣዛዚ 3ይ ብርጌድ; ኣሮን ታደሰ ጸሓፊ ህግደፍ ዞባ ማእከል; ሃገር ጋንዛይ ሓላፊ ሃማመተኤ ዞባ ደቡብን (ደሓር ዞባ ማእከል).

          • Robel Cali

            Hi Abrehet Yosief

            Write in English, thank you. And I said officials. The military is majority Christian.

          • Abrehet Yosief

            Hi Robel,
            I wrote the names of the coup organizers: Col. Tesfamariam Haile, Lt. Col Alem Mengstab; Lt. Col. Abrham Gebremikael; Lt. Col. Berhe Qgbamikaiel; Aron Tadesse PFDJ staff; Hager Ganzay Chief Eritrean Youth association.

          • Robel Cali

            Hi Abrehet

            Thank you. And your source?

        • Berhe Y

          Dear Robel,

          You are correct I meant to say UAE instead of Qatar.

          As to what happen inside the MoI, what I heard / read (I don’t remember where) that the news anchor read the statement to be feed live to the TV screen. However the government / security have disconnected at the distribution station outside of the ministry building.

          Now this is very typical way of setting up tv channels, may be those who were leaders of the coup didn’t know or didn’t plan for this. It would have been nice if the actual live video was recorded and transmitted live or recorded offsite (like you tube) beyond the government reach.

          But dictators have consultants and advisers who think of these type of scenarios so they are always prepared.

          The advantage is, with Internet and freely available access to video, it’s hard to control and I wouldn’t be surprised one day such video will surface (as was the case for General Biteweded speech).

          Because the government didn’t allow free media access, it’s hard to confirm if the Christians were foot soldiers or leaders. I am surprised you take the government news at face value and you do not do or give consideration from someone like “sactism” who are leaking information which are quite relevant and accurate by all accounts.


          • Robel Cali

            Hi Berhe

            It is certainly plausible Wedi Ali did make such demands. But my main point was the coup was Saudi organized and backed.

            All my sources are from the Saudi government cables, which was leaked by Wikileaks and Awate dot com, which had access to Ali Abdu, who is linked to the Forto incident. The only government link i posted was the translation of the Saudi Cable from Arabic to Tigrinya.

            Sactism is not a reliable source. There are lots of phony sources in the opposition camp. Eritreans have a culture of confusing gossip and rumors as truths.

    • iSem

      Hi Robel:
      Can you please link us the cables you are mentioning again and again? Thank You!
      Come on now all the people you mention here have Muslim names, but were not known to be devout Muslims. And the minster of Energy, he was not part of it, they approached him, he refused and his crime is because he did not tell DIA
      How about a better hypothesis: the highlanders defected, betrayed them, threw them under the bus?
      And a much better hypothesis is this, PFDJ always uses the Islamist excuse from the day it was founded: they said ELF was an islamist who murderd Christians, which was a lie, although Muslim founded ELF, they did not name it MLF (Muslim Liberation Front). If some Mohamed Cheq (Choggar danga) feels belonging to ELF due to its roots, that is fine, but ELF was never a Muslim movement, but EPLF/PFDJ/IA told us so
      And if SA was behind this “Islamist” Forto thing, why is IA sleeping with them, or not staying SA did this, SA did that as he says with CIA, which have never does anything to undermine PFDJ, oh I correct myself, CIA did something to bolster PFDJ long time ago in some place called Asmara, in a building called Kangew.
      I call on brother Gheteb to give us his take on the Forto incident, was it an Islamist Movement comrade Gheteb. Be honest now, since you are using a nick name, no one in Eritrea will touch your tailor shop, your shop and the sweing machine that invests in the economic of Keren by providing the colorful clothes to the kids of Keren for free (GRATIS) is protected, they kids will done their colorful clothes the the Ivy league colleges of Eritrea, Hamelmalo and Mai-Nefhi

    • Brhan

      Hi Robel
      Another comment that reflects either you don’t understand at least the spirit of law or you don’t care about law. Earlier without mentioning the issue consent you wrote about an asylum seeking issue which is strictly a legal matter.Now you are accusing the above persons as ringleaders. You must be either with no knowledge of how the justice system works in the west , that you might be living or in Eritrea that has regime that doesn’t care to the rule of law

    • tes

      Selam Robel Cali.,

      Do not try to be a politician. You are just a crusader. Scroll down to read what Nitricc said as if he tries to be sympathetic but then injected his cruel words. Just read this:


      Happy B-day Ciham. How exactly is justified holding a child in a prison? It is extremely sad you are in jail while you be in school. The saddest part is why is it a child must pay what whatever grownups do? I know she was caught leaving the country but I thought the punishment was two years. why is she still in jail?

      Let us break then into their respective category

      Fake and saddistic Line

      How exactly is justified holding a child in a prison? It is extremely sad you are in jail while you be in school. The saddest part is why is it a child must pay what whatever grownups do?

      The Truth about Nitricc’s Judgmenet

      How exactly is justified holding a child in a prison? It is extremely sad you are in jail while you be in school. The saddest part is why is it a child must pay what whatever grownups do?

      And you are injecting your Nihnan Elamanan Line – Christians Vs. Muslims. And this didn’t happen in 2013 but in 1970. Why you are speaking as if it is a new development is very strange. Just hell be with your Manifesto.

