10 Most Censored Countries - Eritrea
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||2 May 2012|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, 10 Most Censored Countries - Eritrea, 2 May 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/502cb018c.html [accessed 19 May 2013]|
Leadership: President Isaias Afewerki, in power since 1993
How Censorship Works: Only state news media are allowed to operate in Eritrea, and they do so under the complete direction of Information Minister Ali Abdu. Journalists are conscripted into their work and enjoy no editorial freedom; they are handed instructions on how to cover events. Journalists suspected of sending information outside the country are thrown into prison without charge or trial and held for extended periods of time without access to family or a lawyer. The government expelled the last accredited foreign correspondent in 2007. All Internet service providers are required to connect to the World Wide Web through government-operated EriTel. While Eritrea's journalists in exile run many websites, Internet access is affordable for only a handful of citizens, and mobile Internet isn't available.
Lowlight: In 2011, Eritrea planned to introduce mobile Internet capability, which is popular throughout the developing world, where cellular towers are often built before Internet or land lines. But the government, fearful of the effect of the Arab Spring uprisings, abandoned the plan.