Deaths recorded in slow winter months and International Organization for Migration fears toll will rise in warmer weather.
By Tom Miles
GENEVA, Feb 10 (Reuters) - More than 400 migrant deaths have been recorded so far in 2017, including on the Mediterranean crossings to Europe from North Africa and the route into the United States from Mexico, the International Organization for Migration said on Friday.
“When prison became a synonym for Eritrea…you can only flee.”
In Eritrea, even being part of the East African nation’s tame state media is no protection. That was the conclusion Abraham Zere reached after years of working as a columnist for the government newspaper Hadas Erta and later for the ruling party’s magazine.
All independent media outlets in the country of 6 million were closed in 2001 amid a massive crackdown on internal dissent following the country’s disastrous two-year border-war with Ethiopia. More than a dozen prominent journalists were jailed – and to this day it’s not known how many are still alive.
“I felt like I was waking up from a nightmare.”
Born in what was then a province of Ethiopia, Temesghen spent much of his childhood in Saudi Arabia before returning in 1992 amidst the euphoria over Eritrea’s imminent independence after decades of war. Six years later, he went to work for Eritrean state media.
Temesghen was untroubled by the rule of President Isaias Afewerki for years. “I didn’t have a lot of question marks as to how the government was running the country,” he says. “Generally Eritreans were not really interested in the political structure of the country.