      I feel sorry for those who try to prove you that Forto 2013 is not what you are claiming for. If they open some historical incidences, they could have found why PFDJ is a fun of using such kind of labeling.

      @salehjohar:disqus it is better to remind Robel and likes about their manifesto. Everything is predetermined. It has nothing to do with the fact.


      • Nitricc

        Tes, as much as you have tried to tell and show us how highly educated you are but you missing one big mark of educated people that is ” It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
        chew on that sunshine.

      • Robel Cali

        Hi tes

        I’m convinced you are one of the more ignorant, anti-Tigrinya posters on here so I’ll keep this short.

        IMO, the Forto Incident was a Saudi backed coup. Saudi Arabia and Eritrea were on bad terms after the Saudis accused Eritrea of working with Iran and Houthis, even though the Yemeni government said there was no evidence of it. In fact, the Saudis refused Osman Saleh, who wanted to defuse the situation, from visiting Riyadh. In return, the Eritrean government arrested six local staff members working at the Saudi embassy in Asmara. There was an escalating tit-for-tat beef going on that Wikileaks have shown. All this culminated to the Saudis organizing a coup against the Eritrean government via their spies in 2013.

        So the motive was there, the spies were there, some of the people arrested immediately after the Forto incident had strong Saudi connections, with one of them being their spy. I even heard rumors that the Saudi Ambassador to Eritrea was arrested after the Forto incident.

        To me, the answer is there. The Eritrean government likes to keep things quiet so they will not openly blame Saudi Arabia, especially when they are at war with Ethiopia.

        I will always reject anything that does not include all Eritreans. The fact that no Christian was part of the planning and execution indicates a deliberate act to exclude them. Now I don’t think the Muslims involved have a problem with their Christian counterparts. Some of these people have been life long friends so trust is not the issue. The issue is a bigoted and backward regime like Saudi Arabia giving them orders not to include Christians during the coup plot.

        • Brhan

          Hi Robel
          Another comment that reflects either you don’t understand at least the spirit of law or you don’t care about law. Earlier without mentioning the issue of consent you wrote about an asylum seeking issue which is strictly a legal matter.Now you are accusing the above persons as ringleaders. You must be either with no knowledge of how the justice system works in the west , that you might be living in or you are in Eritrea that has a regime that doesn’t care to the rule of law

        • tes

          Selam Robel Cali.

          You very well know that I am not ignorant. You know it. Just don’t fool yourself for your own political manouver.

          Am I ant-Tigrigna? Fool yourself.

          This is how I can simply put for you:

          PFDJ is a colonizer. He owns the people, the land and the resources.

          PFDJ is guided by Nihnan Elamanan – check Yemane Gebreab’s teachings. I attended his lectures and I know what I am saying.

          And Nihnan Elamanan is nothing but Christian highlanders who colonize the whole Eritrea.

          If you abhore Nihnan Elamanan and you are a Tigrigna speaker – yes I am anti-you. I am Anti-PFDJ, by extension ANti-Nihnanan Elamanan. Anyone who believes orguided by this manifesto should know that I am Against him/her.

          If you label Forto – 2013 as a Muslim operation, you must be a PFDJ. NO other justice seeker will accept your allegation.

          Forto – 2013 is an operation of the oppressed people. This is what the truth is.


          • Abraham H.

            Selam tes, sure you were trying to say something like “if you support Nihnan Elamanan and you are a Tigrinya speaker…”

  • Kim Hanna

    Selam Awatistas,
    Coming from the south of the border, I know what I say is suspect by some of a hidden agenda. For what it is worth, I have no agenda of any sort. I speak only as an ordinary human being.
    This particular article highlights one statement of fact that we can all, I mean ALL, agree with. The inhumanity of such actions had been in display in the open for a long time. For everything this type of demented behavior we know about, it is safe to assume, there are countless cruel and below animal behavior that was and is taking place.
    From where I sit, I cannot blame the PFDJ or the entire Eritrean Government. I have no knowledge. However, I have sufficient knowledge that PIA and few of his loyal operatives are the, inhuman, human beings to blame. All of these human catastrophe could not be going on without his active insane leadership and enforcement.
    He has perfected the skills for inflicting maximum pain on people out of his favor. That is why I said below animal behavior.
    I don’t think this is politics, religion, government or any of the big words. What it is is “EVIL” running amuck with a state power.
    That point has to be stated clearly by every decent human being, period.
    Mr. K.H

  • said

    Happy birthday Ciham .Hard to believe, What truly invites bewilderment near disbelief to know what young person have to go through and yet some regime supporters with conniving subtlety want blaming the sin of a father and they are at the forefront upholding and defending the inhuman ugly system.
    That sure left with jaws dropping very me baffled and most disdainful of those supporters , what they missed it is a shame and very disgraceful on our heritage, faith and culture and our history ,they forget , she one of their folks,a sister or a dughter and many like her, were so terribly dehumanized and so inhumanely abused by the prevalent IA system.
    This represents a profound is a reversal to the values of justice and freedom that our people and our elder parents ,real men that loves and respect and defend their women and daughters at any cost,true heroic men of the lost era and today we have experienced that IA is zealously proud of denying to the downtrodden of our people the very minimum rights.

    what remains a lingering enigma is for the likes of regime supporters to front as devout piece mouth of a mostly PFDJ Administration of IA.

