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[Audio] Eritreans speak their mind without fear of their government in Eritrea - BBC reporter

In Asmara recently BBC correspondent, Mary Harper, wondered if the media should ditch preconceptions, media cliches about Eritrea as the reality on the ground does not support these negative narratives.

Quotes from Mary Harper's audio report:

"It [Asmara] looks like Rome or Paris than any other part of Africa."

"Human rights groups say there are thousands of political prisoners tortured and kept underground in shipping containers. Government ministers tell me there are only 30-40 and that torture is banned. "

"I read reports that say Eritreans are afraid to think let alone speak. Yet almost everyone I meet is happy to talk, even with an aggressive TV camera and  big fluffy microphone pushed in their faces. And I was not accompanied by a minder."

"I meet Germans from the LEIPZIG Philharmonic Orchestra who've come to perform as part of Eritrea's 25th anniversary of independence. They tell me they were warned not to come here as the country was dangerous - a sorta giant slave camp. Yet they delight in how safe they feel; how clean Asmara is; how friendly its people."

"I start to feel I'm going to have to empty my mind and start all over again if I'm even going to begin to understand the country."

By BBC Radio 4

On a visit to Asmara, the Italianate capital city of Eritrea in north east Africa, our correspondent tries to find out the truth about allegations of repression, political prisoners and torture.

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[Audio] Eritreans speak their mind without fear of their government in Eritrea - BBC reporter Reviewed by Admin on 12:10 AM Rating: 5

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