Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Prelude To ‘The People of Eritrea Vs. Isaias Afwerki’

The Leviathan won’t tame the angry sea…”

Until June 15, 2015. More pointedly until February 28, 2015.

Perhaps one of the ongoing, defining features of our struggle against the tyranny of the Isaias regime is the COIE.

The Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea was established by Human Rights Council resolution 26/24 to investigate a variety of alleged violations, including extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and incommunicado detention, torture, restrictions to civil liberties, human trafficking, discrimination against women and sexual and gender-based violence, violations of child rights, lack of rule of law, and precarious living conditions.”1.

Three commissioners, including our ‘avenging angel’ of sorts Sheila B. Keetharuth, have already started tours to collect testimonials of human rights violations committed by Eritrean regime since 1993. They have already toured Italy, Switzerland and as we speak they have just concluded their visit to the United Kingdom. They will be visiting few more countries. There are more countries that will not be accessed by their visits. So? So?

For years, (cancel that), for decades, we, Eritreans wanted to tell the wrongs committed upon our own (brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, friends, neighbors, classmates, colleagues, co-workers, fellow mosque-goers, fellow-church goers, fellow-dominion goers). The list is endless. How many Eritreans we know have been victimized by Eritrean authorities? How many people have disappeared? How many have died? The pain we witnessed never dulled; it may have been pushed back to the shelves of memory on the biddings of ‘life goes on’/ We forget because we must and not because we will; yet it is still there; ready to be summoned on moment’s notice. The time to summon is NOW. The time to tell what happened to us is NOW.

One of (probably) the worst things about witnessing an injustice in Eritrea is the utter helplessness that we feel that lingers to mock our aggrieved soul. Men and women of good will couldn’t withstand the enormity of evil stalking the ‘Akeldama’. We know our fellow citizens were not criminals; but victims of the wrath of tyranny. We know they don’t deserve an iota of the harsh punishment meted out on them in the killing fields; but overwhelmed, we chose to be silent ostensibly to stave off madness. The evil of Erena is too vicious. ‘entay keytigebra!beykeytibexeha!’ conceivably stands as the password to the soul of the enemy of everything Eritrean, Isaias Afwerki. In the land of digi-higi, in the land of ‘zereba-klet keysemaeeka aytifred’ in the land of ‘bfthi ztekorstet id darga zela’, the people with a millennia history of dispensation of criminal justice with fairness suddenly met with unfamiliar and merciless foe. His name is Isaias Afwerki who created a formidable terror machine unseen in our entire history. In his eyes every walking Eritrean is a condemned; waiting for his/her turn to be thrown into one of the countless jails and detention centers. Many perished and many are perishing. ‘Bzey Nihysa!

Go Tell it on the Mountain

The lucky in us have made it to safer grounds, the Diaspora. And thanks to every single individual and groups who have made the establishment of COIE possible (indeed, we should thank them all), we have at our disposal an institution set up by the international community to listen to the untold atrocities that befall on us and on our fellow citizens. We have little time left.

Call it ‘pourcmamente!’ or mini-mini trial, the COIE is our moment, the people’s moment to shine, to make our agonies heard. We may not bring Isaias to the chambers of justice where he duly should stand (AS THE ACCUSED); but we can make sure we didn’t miss out on this noble and moral duty to tell the world when it opens its ears to hear us. We may not bring back the murdered; we may not release the incarcerated but we do proclaim their innocence. COIE may not quench our thirst for justice; but it will surely be a whiff of it, ‘Chena Ftihi.’ We may not hail it as swift and proportional justice to the crimes and wrongs; but we can seize the moment and take it as the prelude to our inner-most desire: the People of Eritrea Vs. Ato Isaias Afwerki Abraha…Hence to the do-list.

Five Things to know about COIE.

1.Time. Time is the essence, not just of the essence. Too short. We, Eritreans, ‘deleyti fithi’ are bad at managing our time. COIE is time sensitive. It is like, “I am here now, waiting for you. If you are five m. late, I am gone forever.” m. stands for months. Actually, in many ways, it is actually until February 28, 2015.

  1. Submissions can be done by third party, organizations. This is the part that actually spurred to me to write this short note. In the light of the fact that COIE commissioners won’t be able to collect testimonials via physical tours, the only way the rest of us can bring our testimonials to the attention of the COI is through submissions.

Submissions should be sent in written form and must include the contact details of the author(s). Submitting entities/individuals should specify if the submissions – or parts of them – should be treated confidentially. In this case, upon receipt of the submission, the COI on Eritrea will take all necessary measures to ensure the confidentiality of the identity of the authors and/or any other persons named in the submissions. …Submissions should be in English and they must not exceed 10 pages. Submissions in Tigrinya and Arabic may also be accepted provided that they do not exceed 5 pages.” (2)

  1. Do we know how huge this is? Currently, Syria, North Korea and Gaza have been subjected to it. And Isaias Afewerki’s Eritrea. The world is saying this guy’s sketchy portrait looks, like the Kim Ils or the Assads. And we should help ‘em by putting the finishing touches to the drawing of the Monster in unmistakable image (and don’t forget his horns.)
  2. Numbers Matter. Enormously. The only thing that matter is the numbers. Yes, the world many know what happened to G-15, journalists. What about the thousands of Eritreans languishing and dying? Who will account for them? We the living. The crux of the matter is to reach the conclusion that a situation of crimes against humanity has occurred in Eritrea. For that to happen, we need to prove “systemic and widespread abuses… ” were committed by Eritrean authorities in different sections our society. Hence, numbers.
  3. How to help? Set up a committee in your organizations, in cities and communities. You can liaison with Hafti Elsa Chyrum’s HRCE or you can set up your own. All we need is for activists and groups to make sure submissions of victims and witnesses are sent to COIE before February 28, 2015.