    One surely would have hoped regime supporters would show greater understanding, uphold justices ,a fair mind and sincere feelings of empathy towards the plights of the helpless oppressed underdogs of Eritreans that for long have been subjugated to injustices and exploitations of the PFDJ Administration of IA.

    While it is the greatest virtue to show tolerance and forgiveness towards one’s once perpetrators of injustice and inhumanity once right restored ; however, one could never find an easy explanation for regime supporters of PFDJ Administration of IA to advocate and uphold the ethos of dark age fascism and Supremacism of IA , the perpetrators of sufferings and injustices on the our people.

    The Morale of the story, is twofold: 1) the regime of Asmara and the evil People administering the prison ,the torture, heinous and repulsive by any count, some how must share the genes and culture of a whole population; and, the second, 2) how the Eritrean could ever trust handing their neck to such regime , i.e. part of our people the Eritreans .

  • Peace!

    Dear all,


    Could you imagine going about your life in a normal way and then, without warning, and to your utter shock, it is suddenly turned upside down and inside out with unjustified consequences that are so horrific you sometimes wonder if you would find time and words to describe it? That is what happened to Ciham. መዋጽእቲ ይፍጠረልኪ


  • G. Gebru

    Happy birthday daughter.
    Those are cursed who do not show respect to the elderly and give love and protection to the young.
    God bless you.
    G. Gebru

  • tes

    To the Eritrean Regime,

    Chiham is in jail without comunicado.

    She was only 15.
    Only 15 years old
    15 years old
    Not old but young
    Young and innocent
    Not only innocent but a morning flower
    The flower that could have made her families delighted with
    The flower that we Eritreans could be ignited with.

    This day
    Yes this day
    The day of her birthday
    Yes she is 20.


    15 and 20
    5 years in between
    We count on these years
    Every April
    Preparing her Birthday Party

    A party!
    Yes the best birthday party
    She could have filled the party
    Filled with joy
    Joy radiating from her beauty
    A beauty of beautiful smile
    A smile of energy
    Energy of everything


    By 18!
    She could have organized the biggest party
    A party of an the golden age!
    Age of independence!



    No, it was gone
    When she was 15.
    5 years later,
    When she is 20,
    She is in jail

    15 years.
    A child
    That she was even supposed to be protected
    Under UN Children’s Rights
    Conventions on Rights of the Child
    At least
    Yes at least

    5 years
    Years of golden time
    Years of transformation
    Years of education
    Years of freedom
    Freedom of living

    Ciham is a victim
    A victim

    Yes a victim

    A victim
    That we can’t imagine
    A victim of living

    Oh Ciham

    How can I imagine
    Your suffering
    Suffering of living


    I see your beautiful smile
    A smile that could shine
    Even through the darkest windows of your cells


    You are 20!

    18 to 20
    Years that you could shine


    You were 15
    Now 20

    5 years
    years of suffering
    Suffering of living

    (Contemplation of a freedom fighter – in front of the doors of Ciham’s cell)

    These words were discharged without my control. But at first I had a simple message to the Eritrean Regime when I visited to the unknown prison center. This is how it reads.

    I call for her immediate release

    I was lucky to read this message.



  • Yohannes Zerai

    Dear All,

    I can only hope and pray that these words of support and love that forumers are expressing with profound sincerity will SOMEHOW reach Ciham. There is, of course, no question that justice will ultimately prevail; and I am confident that Ciham will come out of this ordeal as a champion of justice and freedom and a symbol of strength and perseverance.

  • Hayat Adem

    If we are wishing you HBD again next year while you are in prison, I don’t think we deserve to be counted among a dignified society. Any society who doesn’t do enough to protect and defend its children is a broken one in all essence. I am disgusted to the bone when people try to see a reason for her imprisonment even in the faintest way.

  • sara

    Gual Ali
    I know you shouldn’t be there, and the way i see it , once you are out/free (hopefully soon)
    you should live everyday like its your birthday.

  • Ismail AA

    Dear Ciham,
    Happy birthday. You are victim of a coward, saddistic, and vindictive despot who suffers of insecurity.

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Kokhob Selam,

      Very glad to have you back in the forum. I hope you are doing fine.


      • Abi

        Hi Ismail
        Where did you see Kokobe?

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Mr. Ismail,


        • Abi

          Hi Kokobe
          It Is great to see you back.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam kokhobay,

          Good to hear from you. How are you doing buddy? I hope you are improving your health conditions. I tried to reach you through your FB.


        • tes

          Dear Kokhob Selam,

          I was thinking about you while trying to write some lines about Ciham.

          Good to see you around


        • Dis Donc

          Señor Selam,
          ¡sea bienvenido!

        • Haile S.

          ሰላም ኮኸብ ሰላም፡
          አንቋዕ ብደሓን መጻኻ ድምጽኻ ሰማዕናካ፡
          በዓል ኣማኑኤል በዓል ኢስማዒል ሃሰስበል ድርኩኺትካ፡
          መልሓሱ ጥዑም ኢደሰለሙን ደበኽ በልካ፡
          ናይ ጥዕና አንተነይሩ አቲ ምጥፋአካ፡
          ብሕክምና ኮነ ብጸሎት ምሕረቱ የውርደልካ፡
          ብሕጽኖት አንተነይሩ ከኣ ናይ ልቢ ኣፍቃሪት ትኹነልካ:):)

        • Abi

          ቀን እየራቀ ዓይን ሲናፍቅ
          ሆድ እየፈራ ልብ ሲጨነቅ
          ይድመቅ ሰማዩ በሰላም ኮኮብ
          እልልም ይበል ምድረ አህዛብ
          ጀበናው ይጣድ ስኒውም ይቅረብ
          እጣኑም ይጭስ ውጥረቱም ይርገብ
          ያላንተ አይሆንም የሰላም ኮኮብ!

