Sir: In May 2001, I was invited by the Eritrean government to celebrate 10
years of Eritrean liberation in the capital, Asmara. Along with many other
long-term supporters of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front, we witnessed
the early stages of another African liberation struggle starting to turn on its
A few months after we left (and seven days after 11 September, 2001), the
president arrested a number of members of the government who had called for the
constitution of Eritrea to be enacted. He arrested a number of former EPLF
leaders on the grounds that they had questioned the president's role in the
senseless war with Ethiopia and his refusal to enact the democratically agreed
Many of us who supported the Eritrean people in their long struggle for
independence now watch in horror as President Afeworki and his acolytes have
closed down the free press and imprisoned students, journalists, senior
government ministers and anybody else who challenges their dictatorial rule.
Your article "To some Eritreans, freedom means prison and torture"
(24 May) is one of the first to cover the appalling human rights situation in
this country that showed so such promise. Please continue your excellent
coverage of the dire situation in Eritrea so that we do not forget the real
heroes of the revolution who are now held incommunicado and subject to the
disgusting torture that you describe so vividly.
St Albans, Hertfordshire