Human Rights Watch 2013 Report: Eritrea
Eritrea is one of the world’s most repressive and closed countries. The government of President Isaias Afewerki has effectively banned the independent press. Journalists languish in detention, as do officials who question Isaias’s leadership; many have died in jail. No civil society organizations are allowed to exist. Arbitrary arrest of citizens is rampant, and torture in detention is common. Leading religious institutions – Orthodox Christian and Muslim – are run by government-appointees; adherents of other religions are jailed until they renounce their faiths. Nearly all men and many women over 18 are conscripted into indefinite “national service,” which exploits them as forced labor at survival wages.