  • jacob abreham

    Hi all readers,

    HBD Ciham, may God grant you health and more years in life free of prison and oppression!!Happy birth day to all other who are now suffering in Eritrea for no reason. These inhumane and reckless actions of PFDJ are far reaching and has been done to the sons and daughters of Petros Solomon,Beraki Ghebreselassie,Mesfin Hagos………etc to name few. It is such a heartbreaking thing to see such a young and beautiful person being punished for the sin of her delusional and reckless father .There had been many informal complaints and calls from many people towards the government in Eritrea pertinent to the long term untoward actions of Ali Abdu ,some of which were his corrupt actions, promiscuous behavior and his Islamist tendency way back in early 1990s while he was at National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students but to no avail. IRONICALLY, we have been ear deafened for quite a number of years, especially from Jihadists and Islamists, though they are impotent, to commit such a disdained acts of revenge to the sons and daughters of the now PFDJ leaders. Lastly ,May God keep you safe, Ciham.

    • Ismail AA

      Dear jacob abreham,
      While I applaud your compassion and sympathy regarding Ciham, I was at loss in trying to make sense of how her father could have been an Islamist when he was closely associated with a regime that killed, imprisoned and banished Moslems. You recall the 150 teachers? I mean how could he tolerate suppression of his own comrades!?

      • jacob abreham

        Hi Ismail,

        There was a very crucial litmus test incident of his innate behavior after the imprisonment of his very honorable, noble and genuine nationalist octogenarian Aboy Abdu,his biological father, along with other gentlemen in early 2000s. Forget that 150 teachers blah blah ?? Let’s talk about his behavior in those ensuing years after the jailing of his father.And with that psychopathic state of mind tried to be a conductor of the foiled maneuver at Enda Zena in January,2013.


        • Aron

          Hi Jacob,
          It is insinuated here and there Ali Abdu’s connection to the Forto incident. If you don’t mind, would you expand on it. My second question is, was the forto incident led by Islamists. Thank you.

        • Ismail AA

          Dear jacob,
          Should we be selective and ask people to ignore issues and focus on what we think or say. The issue I had responded to was indeed about Ciham not her father. You jump to him and opined that he was Islamist. I was just curious how that could fits in place when his colleagues were killed or banished. Actually, you reiforced my curiosity about your views when you ignored the lives of 150 Eritreans without a day at court of law as mere “blah blah”.

  • Brhan

    When they come to attack you they do it to your beloved ones.
    Ciham is one of the many examples that shows the regime in Eritrea is a mafia regime.
    and Ciham happy birthday

  • KBT

    That is very wrong to keep a child in prison for so long
    I wish she will be soon release. May god be with her

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Ciham,

    It is incomprehensible a young kid of your age to face the cruelty of the evil regime.The regime did not only arrest your physical body but also the future by depriving you from your school age. Wish you all the needed strength.

    Happy 🎉 birthday my dear daughter.


  • Haile S.

    Hi all,
    Let me join you in wishing Ciham a happy birthday.
    Ciham, may the ropes that retain you get pulverized by the sharp blades of your innocence, by your beautiful name = the arrow.
    Your case is the summit of injustice. For your case there is no explanation, there is no adage. Do you know what we say about your shackled colleagues? When we gather for that traditional coffee among ourselves, we the silents, when we talk of the Dawits, the Asters… your grandpa…. we say “if she/he didn’t do something serious, they wouldn’t have done that to her/him”. So goes our adage, the gavel’s reverberation of guilty as charged (uncharged, in reality); a 100% benefit of doubt on the leadership and 100% denial of doubt on the victim.
    Now you are one of the lantern bearers* of that dark prison. Now you are the lantern bearer of innocence. Tomorrow you will be the lantern bearer of freedom.
    *borrowed from Robert Louis Stevenson’s essay: The Lantern Bearers, a marvelous story of innocence, boredom, adventure and amazement of neighborhood youngsters.

  • Robel Cali

    Hi everyone

    I feel bad for the girl. She should be released and given compensation.

    Ali Abdu is a coward of the highest order. Selfish and stupid. If his “leaked” asylum application is authentic, then he could be borderline crazy.

    • iSem

      Hi Robel;
      This is not about her father or his state of mind or his courage or lack of it, it is about a teenage girl imprisoned for trying to cross the border, stuff all teenagers and we are not sure if that wast true, Nitricc sounds confident that it was. Eritreans teens have been crossing the bordered since HS decided to massacre them and IA sone tried that, but he is not in prison.
      Let us just show some unity to wish her well and pray for her speedy release in full physical and mental health
      But I commend you for at least saying this: “I feel bad for the girl. She should be released and given compensation”

      • Robel Cali

        HI sem

        I want her released immediately.

