Officially I don’t exist. I am an independent journalist in the small east African country of Eritrea who. after 12 years here and over 150 internationally published articles, I find that officially I don’t exist.
According to the international media there are no independent journalists in Eritrea and in spite of multiple interviews on international news channels, they persist that I don’t exist.
Committee to Protect Journalists (aka Committee of Suspect Journalists) published an article of mine (“Ethiopia Bombs Itself) on its website where, as always, I identified myself as an independent journalist in Eritrea and still CPJ said that I did not exist later that year in their annual report on press freedoms.
I contribute to independent websites across Africa and am listed as a columnist in Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya and south Asia, amongst other countries, for years now yet it doesn’t seem to matter, it still persists that I don’t exist.
I have contributed almost 100 articles over the past 15 years to CounterPunch, which receives 2 million unique visitors every month making it the largest left wing English website on the planet but even this doesn’t matter, there are no independent journalists here in our small, peaceful east African country of Eritrea.
Why is this you may ask? Maybe its because we are socialist, and although Ethiopia seems headed in our direction, Eritrea remains, like Cuba in Latin America, the only socialist country in Africa.
Socialism is always bad, right? End of conversation, what else do you need to know?. Especially what it’s really like on the ground in Eritrea from an independent journalist.
Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist in Eritrea, living and reporting from here since 2006. See thomascmountain on Facebook, thomascmountain on Twitter or best contact him at thomascmountain at g mail dot com.