Dissidents on the web

[Updated August 2014]

Noteworthy Eritrean Diaspora Websites

There is no freedom of expression in Eritrea and there fore any voice other than the government’s is by default dissident. There are many dissident Eritrean websites, here I have only selected five that I consider most prominent among Eritreans. The first three (Awate.com, Asmarino.com and Assenna.com) can be considered news sites, they primarily publish opinion pieces and feature articles. News articles, especially original news articles, are not common. The estimated monthly traffic (by trafficestimate.com: sometimes not accurate) shows Assenna.com has the highest website traffic followed by Awate.com and Asmarino.com.

Monthly visits to websites from July 2013 to July 2014 (estimated by trafficestimate.com). The number of 'visits' differs from 'visitors'. Visits includes multiple visits from the same visitor (IP address).

Monthly visits to websites from July 2013 to July 2014 (estimated by trafficestimate.com). The number of ‘visits’ differs from ‘visitors’. Visits includes multiple visits from the same visitor (IP address).

Awate.com

“Fearless News, Opinion, Analysis On Eritrea and Beyond”

Awate is an Online news, opinion, debate and politics site about Eritrea. First launched in the year 2000, Awate Foundation, as it is known, is a non-profit administered by Saleh “Gadi” Johar (Founder and Publisher) and Saleh AA Younis (Editor-In-Chief). It is run with private donations and volunteers. Awate is based in the United States: Elk Grove, California.

awate stat

Location of individuals who visit awate.com (alexa.com, July 2013)

ΞInteresting: Awate publish contents in English, Arabic and Tigrinya languages. It is credited as the first opposition website to produce original materials. Awate.com contains mainly political commentary and opinion articles.

Among other items, Awate.com publishes 10 to 20 English articles (>1200 words) every month attracting 80,000 to 200,000 visits. Approximately 10,000 to 40,000 of these monthly visits are from unique visitors (i.e. from different IP addresses).

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Asmarino.com

“The revolution of the human spirit!”

Asmarino Independent is an Online community for Eritreans and friends of Eritrea, with history, news, chat, bulletin boards, poetry, and more. Asmarino Independent website was first launched 1997. Asmarino Independent is based in the United States: Cerritos, California.

asmarino.com visitors

Location of individuals who visit asmarino.com (alexa.com, July 2013).

ΞInteresting: Asmarino.com Publishes content in English, Arabic and Tigrinya languages. First established as an online Eritrean community focused on culture and art, it quickely evolved to become a prominent political website in early 2000’s. Asmarino.com hosts opposition radios: Voice of Delina, Radio Liberty, and Radio Erena. Asmarino.com published “መዝገብ ስውኣት 1998-2001”, leaked name list and statistics of 22,015 Eritrean martyrs’ who died during the border conflict with Ethiopia in the years 1998-2001 [available at http://wall.asmarino.com/].

Every month Asmarino Independent website is visited 70,000 to 200,000 times. Roughly 15,000 to 50, 000 of these visits are from unique visitors (i.e. from different IP addresses).

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Assenna.com

“For freedom of speech”

Assenna is an Online news website focusing on politics, culture and religion. Assenna was first launched in 2009. Assenna website is run by Amanuel Eyasu Gebrekidan (founder), an exiled Eritrean journalist. Assenna is based in London, United Kingdom.

assenna stat

Location of individuals who visit assenna.com (alexa.com, July 2013)

ΞInteresting: Assenna.com is the go to site for news on Eritrea. Assenna.com publishes in English and Tigrinya languages. Assenna.com also broadcast radio program “Radio Assenna” to Eritrea. Breaking news may appear a piece at a time on this website and sometimes speed comes at the expense of report quality, some breaking news have been found to contain errors in the past.

Assenna.com does not have an about page.

Monthly Assenna website gets 150,000 to 330,000 visits making it the most visited Eritrean diaspora website. Roughly 62,000 to 140,000 of these visits are from unique visitors (i.e. different IP addresses).

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Eritrean Human Rights Electronic Archive (ehrea.org)

Eritrean Human Rights Electronic Archive (EHREA) is an Online archive documenting human rights abuses in Eritrea. It’s mission is to increase public awareness of injustices carried out in Eritrea and to serve as a platform to hasten the introduction of justice and democracy in Eritrea. First launched 2007, EHREA website is founded by Resoum Kidane. The websites server is based in the United States.

ΞInteresting: Contents are primarily in English but also contain Tigrinya and Arabic languages. It is hard to visit this site and not be heart broken by its contents. This site dares to indiscriminately document human rights abuses starting from crimes committed by Ethiopia, the ELF (Jebha), EPLF (Shaebia) and the current Eritrean government (PFDJ).

Noteworthy is a document titled “Reflections on the Eritrean People Struggle for Independence”, researched and compiled by Resoum Kidane. It is a history of Eritrean struggle with emphasis on human rights. This document contains many useful links as well.

The design and organization of the website is not easy to understand, however there is a handy “search” tool for navigation to what you are looking for. EHREA website gets from 15,000 to 25,000 visits per month from thousands of unique visitors.
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Harnnet.org

“The Official Eritrean People’s Democratic Party Web Site”

Harnnet.org is an Online news site for Eritreans and friends of Eritrea, with history, news, articles, commentary and more. First launched 2010 (soon after the formation of EPDP) Harnnet.org website is operated by EPDP. Harnnet.org website server is based in the United States, Illinois.

ΞInteresting: The Eritrean Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) is a result of the unity of three Eritrean government opposition groups. The Eritrean People’s Party (EPP), Eritrean Democratic Party (EDP) and Eritrean Peoples Movement (EPM) merged in January 2010.

Harnnet.org host Radio Liberty Tigrinya and Arabic. The website publishes in English, Arabic and Tigrinya. Harnnet.org website has roughly 1,600 to 10,000 unique visitors every month.

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Useful References/tools

  • Dan Connell and Tom Killion (2011), Historical Dictionary of Eritrea, second edition.
  • Eritrea: Africa, South of the Sahara selected internet resources, Stanford University Libraries [http://www-sul.stanford.edu/]
  • Eritrea: Human Rights Web Archive, Columbia University Libraries [http://hrwa.cul.columbia.edu]
  • Website Traffic Estimates: Alexa.com, Traffic Estimate.com and Google Display Network Ad Planner.

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Is there a website you think I should add? Let me know.

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