We at ESMNS (Eritrean Solidarity Movement for National Salvation, a.k.a. Simret), EYSC-NA (Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change- North America) and ELS (Eritrean Law Society) have set up a joint task force. We have collected testimonials and we have sent the first round of submissions. If you want to collaborate with us, you can contact us at the following address:(3)

http://www.nselam.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/ESMNSandEYSC-NAjointCOIproject1.pdf

http://www.nselam.com/2014/12/04/esmns-and-eysc-na-joint-task-force-for-coi-eritrea/

We would like to make a very urgent and special call to Muslim Groups, Pentecostal Churches, Jehovah Witnesses, Afar and Kunama Groups to be part of this historic occasion. We call upon our political organizations, the Bayto/Mejlis leaders, the civic groups, activists and media foundations to contribute to the success of the COIE mandate.

As one said in one paltalk session, “if we can’t strike back when hit, we can at least point to him when asked who hit you.” The time to speak is NOW.

‘The Leviathan won’t tame the angry sea…’

Footnotes.

1.http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15315&LangID=E#sthash.cj5y5gqf.dpuf

2.http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/CoIEritrea/Pages/CallSubmissions.aspx

3.The Joint Task Force (JTF) is composed of representatives from the following organisations: Eritrean Solidarity Movement for National Salvation (ESMNS), Eritrean Youth Solidarity-North America (EYSC-NA) and Eritrean Law Society (ELS).

The contact details of the JTF are: phone +17035850237; +12042933838; email simretcoi@gmail.com.

Members of the Task Force and their respective organisations are listed below:

Name Organization Address Phone
Sebhat G. Selassie ESMNS USA +17035850237
Bereket Yohannes EYSC-NA Canada +12049308675
Getu Tsegai ESMNS Canada +14168397202
Asmeron Michael ESMNS Sweden +46707304321
Dawit Tesfalul ESMNS Israel +972548659595
Yohannes Oqbu ESMNS Holland +31643197595
Tsegazghi Tesfalidet ESMNS UK +447538281132
Fitsum Teklemichael ESMNS Australia +61490196126
Hagos Rezene ESMNS Switzerland +41762847204
Isayas Sium EYSC-NA USA +4084641876
Ghezae Hagos EYSC-NA & ELS Canada +2042933838
Dr. Daniel R. Mekonnen ELS Switzerland +41791398187

 

 

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  • Tesfabirhan WR

    hi Selam;

    You don’t know what I wrote. You are asking me which mesum do (did) I visit? Are you talking for the Mao era? I told you, China during Mao days and now is quite different regarding international norms. Yes in order to keep her internal intergrity, there are noticieable violations. But International norms is quite different from political norms.

    China has two faces at the eyes of international community.

    1. As a one party controlled state, the international community conspired its well’being and is always a source of doubt. But lets remembre that there are very minor political plus parts of Big China but which are having a kind of government ruling all activities exist, like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao.

    2. China is a country that has managed a sustainable basic human rights records. Living inside China can help you to understand how the growth is coming. The communist ideology has left the people to focus on materialistic issue but today chinese people are excersing basic rights such as religion though highly scrutinized.

    To summarize, China is always ready to communicate with international community and uses its status to influence and this is commendable. It is helping the world to see different ideas coming.

    Eritrea is totally different. It kills its people and tries sane infront of the international community. China was the same before but today, it looks arrogant to international community but for its people, it is leeting them free access to the world.

    Therefore, don’t take it literrally for what I said. I have a reason to say. Yes China first has adopted the international norms and now is using its power to reform the norms and is helping the world to grow.

    tes

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    International norms does not throw but they question. If there is a dictator, they ask a dictator and if there is killing they ask why there is killing. If the dictator continues to dictate, they have a means to isolate him, just like that of PFDJ and North Korea and today we have Putin.

    You talked about China as if a country that does not obey international norms. I was in China and I could tell you that it is among the leading countries to follow international norms though its political homogenity as well as oppression to some minorities is still questioned.

    But don’t compare China during Mao and Eritrea under Issaias Afewerki. Don’t do that please. I am worning you because you will get 100% correspondence.

    As for politics, yes I am very new, not more than 10 years of course.

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    If I say yes I believe on my people for a closed mind it sounds as a lie. Inspite of that even I believe you selam as an individual who is looking for justice. Does this make me unbeliever? The only that I don’t believe is on the PFDJ cult system.

