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Eritrea: BBC Asked 37 People, 37 Refused to Answer

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  • sidiabdu

    During the BBC visit in Eritrea,I noticed on the background of Yemane’s office,there was a book called “Why nations fail”. I am not sure if this was intentional. If Mr Yemane has read the book, he is following the script well and is helping to lead the country to disaster. I have a different take on this. Mr. Y does n’t have to read that book,he already is sitting in one which he helped in making.

  • dawit

    Eritrea is sealed from foreign intruders posing as journalists. BBC tried 37times and failed 37 times. The official score Eritrea 100% and BBC 0%! What a Game!

  • sara

    breaking news– stand for your values, saudi style!
    recently the swedish foreign minister was barred from speaking at the recently held arab league gathering due to saudi government’s objection. simply because the swedish foreign minister has irresponsibly been interfering in saudi internal matters by attacking the saudi legal system. it didn’t last long the swedish business community and many european legislators are running newspaper ads apologizing and asking the saudi government not to expand the conflict as into an arab/muslim -european countries. you see this countries are hypocrites,scared not to lose economic interests in view of what they always profess around with their human rights, democracy excuses interfering everywhere where they see no one stands against them, now the saudis have exposed their antics. viva saudi arabia!

  • tes

    “You know we’ve told them they should n’t film here” -BBC reporting from Asmara

    BBC under strict scrunity but thanks to Yalda Haki, she didn’t fail at least to bring what is on surface and a careful tracing of the use of containers as prison houses. It is good work and hopefully whe will get into some hidden prison centers. They (PFDJ officers) may try to take them to police stations where civilian guilts are prisoned but she must be aware what is there behind the walls.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s752Z2wndEQ

    Wish them a succesful mission

    tes

  • ahdego

    even our people back home know exactly the bbc is rubbish media out let that is why 37 out of 37 people said no to bbc.we are more smarter and intelligent than those hypocrites…maniacs.

  • Abraham Hanibal

    There is no more evidence of absence of freedom of expression in Eritrea than hearing people not willing to talk about their own city, let alone about politics for fear of reprisals. What is an independece under the PFDJ worth unless the Eritrean people cannot speak their mind and own their own lives? And for how long is this to continue, for ten, twenty years, or until the current breed of dictators led by Isayas die out?

  • Eyob Medhane

    Sal,

    BBC has just released the full program,

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02l9s3d

    I just finished listing to BBC report on Eritrea. It’s about 30minutes…. It was a very calculated and very smart move on PFDJ.. They got what they wanted. A positive story about their health provision. They definitely know that all stories will not be positive. But they managed to portray the country as a normal country that is managing to do for everyday people, which many other African countries failed to do. With this story, they will manage to have even some sympathysers, who believe human rights and press freedom are overrated for countries like Eritrea that has a lot of human development issues…I am sorry to say that Sal, with this BBC story, as much as I hate to say it, Isayas 1 oppositions 0…ok I will be generous oppositions 1/2 🙂 Ok now I am ducking…to save myself from the barrage… 🙂

    • sara

      Dear Mr job , i was thinking you are a sensible person, why are you so angry that eritreans are doing ok on health
      care etc. i am an eritrean and it pains me to hear the prevalence of HIV in ethiopia simply because it hurts the people all ethiopians per se , i never associate health with whatever government you have down there. i don’t know why you try to do politicking. it is not human!!

      • Eyob Medhane

        Sara,

        I am not angry at all. By the way HIV prevalence in Africa generally has been reduced. Not only in Eritrea, but in most African countries (barring few Southern African countries) it has become a history of the past decade. I am just suggesting that the BBC story may have a lesser focus on fleeing youth and national slavery. That’s all….

        • sara

          Mr. job, there was no slavery in eritrea there is none now there will not be in future for sure.i am not trying to say we do not have problems but not slavery. what i know is, slavery is unfortunately still rampant in ethiopia, and i wish we (you and me ) could help those still suffering from this evil situation.

    • Abinet

      Eyobe, ante qeshim
      Isayas 3 , opposition 0
      He scored all .( hat trick)
      He played good both in defense and attack.

      • Eyob Medhane

        Abye,

        I was just trying to be nice… 🙂

        Who ever that he appointed as his new media honcho had a good idea about this inviting BBC thing. Until one day, Isayas ignores his advise and decided to conduct an interview drunk with another BBC journalist, as he did few years ago on Al Jazeera… 🙂

        • Kokhob Selam

          Eyobay be kind, don’t remind me that Al Jezeera thing. his zar44 was right in his face. I don’t like to see that again. after all he is Eritrean president.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Kokhob,

