Reflecting on June 20 – Eritrean Martyrs Day

In those days, the youth  bravely risk their life for Eritrea. Now, Eritrean youth happily risk their life to leave Eritrea,  even pay a couple thousand dollars on top. Some thing is not right.

Then and Now

Then and Now

I feel sad and when I hear people speaking highly of Eritrean “martyrs”, talking about honoring them and respect and…. when the same people are not that concerned about the dignity of those that made it back alive. Those martyrs-would-be (Eritreans who were spared and made it back alive) are being abused. They are lied to, degraded, imprisoned on a whim, locked up in shipping containers and underground dungeons. They are shot at, chased, mercilessly beaten, their family abused and punished, fined thousands. Hey, there is a government in Eritrea that shoots and kills its own people! Even fresh war disabled veterans are not spared. Talk about respecting martyrs, no one could do a better job at dis-respecting martyrs than the dictatorship in Eritrea.

We greatly respect our martyrs, we honor their decision to fight to their death for the good of their people. Spending 60 seconds of silence before meetings and lighting a candle once a year does only little to honor martyrs. The martyrs legacy lives today in those Eritreans that still believe it is up to them to fight evil for the good of their people. The martyrs legacy does not live in those of Eritreans that sit on their hands while their society suffers, reciting “I hate politics. And It’s all politics.”

As we honor our martyrs this year, let us honor what they died for – freedom, justice, peace…


Minor edits: June 27 2013

3 thoughts on “Reflecting on June 20 – Eritrean Martyrs Day

  1. Pingback: Des réfugiés (et ceux qui les sermonnnent) | Les Erythréens

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