PRESS RELEASE | RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION OF AFAR IN ERITREA
May 24, 2021: Assab-Eritrea, the Eritrean authorities forced the closure of the only Islamic school for Afar.
On May 11, 2021, two days before Eid-ul-Fitr, the Eritrean security agents (Hagerawi Dehinent) told the administration of the Mahad A-dini Al- Islami (Islamic School) in Assab to close the doors. The school staffs were told to go home without any further explanation.
The Islamic school in Assab was built in 1970 by the local traditional Afar leaders including Sheikh Mohamed Omar Akito. Historically, the school has been financed privately by Afar Salt business owners from Makaka, in the Assab region. Since the local Afar Salt mining and businesses were destroyed by the Eritrean authorities in the late 1990s, the school has been struggling to maintain its service to the Afar community.
Dankalia Media TV (DMT) which reported the School closure had said there have been previous attempts to pressure the school to close its doors. And that the school was told to stop teaching primarily Islamic classes and it should integrate its curriculum to provide other subjects such as Tigrigna among others. Since then, the school had complied with government orders and have been offering other courses to the community.
A short documentary film on Mahad Al Islami(Assab Islamic School) https://youtu.be/g36etqDvveg