        But again, If the asylum application Ali Abdu is alleged to have wrote is true then he is borderline crazy, an opportunist, delusional, and an Islamist.

        • iSem

          hi Robel:
          I believe you are supporter (correct me please) and it is good you believe she should be released. About Ali before he left every PFDJ supporter believed and said he was smart, and a heroe

          • Robel Cali

            HI Sem

            Whether i’m a supporter or not a supporter that’s not an issue. The issue is Ali Abdu’s actions/choices.

            I suspect the asylum application he is alleged to have written is true and if that is the case, the guy is a nutter and the Forto incident could be connected to him. I think this is not just a defection issue. It’s a regime change/destabilization issue.

          • iSem

            Hi Robel;

            if course if you are a support or not matters. And regime change is not the same or equal to destabilization. And since you are supporter you are making both terms synonymous

            and if you think that Ali Abdu is crazy then, you must be consistent and also believe that his boss must crazier

        • Saleh Johar

          Hi Robel,
          Do you consider Ali Abdu an Islamist because he is a Muslim or because politically, he is an Islamist? While at it, could you explain what does one have to be or do to be considered an Islamist?

          I am asking this because an hour ago, someone commented on a Facebook link to the story that Ciham should be freed but as for me, Saleh, I am an Islamist. Can you help me understand what an Islamist does so that I can understand what Islamist believe and try to live to the brand if I and anyone with a Muslim name is doomed to live with that brand?

          Thank you in advance

          • Robel Cali

            HI Johar

            That wasn’t me. I haven’t used Facebook in months.

            I was one of the people that used to post on other forums calling for Ali Abdu to be the next president of Eritrea because he was young and had a sharp wit about him that I felt was good for politics/diplomacy. But after I read his alleged asylum application, I came to the conclusion the guy wasn’t the guy we thought he was. I also suspect he played a central role in the Forto incident. So no i don’t think he is an Islamist because he is Muslim. I say he is an Islamist because he kept mentioning Islamist narratives on his alleged asylum application.

            Also, I think he was working with the Saudis to overthrew the Eritrean government which doesn’t come without a heavy dose of Salafi ideology. I suspect the Forto incident and Ali’s defection are directly linked. I called him a coward because he wasn’t brave enough to stay put in the country to oversea his Saudi-backed coup attempt against the Eritrean government.

            As for you, I don’t think you’re an Islamist. Your article, “the new wave of Muslim preachers” (one of your best I might add) was informative and important and clearly shows your position based on the preachers you subscribe to. IMO, a Muslim’s biggest enemy is an Islamist. The body count doesn’t lie.

            Who is an Islamist? Anyone that subscribes to the Salafi or Wahhabi ideologies.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Robel,

            Thank you for your comment.

            Let me ask you more question:
            1) You wrote, “But after I read his alleged asylum application, I came to the conclusion the guy wasn’t the guy we thought he was.” Since one an alleged asylum application by Ali made you change yor mind 180 degrees, is it likely an interview or an rticle he writes will again change your mind, 180 degrees to where you where before you changed your mind about him? If Not, why?

            2) You said that Ali is an Islamist, according to your description, an Islamist is “Anyone that subscribes to the Salafi or Wahhabi ideologies.”

            Do you believe Ali subscribews to Salafi or Wahabbi ideologies? What is your evidence?

            3) Your explanation about Islamist is wrong but I will let you find out the correct definition on your own. In the meantime, what is the “Muslim Brotherhood” Salafi or Wahabi? Are all Salafists Wahabis, and are all Wahabis Salafists? What other strain of Islam do you know and which among them have Salafis? What does Orthodox Muslim mean to you?

            Finally, a bonus: never use terms that you are not sure what they mean less you are not taken seriously. Stay away from loaded terms–if you or your close circle of friends or colleagues do not understand something, it doesn’t mean others do not. Do not go for the easiest explanation of complicated issues and do not get your information from people who pretend to know stuff they don’t know.

            I though I owe yo an honest comment and I hope you take it for the spirit in which it was written.

          • Robel Cali

            Hi Saleh

            1. Assuming his asylum application was real, he wrote something in it that made me question his sanity. If the link is up, I can provide the quote/page for you. So no, a simple article wont fix his image.

            2. Salafis, and especially Wahhabis, tend not say their sect. They usually say, “I’m just a Muslim”. It’s not as clear cut as Christian sects. But they are easy to see based on their views and political leaning. Ali is probably a Salafi.

            3. All Wahhabis are Salafis but not all Salafis are Wahhabis. As you know, Wahhabism developed in Saudi Arabia while Salafism developed in the wider Arab world. Wahhabism is even more strict than Salafism. ISIS and Al-Qaeda base their ideology on Wahhabism. So in many ways, Wahhabism is a smaller sub-group of Salafism. An Orthodox Muslim to me is someone that has a close bond with god and one that has respect for faiths and non believers. I think it’s a mistake if we were to say Salafism is nothing more than Orthodox Islam because the Sufis, Shias and other sects would disagree.

            @ Bonus comment: Fair enough.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Robel,

            A couple of points:
            We can’t possibly accuse and even worst sentence someone based on assumption. Does the concept of innocent until proven guilty will ever apply in Eritrea.

