Press Freedom and the Pain to Practice

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During this year’s World Press Freedom Day in Accra, I came across a very interesting character who has been silenced by uncivilized regimes. This person has been kept in the dungeons by evil men because he not only wouldn’t keep quiet but also speak the truth.

Dawit Isaak, an Eritrean journalist and writer is one of the victims of a brutal regimes of suppressing debate and stifling the freedoms of thought and Expression.

Since September 2001, Dawit has been silenced, kept in isolation by the government of Eritrea without any legal trial;just because he wouldn’t keep quiet for wrongdoings to be perpetrated against humanity. His only ‘crime’ was to speak out for the less privileged in society.

Listening to the representative of Reporters Without Borders, I felt no human should be made to go through this for his opinion or thoughts that he put out in the public domain. It is uncivilized to say the least.

While the whole world focused on the 9/11 and its aftermath,cruel men perpetrated evil against the press;against all free men.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o in his testimony wrote ‘ The imprisonment of a writer is more than physical and moral confinement of an individual. It has a way of sending a message of fear to other writers who then begin to censor themselves and curb their imagination and the creativity of the nation. The imprisonment is also an attempt to imprison the word and silence the voice that utters them.

As we speak about Press Freedom, let us remember in the prisons of Eritrea lies a man who did no wrong, a writer whose only crime was to write his thoughts and never been brought to face the law in any way but face the wrath of cruel governments. In their quest to silence free speech and the truth; To silence the people, to silence the pen. But the pen is mightier than the sword.

Fadi Dabousi, A victim of such circumstances wrote in his book 59 Dark Hours that ‘When a struggle is about freedom of association and speech; when a struggle is about the salvation of a whole nation; when a struggle is about violations of law and order by a group of bandits wielding power like highway robbers of the American Mid -west, you know that it is another independence struggle.

Written by #IamYawBoamah (Guest Blogger)

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