            First of all, I am still in denial that you are Eritrean 🙂 You know why? Just few days ago your cousin has given one of the most wonderful interviews for some Swedish sports newspaper about his experience in Ethiopian national team…(I was scouring the link to get it for you. I couldn’t find it) He is AMAZING! We are very very very much proud of him. You should see his fan page how much love he is getting from his fellow Ethiopians…So, while you are his cousin, your Eritreaness is in doubt at least in my mind… 🙂 Second of all, even if I accept that you are Eritrean (which I don’t want to) I know you were secretly entertained by that drunk Isayas interview, in stead of being ashamed with it..come on brother admit it.. You want a repeat of that….. Great to hear from you… 🙂

          • Kokhob Selam

            Eyobay,

            regarding my cousin I have seen it. in fact I am proud of him. for your surprise I have an Ethiopian brother and sister right now in Ethiopia. the same I have brothers and sisters in Eritrea. so, I have equal feeling of those two nations. above that I have been a member of on Ethiopian party against Derg before I join ELF . I always dream and work to see he two brotherly people to enjoy their similarities.

            regarding the interview of IA, its seems you didn’t understand what I was trying to say. only Abnet will get me. so let him explain to you.

          • Eyob Medhane

            Kokhob,

            I am just happy to hear from you, so I had to poke you somehow to get you speak to me.. 🙂 That’s why I brought up your cousin. I am glad you saw that interview, though. That young man is one smart brother….

            Have a blessed day…

          • Eyob Medhane

            Kokhob,

            I am just happy to hear from you, so I had to poke you somehow to get you speak to me.. 🙂 That’s how I brought up your cousin. I am glad you saw that interview, though. That young man is one smart brother….

            Have a blessed day…

          • Hope

            Hmmmmm,Kokhobay,
            You are not Eritrean?

            I careless but keep the peaceful and balanced approach and minimize the hatred towards the EPLF in order to have a better credibility!

          • Kokhob Selam

            I am human first. then only I am Habesha (don’t tell to Say7) then if Eritrea will accept my long sacrifice and by that if it is free of PFDJ I am Eritrean. but even if it costs me not be Eritrean in present of PFDJ I will drop it as there is nothing to be proud of. not to drop it , support me in removing PFDJ if you care. Lol.

            EPLF ? that is the daughter of ELF. you can’t threw your daughter even if it goes against you. so I will not hate it.

          • saay7

            Cousin Hope:

            Do you want me to answer Kokob or do you want me to volunteer. There is gaping hole in his logic that you can drive a Mack truck, an N3 and Greyhound bus through.

            SAAY

          • Kokhob Selam

            Lol, it is not you, Hope (your cousin) is putting me in front of the lion. the lion who want to remove the old lion of Naqfa but not PFDJ. YeleKulan. “neyre diye baso”

            Saay Kokobey Kokobka zeyteqatemu, kokob menen menen de’a kgatemu tstebe? don’t doubt about it, we are for one aim.

            ንዓናይ እንዶ ግዳ እንዳ ሰራዊት ሕድሪ ብውሑዱ ተዛዊርናዮም ንምጻእ :

      • selam

        Dear Abinet
        You see he out smarted the western media but we can not and will not be fooled by his evil crimes over our people. The opposition should double up their ground work at least to have a unified voice in the west. And distance any thing to do with weyane. I am sure you will not accept my intention to weyane but that is the fact.
        In Eritrea the first Enemy is 1. WEyane and that image should be tackled head on. If we can take any help from weyane. Unless IA will use that for his longevity

    • saay7

      Selamat Eyobai:

      Welcome back. I think I got a different conclusion from you. The BBC was invited for one and one purpose only: to highlight the government’s message that the country is making progress in Millennium Development Goals (MDG), particularly in goals 4,5,6 all dealing with healthcare. (It is as if goals 1,2,3, 7,8 don’t exist.) The BBC told us it confirmed the claims by visiting hospitals/clinics, talking to healthcare professionals, patients and UNDP experts.

      But it also told us that the visit was choreographed in detail; that it had MoH minders; that when it attempted to conducted man-on-the-street interviews, it couldn’t because of the fear the people live in; it talked about the mass exodus; the indefinite, sorry I mean, the extended National Service. I think, given its constraints, the BBC did a good job of reflecting Eritrea’s reality.

      In January 2014, Yemane Gebremeskel tweeted that January, traditionally wedding month in Eritrea, is his favorite month because everywhere you go in Asmara you see happy couple getting married. As the incoming Minister of Information, YG must have thought that would also impress a grizzly reporter for the BBC. She noted it in passing…but at the same time showed that it is a facade because there is just one glaring statistic that can’t be buried by mountains of MDG reports: Eritrea ranks second after Syria as a producer of refugees. And Syria is 10 times our size and in the middle of one of the world’s nastiest civil wars.

