Country profileEritrea

After Eritrea gained independence from Italy and 10 years of British administrative control in 1941. Ethiopia fully took over Eritrea as a province 10 years later. This sparked up a violent 30-year struggle for independence that ended in 1991 by means of Eritrean rebels defeating government forces. Eritreans overwhelmingly ratified independence in a 1993 referendum. After 30 years of fighting, Eritrea is challenged with rebuilding its infrastructure as well as developing its economy. However, a fragile peace prevails on the land of Eritrea today. Eritrea has become a gold producer. Mining is highly expected to become an important source of growth and revenue. The government controls broadcast media with a prohibition to private ownership.

Politics: Republic – President Isaias Afwerki

Capital: Asmara

Official Language: English, Tigrinya & Arabic

Population: 6,527,689 (July 2015 est.)

National Anthem: Ertra, Ertra, Ertra

Media and Freedom Of expression landscape in Eritrea:

In 2012, Eritrea continued to rank among the worst media environments in the world. Media outlets in the country are controlled by the Ministry of Information, a government source. It has lacked any form of privately owned media since 2001, after the government banned the once-vibrant private press. Key editors and journalists were imprisoned, and the crackdown later extended to state-employed journalists. Among other matters, Eritrea has the highest number of jailed journalists in Africa.

President Isaias was criticized publicly in 2001 by a group of 15 senior ruling members. They called for “the rule of law and for justice, through peaceful and legal ways and means.” 11 out of the 15 were arrested for treason and independent media were shut down, a number of journalists were imprisoned.

There are three radio stations, two television stations both operated from Asmara and two daily print newspapers.

To read more about the Freedom of Expression situation  in Eritrea visit: Freedom House.

You can also visit BBC country profile to know more about Eritrea.