February 21, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Eritrean News Agency (ENA) Tuesday has denied the imprisonment of Eritrean journalists working for the state-run media and accused opposition groups of fabricating "false" reports.
- Eritrea, which borders Sudan and Ethiopia, has been dubbed the North Korea of Africa (HRW)
An exiled Eritrean opposition Radio station, Eritrean Forum Radio, on Sunday said that the two journalists had been taken by five government agents from their home in Asmara on February 14. The two journalists reportedly were arrested on suspicion of attempting to flee the home country.
"The above mentioned “report” is a pure lie. The Ministry of Information has no, and never had, employees with the names mentioned in the report. And none of our staff has been arrested,". said ENA Director Paulos Netabay in an email send to Sudan Tribune Tuesday.
"These are ghost names only known to their fabricators," he further stressed, before to add that they are "aware of intense campaigns of disinformation by certain quarters about Eritrea".
Human rights and press groups and even the UNHCR reports the lack of freedoms and crack down on the journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) estimated that 17 journalists remained in prison in Eritrea as of December 1, 2015, the highest number in sub-Saharan Africa.
Also, the United Nations has described Eritrea as the least connected country in the world.