Asmarino Fundraising: Because There Is So Much More to Be Done!

Arbi Harinet - Dekina Abey Alewu Calls to Eritrea

(Asmara 19/08/2014) Freedom Friday movement in collaboration with the Eritrean Forum for National Dialogue, this afternoon, made thousands of calls asking parents in Eritrea not send their children, who have just completed their mandatory military training, back to the national service centre until the fate of previous rounds of recruits is ascertained.

The Eritrean national service is notorious for causing the suffering of thousands of young Eritrean leading many to take risks leaving the country to seek refuge elsewhere. Every year tens of thousands are recruited joining previous recruits who have not been demobilised in accordance to the official procedures stipulating six months training followed by a year’s military service. Contrary to procedures no recruit has been officially demobilised for over fourteen years, instead recruits are deployed indefinitely working on government building and agriculture projects.

As the economic and human rights situation in the country deteriorates the hardships faced by the recruits has increased and countless young people find themselves in situations that are life threatening. Last year’s recruits (the 26th Round), were taken and stranded in arid semi desert areas around Naqfa without clear objectives and with little provision.

Coordinators at Freedom Friday stated: ‘we were told many parents worried about the experiences of previous rounds of recruits had resolved not to send their children back to Sawa, the military service main training centre, despite the president’s assurances of education and training opportunities during the most recent commencement of recruits earlier in the summer’.

Coordinators also stated that, the main aim of these calls was to encourage many more parents to take steps to protect their children and stand in solidarity with fellow parents in what would be a significant act of defiance and solidarity.



Freedom Friday (Arbi harnet) is an Eritrean project aimed at encouraging a popular movement for change inside Eritrea. Freedom Friday is particularly well known for its innovative approaches to engage activists inside Eritrea’s iron curtains (including making thousands of calls).

Eritrean Forum for National Dialogue (Medrek) works to bring together pro-democracy Eritreans inside and outside the country to replace the current dictatorship in Eritrea by an equitable governance structure based on a constitution that guarantees equal rights of all citizens.