  • Tesfabirhan WR
  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Selam do kinibleki hakey,

    You said, “Have you ever seen any change that came from COI please mention one
    country that introduced change though UN mandate except the fact that
    they used to wage war and ethnic war in between.” Well, I will not be surprised if you try such flaws. Though your statement could sound valid, there is one truth that no one can deny about. Countries that do not comply with the International norms, not necessarily follow but just comply, are left isolated diplomatically and economically shrink to starvation. I may agree with you that UN’s sanction might have have changed the dictatorial regime in Asmara but has left him in the state of shucks.

    One thing that you might be failing to understad is that refusing international norms is refusing peace. How can you then are you trying to bring peace when you are nullifying the world community? Confused selam, friend of Hope and Nitricc.

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    A Catholic priest from Eritrea is among those who are nominated for a Peace Nobel Price 2015

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/02/us-nobel-peace-idUSKBN0L61QF20150202

    Abba Mussie Zerai is known for his humanitarian activity, especially for Eritrean refugees whom they face dangre when trying to cross the mediterranean sea. So far, he has saved thousands of refugees who were left stranded in the mediterranian sea.

    His helping hand stretches from Ethiopian refugee camps to Sudan, all along the Sahara Dessert, Sinai and in the of-shores of Libya. Whenever a refugee fall at risk for whatever reason it is, if he is reached, he spend no single minute to make an appeal.

    Those who are left stranded in the sea when ever they reach him by telephone, he traces them through the signals he receives and call international community to send a rescue mission. 24/24h and 7/7d, he is always ready to cooperate by all means. So far, he has saved thousands of refugees and helped them to land in a safe place where they can start a new life.

    This nomination is not a surprise but worth to be awarded for his good work. For his extra-ordinary humanitarian work, he is a man who deserves such earthly precious price. More, as a servant of God, his good deeds are always full of love.

    http://qwsqwam.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=84:abba-mussie-zerai-nominated-for-unhcr-prize&catid=38:articles

    • Semere Andom

      Tes:
      Amazing!. Now Sophia will accuse the Noble committee for human traffickng because she accused Father Mussie, Elsa and Meron of the same. Nitricc conquered by calling Elsa a paid agent, but the tides are in the direction where IA’s monument will not be built ever in Eritrea while the names in this list have a chance to replace that Russian dude, what was his name?

      • Nitricc

        Man!!!!! hahahaha’ how do you get to be that dumb? how on earth can you compare Stalin with PIA? dude, get this to your gray matters if you have any. the Eritrean youth were leaving their country for a better life. they did so because toothless people like you told them you live in heaven. so, they tried to get their share of heaven but some of them drowned in high sea. and Yes, Elsa is who getting rich at the expense of the Eritrean youth. anymore? she actively recruiting young people from Eritrea to flee. she knows with out them there is no business. you create crises; volunteer to manenge and help and get paid; simple plan. why do you and your dedebit friend try it out? it is a good business; oppps two intellectually challenged can not do that. sorry my bad.

      • Tesfabirhan WR

        Hahaha,

        I think Sophia’s hegemony is over. But there is a speculation that Hadinet Keleta, another small but big puppet from US is heading the task after the E-Smart PFDJ pantheon camp became a victim of DIA’s constitutional death declaration.

        The other confused web of TN are heading some skirmish trials but they will only be exposed for their anti-peace and terroristic campaigns.

        tes

      • Hope

        Sem et al :
        Here is the Hypocrisy:
        -Every body knows, let alone the UN and its paid Agents about the devastating role of the Ethiopian Junta and the made up stories leading to Sanctions,which aggravated the situation in Eritrea,including the Human Rights….but NOTHING is being said or done thus far.
        -We all know the unique relationship between Elsa and the Master-mind of the Libyan based Human Trafficking,who is arrested in Europe and who is responsible for the death of hundreds of Eritreans and others ..and fortunately,a separate investigation is going on this issue as well.
        -There has been also a unique relationship between Meron and the Sinai Beduin Gang and Ms Meron has been safely travelling back and forth to meet on person the Gang.
        -Ms Meron was caught on her pants down by an Eri Activist in Germany
        ,a certain Dr—XY
        -All the above Activists have remained silent about the the deadly incidents in Tigray Refugee Camps
        -All the above have remained silent about the 2011/2012? deadly incident at the Heart of the Mediteranean Sea,where a presumed NATO Missile hit into ashes the boat carrying about 400 Eritreans and others
        -All the above Activists and their likes have remained silent about the negligence of the Italian Coast Guard when 500 plus Eritreans and others were drowned to death while the Italian Coast Guard was/were watching them…to die –a free Movie over the Sea!!!
        Yes,Selam is RIGHT,we have to have our own way of bringing Justice in our own Country.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Merhaba Ghezae,

    Good to see you back brother. We will heed your call. Like what you have said we have to bring Issayas “to the chamber of justice” through the institution established by the International community – the commission of inquiry for Eritrea. Those who are working on the human right Issues, are doing a phenomenon job – the only tangible work on the ground. We will join hand with you guys for this noble mission.

    Regards,
    Amanuel Hidrat

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