(Published in Al Jazeera English; Oct. 14th, 2020)

Every time I attempt to travel internationally, I am reminded of the hierarchies of humanity.

In early April, organisers of a conference I was planning to attend in London emailed me to say the event had been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As I read their email, I realised that another event I was due to attend in July, this time in Belgium, would likely be cancelled too.

Despite being genuinely excited to participate in these events, rather than feeling disappointed, I felt an unusual sense of relief, a sense of liberty — I was saved from going through the gruelling visa application process and later being interrogated at airports, before and after each trip.

Click here to continue reading.


(Short story published in Berfrois; Oct. 06, 2020)

A shipwreck off a rocky coast, Philip James de Loutherbourg, c. 1760 (detail)

The dinghy came to a grinding halt. The passengers did not take long to realise the sudden change. As a ferocious wave swirled the boat right and left, they avoided the gunwale and the crowd evenly distributed itself on the sides of the boat to keep the balance.

The Captain mumbled inaudible, desperate words as he signalled to the passengers. The sight of his distraught demeanour indicated something dreadful was happening. All the passengers held their breaths and waited anxiously for his instructions.

Clearing his voice, he declared, “All right, listen up…


(Featured in Index on Censorship Magazine; Autumn 2020 by Orna Herr)

The Eritrean writer on escaping one of the world’s most censored countries and now living in Trump’s USA. Plus a new short story of his

An illustration of the Eritrean writer and political exile Abraham T Zere CREDIT: Gianluca Costantini

ERITREAN WRITER ABRAHAM T Zere fled his home country in 2012 in search of safety in the USA. But since he arrived, the political landscape and attitudes towards the press and immigrants have become almost unrecognisable under President Donald Trump.

For Zere, this is a source of personal concern.

“As a black person whose country is now under a [US-imposed] travel ban and, more importantly, who is living under political asylum, I have lots of anxieties,” he said in an interview with Index.

Although Zere travelled in and out…


(A short story; Autumn 2020 issue of Index on Censorship Magazine)

Abraham T Zere

AS WE WERE preparing for a six-month course to be offered in China, 12 of us — representing five ministries and other government institutes — were sent to the central police station for biometric testing as part of the procedure for obtaining passports. As we had no reason to rush after providing the fingerprints (results were to be collected the next day), we waited for one another outside the office, chattering excitedly.

After a short time passed, a woman, possibly an assistant, came out and said…


Published in Internazionale (Italian, originally appeared on Africa is A Country); Sept. 25, 2020)

Il Government response stringency index (Grsi, indice della severità della risposta dei governi) è stato elaborato da alcuni ricercatori dell’università di Oxford per comparare le misure adottate dai diversi paesi contro la pandemia da covid-19. L’indice usa nove indicatori per classificare la severità dei provvedimenti, dalla chiusura delle scuole e dei luoghi di lavoro al divieto di viaggiare. Il paese che è stato più a lungo in cima alla classifica è l’Eritrea.

Click here to access the original.


(Published in Africa is A Country; Sept. 17, 2020)

The Eritrean government continues to force students into military service in the middle of a pandemic. Things are about to get even worse.

Asmara, Eritrea. Image credit Clay Gilliland via Wikimedia Commons.

The Government Response Stringency index (GRSI) is a composite score developed by researchers at Oxford University, to compare countries’ policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic. It uses nine response indicators to rank governments, including school closures, workplace closures, and travel bans in its assessment of who has the strictest measures. Eritrea has topped the list most of the time.

Eritrea has enforced a total lockdown since April 1…


5 ነሓሰ 2020

(እዚ ጽሑፍ’ዚ ኣብ ወርሒ ለካቲት 2009 ኣብ መጽሔት ሕድሪ ንኸውጽኦ ብዝብል ዕላማ ደኣ ይዳሎ’ምበር፡ ቅድሚ’ዚ ጽሑፍ ምውጻኡ ዝምልከቶም ላዕለዎት ሓለፍቲ ስለ ዝረኣዩዎ ተቛሪጹ። ሕጂ ብዘይ ዝዀነ ለውጢ ከም ዘለዎ አሕትሞ ኣለኹ። ድሮ ዓሰርተ ዓመታት ስለ ዝገበረ ኣብ ገለ ዝርዝራት ለውጢ ክህሉ ንቡር’ዩ። እቲ መሰረታዊ ቅርጺ ግን እንተ ዘይገዲዱ ኣይተመሓየሸን።)

ገዓት ጠስሚ ኣብ ቀዳድ ሸሓኒ

መንግስቲ ዝርጋሐ ትምህርቲ ኣብ ኩሉ ንምብጻሕ ጻዕርታቱ የሕይል ኣሎ — ግርም! ኣብ ዩኒቨርስቲ ንውሑዳት ተመሃሮ ጥራይ ተሓዚኡ ዝነበረ ቦታ ናብ ብዙሓት ዕድል ዝረኽብሉ ኣጋጣሚ ክፈጥር’ውን ጽቡቕ መደባት ሓንጺጹ ኣብ ምትግባር ይርከብ — ሰናይ ተበግሶ! እዚ ሰናይ ዕላማ ግን ኣብ ግብሪ ከመይ ይህሉ? ብኻልእ…


