The country where the words mobile, ATM and TV channels are unknown

When people use various tricks to get on the internet or drink more than 2 beers

weekendmegagab 1312x819 capital controls, Internet, Social Media, ATM, Eritrea, SIM cards, mobile, television

He is often described in political history books, or even in geography, as one of the most oppressive states in the world. Where residents do not enjoy basic political or religious rights. How much more amenities or benefits that in other parts of the world, now, are considered basic. Like communications, entertainment and access to goods (besides food, housing, water and care) is a distant dream if not unfamiliar concepts.

Η Eritrea Since gaining independence from Ethiopia in 1993, it has been governed by a party, the only legitimate party in the country, with Isaiah Afuerki as its lifelong president.

The government has banned any kind of opposition, let alone its organized form. Private channels do not exist, while dissidents and critics have been jailed and their news has not been known for years. In addition, conscription is mandatory for everyone with the regime recruiting boys and

This has led hundreds of thousands of its citizens Eritrea to make the long journey through the Sahara to find themselves in Europe. Below we will try to outline the government's excessive control over the lives of the people of Eritrea.

The Sim card is equivalent to gold dust and the internet to a dream

The smartphone in the hand and the user constantly looking at the screen even when walking is an image that you will not see in Eritrea. Without arguing that walking and constantly looking at it mobile It is a "normal" condition, the people of the East African country do not even have the option to "fool around" on their cell phone or not.

shutterstock 766468435 capital controls, Internet, Social Media, ATM, Eritrea, SIM Cards, mobile, TV

The only telecommunications company in the country, EriTel, provides poor quality services and all through government control.

The Sim cards equivalent to gold dust in the country. In order to obtain a card, citizens must apply to the competent state body in their area and after a thorough check to obtain one. However, they will be able to use this card for certain hours of the day but not for internet as there are no data services.

Citizens can enter internet only through wireless networks which however are very slow and reminiscent of times of dial up connections. To connect to social media use VPN networks that allow them to cheat the authorities and censor.

shutterstock 692819872 capital controls, Internet, Social Media, ATM, Eritrea, SIM Cards, mobile, TV

One channel TV

In Eritrea it broadcasts only one channel, Eri-Tv, which belongs to the… government and is the official state news and propaganda agency. However, residents buy satellite dishes and access channels from around the world through platforms held by Eritrean exiles.

Journalists' associations to comment on the situation with the media in the country make the dramatic admission that the magnitude of the censorship leaves even North Korea behind.

shutterstock 1151967041 capital controls, Internet, Social Media, ATM, Eritrea, SIM Cards, mobile, TV

The Eritrean Minister of Press and Information does not accept that the inhabitants of his country have access to only one channel. He even argues that "over 91% have satellite dishes". Deliberately ignoring the fact that most of the time the state telecommunications company does everything it can to ensure that everyone does not have unimpeded access to telecommunications.

Withdrawal only from the counter and permanent capital controls

We all remember the period of the summer of 2015 with Greek capital controls and the queues at ATM for the famous 60 euros a day. Another image that one will never see in Eritrea. And this is because citizens can only withdraw money from the bank counter.

shutterstock 1257789322 capital controls, Internet, Social Media, ATM, Eritrea, SIM Cards, mobile, TV

But even in capital controls The Eritreans can have an opinion above since they have existed since the first moment they acquired a banking system. Even if you have millions in the bank you can raise up to 5.000 nafka a month (about 296 euros).

The only exception the government makes are marriages. And this only if the host of the wedding ceremony receives an official paper from the authorities which will ask the bank to allow the withdrawal of more than 5.000 nafka.

The two beers limit and the trick for those who want to drink… three

In Eritrea there is only one brewery which, miraculously, was nationalized in the middle of the war for the independence of the country in 1961.

The locals say with regret that they can consume only two beers every night that they will go out to have fun. However, they have found a trick to deceive shop owners and regulators.

shutterstock 1151963687 capital controls, Internet, Social Media, ATM, Eritrea, SIM Cards, mobile, TV

Non-alcoholic beverages are widespread as alcohol use is severely restricted. So the Eritreans take with them packages of non-alcoholic drinks, fill them with beer beforehand, go to the bar and order the same drink with the same packaging and in some "magical" way this, say, bottle never empties.

The 3η fleeing population group and conscription

The Eritreans are the third largest group of refugees, after the Syrians and Afghans, fleeing to Europe.

The large number of young refugees in uniform is one of the first visible signs of what is happening in Eritrea: One of the main reasons for the flight of young people is compulsory military service, officially lasting 18 months but which can last for decades. In fact, young people in Eritrea are being forced into indefinite military service to be thrown into forced labor, according to the UN.

shutterstock 1404328208 capital controls, Internet, Social Media, ATM, Eritrea, SIM Cards, mobile, TV

"Obtaining a passport is a dream," comments a young Eritrean. "But until we finish our military service, they do not give us official documents," he added.

Even if a citizen of Eritrea obtains a passport, no one can guarantee that he will be able to leave the country as the authorities must also issue him an exit visa. Something that rarely happens as the state rightly believes that whoever leaves will not return.

This means that middle-aged and elderly people (life expectancy in the country is 67 years for women and 63 for men) are the main population group as thousands of young people escape with most finding refuge in Ethiopia and Sudan and the rest. to make the meteoric step over the wet tomb of the Mediterranean.