      By the way, how did you even give us 1/2…. just for showing up? Ayzoh…those of us who lived in the reality-based world won’t stone you:)

      saay

      • Eyob Medhane

        Sal,

        Look…listen to the first four minutes of the program and the wording of the narrator. That first four minutes have glossed over the second part of the story. The choreographed visit, the ‘extended national slavery’, the fake happy weddings….Instead, that ‘we are misunderstood’ narration will win out of this program. What you need to understand is many people in the west are getting tired of western governments and western media meddling in African affairs. When they hear the first four minutes of health care success of a sanctioned african country they will make up their mind quickly about a misunderstood country, and will become disinterested with the rest of the story. And I believe that was the calculation of PFDJ…and it seems to certain extent, it worked…

        • saay7

          Selamat Eyobai:

          Let’s put this in context: there hasn’t been BBC presence in Eritrea since, when, since Alex Last? So I am sure there was a little tango between the three-letter media and the four-letter ruling party in the mutual back-scratching exercise: BBC gets access and exclusivity; and PFDJ gets somebody other than Iran’s PRESS TV and Eri-TV to interview its officials.

          Once that’s done, I am sure there is negotiation between the BBC editor and the reporter on what the headline should be, right? The BBC will want continuous access; and the reporter will want to protect her journalistic integrity; and the Big Boss will want audience. So I think they hit a good balance. “An African Country Is A Mess” is a dog-bites-man story. “Here’s-A-Successful-African-Country” is man-bites-dog story. That’s what they lead with to get the audience and then bam!

          You are attributing too much media sophistication to Yemane Gebremeskel (you always have a weakness for people with YG initials:) Its hard to develop sophistication if you run Sparta and view everybody and everything with suspicion. I don’t know if Yemane Gebremeskel is pleased with the interview because he has unceremoniously dumped me from Twitter and I can’t see what he writes:) Maybe you can report back after you read what he writes @hawelti.

          saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            Whether Yemane was sophisticated or not, I think he did struck a luck on this one. I don’t mean to be dense here, but here is what one takes out of this broadcast.

            1) A poor African country has done really great in its health sector, despite being sanctioned by The western powers and mean big neighbor… (As Yemane alluded to)

            2)There is no private media in the country, but websites are not blocked and TV broadcasts international channels, so at least some alternative voice is being heard. (The western audience is very little interested to know how many people own TV sets and have access to internet.

            3) The country has a problem of youth migrating out of it, yet the authorities do understand that and have concerns. (Dr. Berhane played that part very well)

            So even if there was negotiation between BBC and PFDJ, for BBC’s future access, it seems BBC has lost this round. This is the snippet of the video version of the report.. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31840096

            Oh I checked Mister @hawlti twitter for you and he was just very moved by the pouring of well wishes for his new appointment. That was all…he was missing your well wish, though… 🙂

          • saay7

            Eyobai:

            1 and 2 are factually accurate. So there is no spin involved. And those who called Eritrea “North Korea of Africa” are the marketing-packaging NGOs (you know in Hollywood whenever they make a pitch for a new project they say something like it’s “Braveheart meets Lord of The Rings”) so some NGO said it and some of our NGO dependent Eritrean opposition mindlessly repeated it. (See we don’t have Ethio dependent oppo but also NGO dependent oppo and they are both a curse on Eritrea.)

            On #3 , it hasn’t dawned on Hgdef hoe dire the situation is. “Dr Berhane” (tsk tsk Eyobai using the ferenj method of calling people by their last names) is the voice of the average Eritrean not Hgdef who are still in lala land on how dire the situation is.

            The real story is not that Yemane gebremeskel went to MoI. It’s who is going to replace him as chief of staff of the presidential office. Because that’s part of the inner circle. As neo-Dedebit, do u have any insider info on that Eyobai?

            Saay

          • Eyob Medhane

            Sal,

            ‘Neo Dedebit’? Aba’n Ko bede!!! (It’s Oromiffa, it literally translate, as “..My father is lost..”…But, it is usually to mean … “Yichin Yiwedal!” or “You dared to defame me so much that you made me lose the honor that has been bestowed on me by my father”… You get the jest. It’s a figure of speech, which I have translated badly….Anyway, what I am trying to say is how dare you? How do you say that in Tigrigna… 🙂

          • Hope

            Good observation and well balanced opinion wedi Medhanie!
            There is nothing perfect as U tried to elude but,at the end of the day,it is the Eritrean Public, not the. BBC or the fake PFDJ calculation that will make the final call!
            I spoke to most of Health Providers and Close Colleagues at the MoH and the Hospitals and I got a better idea than that of the BBC!
            It is very sad story that more than 80per cent of the Senior Health Providers,who graduated from The AAU,GCMS and Gimma have left Eritrea,not to mention the sad end story of Prof Haile Mezghebe,the Founder of the Post Graduate School of Medicine/ Surgery/Ob-Gyn and Pediatrics!
            But the BBC did, in fact , a good job for partially giving credit to the GoE and exposing the Atrocities as well!
            You made a good judgement,which I give you credit for admiring that the GoE has done relatively a better job despite all the sanctions and despite the real and perceived threats and Sal should have known better!