ነሓሰ 8 2020

ንበል፤

ሀ. ሓደ ካብቲ ንስርዓት ህግደፍ እንቃወሞ መሰረታውያን ኣዕኑድ ስእነት ተሓታትነት’ዩ፣

ለ. እቲ ኣባና ክፍጸም ዘይንቕበሎ ዓመጽ ኣብ ካልኦት ክወርድ ንቃወም፣

ሐ. ዓቕሚን ኣኻእሎን ካልእ ጉዳይ ኰይኑ፡ ልዕሊ’ቲ እንወቕሶ ኣካል ኴንና ክንቀርብ ሞራላዊ ሓላፍነት ኣሎንና።

ኣብዘን ዝተጠቕሳ ሰለስተ ነጥብታት ምስ እንሰማምዕ ጥራይ ንቐጽል።

* * *

(ነዘን መመልከቲ ሕንጻጻት ዝሰገረ ኣንባቢ ውዕል ከም ዝኸተመ ሓሲብና)

ኣብ መንጎ ማሕበራዊ መራኸቢታትን ካልኦት ልሙዳት መራኸቢ-ብዙሃንን ብዘሎ ተወራራስነት፡ ዳርጋ ነፍሲ-ወከፍ ተጠቃሚ ማሕበራዊ መራኸቢታት ይዕበ-ይንኣስ ኣካል ናይቲ ዝሰፍሐ ምቕባልን ምዝርጋሕን ሓበሬታ ኰይኑ ኣሎ። ኣብ ከም ኤርትራ ዝኣመሰላ ኣዝየን ዕጹዋት ሃገራት ድማ እቲ መስኰት ኣዝያ ጸባብ ስለ ዝዀነት ነቲ ሓላፍነት ድርብ ይገብሮ።

እንተስ…


(ኣብ መጽሔት ሕድሪ ቍ.45 ሚያዝያ 2009 ዝተሓትመት)

ናይ ቈልዓ ባህሪ ክኸውን ኣለዎ፡ ብንእሽቶይ ከለኹ ምርዳእ ዝኣብየኒ ሓሳባት ብስእሊ ክሕዞ እየ ዝፍትን ነይረ። “ፋሽሽት… ፋሽሽታዊ ስርዓት… ባርባራዊ…” ዝብሉ ብድምጺ ሓፋሽ ዝደጋገሙ ዝነበሩ ቃላት ክርድኦም እንተ ፈተንኩ ምዃን ኣብዩኒ። ንኣሉታዊ ተግባር ዝገልጹ ቃላት ምዃኖም ሃሳስ ግምት ነይሩኒ። ብልክዕ እንታይ ማለት ምንባሮም ግን ዓቕሚ ኣእምሮይ ኣይበጽሖን። ኣብ መጨረሽታ፡ ተጋደልቲ “ፋሽሽቲ” ኢሎም ዝጽውዑዎ ዝነበሩ ጸሊም፡ ኣዝዩ ከቢድ፡ ጽቡቕ ቅርጺ ዘይብሉ ጀሪካን ርእየ። ድሕሪኡ “ፋሽሽቲ” ክብሃል ከሎ ምስታ ጀሪካን ኣተኣሳሲረ፡ በቲ-በቲ’ውን ወተሃደራት ስርዓት ደርግ ጸለምቲ’ዮም ዝብል ርድኢት ስለ ዝነበረኒ፡ ነታ ቃል ምስ ጽልምን ክፉእ መልክዕን ኣተኣሳሲረ ንሓንጐለይ መዕረፊ ገይረሉ።

ሕጂ ምስ ዓበኹ’ውን እዚ ብስእሊ ናይ…


ሰነ 23 2020

ኣብ ከባቢኡን ደጋዊ ምንቅስቓሳቱን ብዘየወላውል “ሕሉፍ” ደጋፊ ስርዓት ህግደፍ ዝጽዋዕ ፈላጢ ኣሎኒ። ስም ክረቍሕ ስለ ዘይኰንኩ፡ ንመርዳድኢ ክጥዕም “መዝገብ ቍ. 432” ንበሎ። ቅድሚኡ ምስ መዝገብ ቍ. 432 ውልዕ-ጥፍእ ዝብል ናይ ማሕበራዊ መራኸቢታት ብደገን ውሽጢን ምጽሕሓፍ ደኣ ይንበረና’ምበር፡ ዘይርስዓ “እዋእ” ዘበለትኒ ኣጋጣሚ ግን ኣላ። ነሓሰ 2015 ንእሱራት ጋዜጠኛታት ኣመልኪተ ኣብ ጋዜጣ ዘ ጋርዲያን ምስ ጸሓፍኩ፡ ምስ ፍልልይ ሰዓታት ዓዲ-እንግሊዝን ኣመሪካን እታ ጽሕፍቲ ወጺኣ ከላ’ውን (ደቂሰ ስለ ዝነበርኩ፡ ወጋሕታ ኰይኑስ ጠንቂ ምብርባረይ ዝዀነት ኣጋጣሚ ውልቃዊ መልእኽቲ መዝገብ ቍ. 432’ያ፤ “ጽሑፍ ከኣ ጸባ ሰቲና። ክብሪ ንዝግበኦም ሰባት ኣኽብሪካ ቀጽሎ።” ሰዳዲ መዝገብ ቍ. …

Abraham T. Zere

“Notorious author who routinely engages in a smear campaign against the country,” according to the press release Eritrea’s ministry of information.

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