            1) You are sentencing Ali Abdu and those accused in Forto incident as Islamists or what have you. So far we have heard the government voice but no body else. Are we going to take the government for its words? You can accuse them for what eve they plotted but to label all of them as “Islamists” working for SA is really wrong. These people served their lifetime and are part and parcel of a regime who made so many Muslims disappear and refugees? Why haven’t you call them Islamists then?

            2) the second points, with your comment with the “supposed asylum paper”? Are you to believe that he wouldn’t know to say “I have political difference with government, because of many things” and that his case would not be accepted like all other Eritreans. What would the reason to say all that stuff that no body can prove ? I suspect it’s false document prepared by the government to discredit him.

            P.S. I was never fan of Ali Abdu or any of those government officials. But justice is justice and they deserve their day in court and defend themselves.


          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Berhe Y,

            This is nothing but “guilty until proven Christian” in a broad day light.

            Even if Ali wrote that document, is there anything in it even remotely that would make him an Islamist? Does stating that Eritrean Jeberties are oppressed constitute being an Islamist? Couldn’t any Christian have made that claim? Why Isn’t it just a personal observation or an opinion? Shouldn’t it be just right or wrong like the rest of supposedly Ali’s document?

            Notice what Robel said in his reply to SGJ; “2. Salafis, and especially Wahhabis, tend not say their sect. They usually say, ‘I’m just a Muslim’.” In Robel’s world, then, anyone who says is a Muslim is automatically a suspect Islamist.

            እዝግሄር ይምሓረና ጥራይ በል፤፤

          • Robel Cali

            Hi Berhe

            1. Leaked Saudi Cables showed they had spies in the Eritrean government. One of them was Abdella Jaber. His grievances sounded exactly the same to Ali Abdu’s. In the Saudi cables, it said Eritrea is important to its interests and that they were working to influence events in Eritrea. The cables were written right before the Forto incident happened. So all this circumstantial evidence leads me to believe Saudi Arabia backed a coup against the Eritrean government using its spies in the military and in the government to carry it out. One of those foot soldiers –perhaps even ringleader- was Ali Abdu.

            Think about it. There have been lots of defections of government officials and the government did not give lengthy prison detentions the way the government has with Ali Abdu’s family. Why is that? It’s because it’s more than a defection – it was a regime change attempt by Saudi Arabia that he was involved in during the Forto incident. For the record, Ali Abdu’s daughter should be freed immediately and given a large compensation. She is an innocent victim.

            2. It was posted on opposition websites and was originally taken from an Australian government website that accidentally leaked it or so the story went. I read it on Jeberti dot com. You can’t blame the government on this one.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Robel,

            First I agree with your position with regards to his daughter. I will also further call the government to release his parent and his brother. They too, unless they are implicated should not pay for the crime of sibling or son.

            I still do not see the justification weather his case was “change of government” or otherwise that his family have nothing to do with and they should NOT be the one to suffer.

            As to the leaked document you mentioned from wikileaks I haven’t read it but I do not dispute what you wrote. If those who attempted the Forto incident used the “Islamist” card to gain support from SA or not, we can’t really say but if they are actually had an agenda to make Eritrean an “Islamist” as in SA, I really doubt that.

            Weather Ali Abdu was involved or not, unless we have evidence to support the case, he is innocent.

            The same goes with the rest, if the government have enough evidence to incriminate them, it should just go ahead and bring them to justice.

            As to his asylum application, and if it’s true:

            1) I am not in his shoes so I wouldn’t be the one to deny what was said or he has experienced.
            2) I really would think he has enough case to make successful case for his asylum appeal and I do not doubt that he wouldn’t know that.
            3) A lot of Eritrean use different reason (example: Religion, Pente, torture, being in prison, etc) to make successful claims, because other cases like i can’t make a living and live my life is not accepted case, even those those who claim to be “pente” are not in reality. Again, this is just speculation and all I am saying is not merit to his actually believe or not.


          • Brhan

            Hello Robel,
            Asylum seekers’ cases are handled by legal authorities( lawyers and the court that sees the cases). A person must have a consent from the legal authorities to disclose a matter about these cases. Failure to do so can make you accountable and present you to a court for a crime.

    • MS

      Selam Robel Cali
      I think you need to separate the wish and feeling you have for Ciham, and your opinion about her father. You may express your feeling about Abdu the way you understand him. He was a public figure. But right now, the victim is Ciham, it’s not Abdu. Ciham’s predicament represents the rotten state of the regime which jailed her away from school and her family at tender age, a regime that is still keeping her away in unmarked prison. She should be mentioned in connection to her 90+ year-old grandpa who is also kept away in prison. Both the imprisonment of the teen and her nonagenarian grandfather, without due process, tell the tale of our sorry state.

    • Brhan

      Hello Robel,
      Asylum seekers’ cases are handled by legal authorities( lawyersand the court that sees the cases). A person must have a consent from the legal authorities to disclose a matter about these cases. Failure to do so can make you accountable and present to a court for a crime.

    • Brhan

      Hello Robel,
      Asylum seekers’ cases are handled by legal authorities( lawyersand the court that sees the cases). A person must have a consent from the legal authorities to disclose a matter about these cases. Failure to do so can make you accountable and present you to a court for a crime.

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello Ciham,

    You have not lived long enough to have done anything to deserve such cruelty, but I hope your family and friends’ prayer will shield you from any farther pain. It feels awkward to say it, but for what it is worth, happy birthday!

