Eritrean migrants rally in support of compatriots

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February 1, 2013 16:50

Around 150 migrants gather outside embassy in Ramat Gan in solidarity with political prisoners, army officers in Eritrea.

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Eritrean migrants protesting, Feb. 1, 2013

Eritrean migrants protesting 370. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

Around 150 Eritrean asylum- seekers protested outside the Eritrean Embassy in Ramat Gan on Friday morning, in a show of solidarity with Eritrean political prisoners and a group of army officers who staged a failed coup in Asmara last month.

The protesters called for the release of political prisoners and shouted for the implementation of the 1997 constitution, the same demands made by a group of army officers who stormed the state television headquarters at the Ministry of Information in Asmara on January 21 and forced the station off the air, before government forces managed to retake the offices later in the day.

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Speaking in English, asylum- seeker Isaias Teklebrhan gave a speech calling for “the immediate resignation of dictator Isaias Afewerki, the immediate release of all political prisoners, and the immediate implementation of Eritrea’s constitution.”

Eritrea has no free press and is widely considered to be one of the most repressive regimes on Earth.

On Friday, Gabriel, an Eritrean asylum-seeker living in Israel, said the ill-fated coup was a source of inspiration watched closely by Eritreans in Israel and across their Diaspora, and was a turning point for anti-regime efforts.

“This act has inspired Eritreans all over the world.

For years we’ve tried from outside Eritrea to inspire the people there and now they are inspiring us. We think there is for sure a chance that there will be a revolution there soon.”


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