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In the year 2003 the government of the state of eritrea announced that

In the year 2003 the government of the State of Eritrea announced that

every student, upon completing 11th grade, must go to Sawa to continue

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12th grade classes and to also attend basic military training as part of the

National Service program. I completed my 11th grade studies that same

year. So, I had to leave immediately and in July of that year I arrived at

Sawa. I had just turned 18 that time and it was very difficult for me and

for my parents to decide for me to go to Sawa for a military training at

that age since Sawa is a harsh place to live. The Sawa stay lasted one

year; the first three months were for military training, the next six

months were for 12th grade classes and the last three months were for

additional military training. At the end the of 12th grade session, we sat

for college entrance examination. I managed to get the required result.

The government also closed the only University in the country that same

year and instead opened other five small colleges far from the cites.

These colleges were designed to be used like military camps in addition

to academic functions. With the passing result I got, I joined “Eritrea

Institute of Technology”. In June 2009 I completed my Bachelor’s

Degree studies in Computer Science and was assigned to Sawa

Community School as part of my National Service duties from June

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2009 to September 2010. During these months, the monetary payments I

was receiving was monthly $2.42(145 Nkf.) pocket money. I was not

happy with the amount of money I was being paid and was constantly

asking for fair amount of salary to at least support myself as well as help

with my family’s finances. But all my pleas fell on deaf ears.

Fortunately, I was able to leave Sawa after I got a permission to continue

master’s program in September 2010. In June 2012, I completed my

master’s program and was assigned to work in the College of Science”,

Eritrea Institute of Technology, to work as Graduate Assistant and later

as Head of the Computer Science Department, a Computer Programmer”,

a Network Administrator and later in 2015 I got promotion to be

Lecturer 1. This time around, my monthly salary was 800 Nakfa (13 US

Dollars) per month. It was exceedingly difficult to survive with such

amount of payment and as we were asking for increment in our salary

the government officials kept telling us that we are still in the National

Service. National Service was supposed to last in 18 months, but the

government decided to put us under endless National Service and people

was suffering due to scarcity of the basic elements in daily life, such as

gas, water and fuel. It was perfectly designed to control the mind of the

people, so that the individuals in authority could stay in power for life.

It was at this time that I started to ask for my rights, what was happening

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to the people of Eritrea was a clear violation of human rights. Therefore”,

I decided to speak loudly and many fellow countrymen, including some

college educators, were supporting me. I individually started asking for

my rights and I started to motivate many more college students to stand

for their rights. Because of this reason, they targeted me and they were

constantly threatening to put me in jail. I was denied exit visa, and as a

result I lost many opportunities to continue my studies in PhD program.

But the most life threatening moment was yet to come. On the 2nd of

April 2010, I was suddenly taken into a police station for a few hours in

a place called Qehawta and was faced with a series of questions. They

were accusing me of agitating and encouraging college students to

protest against government and they banned me from working in any

College. That time all my property was confiscated and this type of

action was the fate of many Eritreans like me. I was left homeless. I tried

to work in different high schools, but the payment was not even close

enough to cover the house rent and other expenses. Things were

escalating and were getting more dangerous to my life.

Therefore, I need to find a more viable and durable solution. The last

option I had was to leave the country and try to find a safe place to live

my life and secure my future. Therefore, I took a life-threatening

decision to cross the border to Sudan by 10th of April 2017.

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