  • Thomas

    Happy birthday, Sister. In every way they look at it, you are innocent and there is absolutely no reason to keep you in jail for a day let alone for 5 golden years of youth age. These animals will pay for this!!

  • Nitricc

    Happy B-day Ciham. How exactly is justified holding a child in a prison? It is extremely sad you are in jail while you be in school. The saddest part is why is it a child must pay what whatever grownups do? I know she was caught leaving the country but I thought the punishment was two years. why is she still in jail?

    • saay7


      In 2015, (October 29, 2015, to be exact), in an interview with Suddeutsche Zetung, Germany’s largest daily, Eritrea’s Minister of Information, Yemane Gebremeskel, had this exchange:

      Reporter: I speak of those who secretly leave the border at night.

      Yemane Gebremeskel: Whoever does this is illegal. Those who are caught are punished with two or three months’ imprisonment.

      Reporter: Only two or three months?

      Yemane Gebremeskel: Usually. Maybe even less

      So, the punishment is not two years but two months, according to Yemane Gebremeskel. But then, Yemane is the same guy who talks about the crucial importance of National Service and why it must remain indefinite…. after he smuggled his son to Germany.

      This is what happens in a country of Rule of Men, instead of rule of law. You want another example? I was watching Swaziland TV coverage of Eritrea’s Ambassador to South Africa, Saleh Omer, presenting his credentials of accreditation to the king. In the video, he introduces his wife to the King of Swaziland. In any other country, this is perfectly normal and even boring. But in Eritrea, it tells you about the level of corruption: only ambassadors who are favored by IA and his clique are allowed to live with their wives and children. Those who are out of the IA, Yemane, Kisha, Zemehret, Corrupt General A-Z circle have no such “privileges.” Saleh Omer’s deputy, the Councilor in the Eritrean Embassy in South Africa, is Khaled Abera. Last year, his wife (who lives in Asmara) was sick and had to be hospitalized in Sudan. They couldn’t save her and her dying wish was to see her children whom she left in Asmara. The children were denied exit visas and she died alone.

      This is what your “Lion of Nakfa” and his flunkies have reduced the country to. A country where one man can, out of spite, hold children hostage and there is no power, even moral authority, to check him.


      • Nitricc

        Hey SAAY: I know I have defended this government one way or the other but this is one of the many cases I can not even try to spin it. It breaks my heart, there is no other way to put it. It is troubling enough to hold the old people which are none none danger what so ever, although I can understand grudge could be the factor but how do you explaine holding a child for this long? Like I have said I have stood with this government on some issues I feel there are good reasons but on this one, I register my strongest possible disagreement. I am not exactly the most informed person but I have struggled with two very fendamental inquires; one, what would you do if a mad man with a bid knife in hand kidnaped your beloved child? Would you be nice to him and talking to him to come to his sense or do you threathen him that he should free your child? The child I am referring here is Eritrea. The other one is, why do we see and concern more about Pia than the well being of Eritrea? For instance, why not voice in unanimously our stand for the implementation of the border final and binding? I am just taking out loud what bothers me. At the end, however you slice it, there is no any kind of justification to hold children in Prison what so ever. I don’t know but this days to be an Eritrean is a curse. I don’t how to think anymore. My only take is l hope victims like Ciham, will give us the courage to stand up and creat the nation we all dreamed to creat.
        There are times that it takes this kind of sham and tragedy that helps as to check what we need to do and worth of the fight we need to put up. I just hope this my beautiful sister makes it and she will come out strong and productive part of society, which she will because she is Eritrean. I do believe that.

        • saay7


          Oh man you touched me.

          A month after Ciham Ali was arrested, some minister had moved in to her house…in her bedroom sleep his kids. Not once has he asked, “gee, I wonder where she will go to when she comes out of jail.” In the same way that Ciham’s dad never asked, “gee, I wonder what will happen to the kids of the G-15.” And on it goes, on and on with nobody ever learning the lesson…

          When I was a kid, there was this song, this special song, this jewel of a song. Everybody knows verse 1 of the song (repeated in verse 6), but I wonder if people my generation still remember Verses 2 to 5. I know SGJ, Emma, Tzigereda and Fanti do. I know my cuz Gheteab does. I know Semere T does even if he focuses all his attention on Verse 1 (which I am not sharing for now.) I know Mahmuday does (Don’t tell Nitricc): I want the song to have the same impact it had on all of us. Here goes, pay attention to Verse 5—it is your clue to why PFDJ is PFDJ: it is a godless entity, and when you kill God what is there to fear?

          (2) ግዜና ኸፊኡ
          ልብና ነዲዱ:
          መሬትና ነቒጹ
          እቶቱ ውሒዱ:
          ቶልዑና ጠምዮም
          ጎበዝ ተሰዲዱ::

          (3) ሓሰውትን ሰረቕትን
          በዚሖም ስሱዓት:
          ኣንስቲ ቖልዑ
          ተመጊቦም ንብዓት:
          እግዝዮ’ስከ ንበል
          ከይወርደና መዓት::

          (4) ሓሳብ ይሃሉኻ
          ናይ ሕልና ዓይኒ:
          ንርስቲ ናይ ሃገር
          “እንታይ ገደሰኒ?”
          ባሃላይ ኣይትኹን!
          ናዓይ ይጥዓመኒ::

