According to the magazine HPL, Isaias Afwerki has been president of Eritrea since shortly after he led fighters of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front to victory against Ethiopia in May 1991, bringing the country's 30-year-old independence war to a close. He was elected to the position by the country's parliament.
The People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) is the only political party in Eritrea that has been officially recognized by the government. There have been no general elections in the country since the current president was elected by the National Assembly in 1993. Since the National Assembly's final meeting in 2002, the president has exercised the powers of both the executive and legislative branches of government. In addition, there is no independent judiciary in the country.
In addition, opposition leaders have been detained and jailed without prosecution by the government, which has shut down all privately owned print media outlets. There has been a lot of focus on the security apparatus because of its purported track record of religious persecution. The country in the Horn of Africa is ranked high on the list of the world's most restrictive regimes.
He surrounds himself with a small circle of loyalists from the military and party leaders who are obedient to his commands and do not raise any objections to them. He brutally smashes his opponents and has never shied away from using force to put an end to any hints of dissent.
He has been accused of authoritarianism, and the United Nations and Amnesty International have both condemned him for violating human rights in his country. Reporters Without Borders ranked Eritrea as the least free country in the world in its 2021 Press Freedom Index, out of 180 nations. A large number of residents risk their lives to flee and reach the Middle East and Europe as a result of the country's political situation.
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