          (5) ኣብ ፍጻሜ ዓለም
          ኣብ መዓልቲ ፍርዲ:
          ብዙሕ ከይተንቀንጥቅጥ
          ከይሕዘካ ራዕዲ:
          ንሓውኻ ሕግዝ
          ብኹሉ መንገዲ::



          • iSem

            Hi Niricc and Sal:
            Between these two comments: Nitricc’ prose was captivating from the heart, a glimpse of something that can be nurtured, but like Ciham that something is trapped, so Nitricc, let me tell the truth, regardless of our complicated debates, I have to admit that this comment is both literally and linguistically and emotionally captivating and brutally honest ( No am not making fun of Gheteb) so go release that part of you and make some of us bite our words
            Sal, I probably wrote scores of comments about our collective lack of learning from the past and here you captured it in this: “Not once has he asked, “gee, I wonder where she will go to when she comes out of jail.” In the same way that Ciham’s dad never asked, “gee, I wonder what will happen to the kids of the G-15.” In the same way that the G-15 never asked, “Gee, I wonder what will happen to General Bitweded’s kids?” In much the same way Bitweded never asked, gee I wonder what the mother of Menkae victims feels? And on it goes, on and on with nobody ever learning the lesson”
            These are few lines but so rich and deep that it summarize the entire saga that brought us here.
            Good Night, reading any other comment even from the best here, or adding to these two is crime

          • Abi

            Selam Saay
            It is sad this beautiful girl is in jail instead of planning her graduation from college.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Nitrikay,

          You changed my ❤️ heart for you this time. Well said,

          • tes

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat,

            I argue you to read between his lines. Nitricc has injected what he has to inject for making Ciham’s imprisonment reasonable one. And this is his usual stand.


    • tes

      Selam Nitricc,

      You are always cruel, inhumane. No matter how you try to fool yourself, you are always cruel man.

      This is what you wrote:

      I know she was caught leaving the country but I thought the punishment was two years. why is she still in jail?

      Fool yourself and fool to those who read the first line of your inhumane lines.

      Not forgetting Gheteb and you for trying to justify crimes

      Here also you added what is your thoughts

      I thought the punishment was two years

      You forgot she was 15 years old. No child below 18 is supposed to stay in prison by law – at least in the declaration of UN on Protection of the child.

      Some of Articles written in the “Convention on the Rights of the Child”

      Article 1

      For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.

      And your reasoning for imprisonment, caught leaving the country is another venomic input. Not going in detail of the Violation of Freedom of Movement, Ciham’s mother and father were living in different world. And her sisters/brothers were also not with her. She could have joined them without any precondition.

      Here is what Article 9 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child says:

      1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child’s place of residence.

      2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.

      3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child’s best interests.

      4. Where such separation results from any action initiated by a State Party, such as the detention, imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including death arising from any cause while the person is in the custody of the State) of one or both parents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request, provide the parents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family with the essential information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member(s) of the family unless the provision of the information would be detrimental to the well-being of the child. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall of itself entail no adverse consequences for the person(s) concerned.


      You reasoned out for the victims of Lampedusa – you mocked at them by saying, “why they left the country first”
      You reasoned out for the victims of Direct shooting in the heart of Asmara by saying, “why they started to jump”.

      And now, you have reasoned out for Ciham’s suffering by saying “she was caught while fleeing”. You thought two years was OK and now you found out 5 years too much.

      You are cruel, inhumane.


  • MS

    Hello Cyham
    Happy Birthday! May your radiant smile usher us with resolve and strength in order to make an end to the jailor system which had ripped you of your youth and your future.

  • iSem

    Hi All:

    It is so hard not to politicize the plight of 3 generation of Eritreans. But I will try.

    Let us all pray for these 3 generation who are over 4 years in Isaias Afwerki’s prison and all prisoners in our churches Let is conduct “daewas” in our mosques.

    Let us challenge the supports of the regime who condescendingly call us comrades and cousin that they are doomed, that some of the imprisoned may perish like some before them, but that they names would be for ever etched in our memories and on the walls that incarcerates them, that the name of the supporters and enablers will never be remembered and if they are remembered they will be with disgust as thanks to the internet of things their words, their cruel words, their lying words, like the names of those who may perish in IA’s prisons will be etched in the servers and soon in the toasters and Ipads and iPhones, unlike the clip of Haile D, unlike what PFDJ did with the unimpeachable services of the gallants Eritreans, the cruel words will not be erased, their shame will be eternal, their names transient

  • iSem

    Hi All:

    It is so hard not to politicize the plight of 3 generation of Eritreans. But I will try.

    Let us all pray for these 3 generation who are over 4 years in Isaias Afwerki’s prison and all prisoners in our churches Let is conduct “daewas” in our mosques.

    Let us challenge the supports of the regime who condescendingly call us comrades and cousin that they are doomed, that some of the imprisoned may perish like some before them, but that they names would be for ever etched in our memories and on the walls that incarcerates them, that the name of the supporters and enablers will never be remembered and if they are remembered they will be with disgust as thanks to the internet of things their words, their cruel words, their lying words, like the names of those who may perish in IA’s prisons will be etched in the servers and soon in the toasters and Ipads and iPhones, unlike the clip of Haile D, unlike what PFDJ did with the unimpeachable services of the gallants Eritreans, the cruel words will not be erased, their shame will be eternal, their names transient