read many times in your articles "helicopter" as inhumane
punishment. I intend to inform you of other types of cruelties
the PFDJ is committing on its forced conscripts. Some are
?The soldier would be made to lie on his chest and his elbow
is tied twisted to his back. His/her feet is also folded back
and tied together. The victim whose hand and feet tied on
his/her back looks a helicopter. He may stay in that position
for three or more days. Milk may be poured on the victim so
that flies would bite him/her. Or he may be made to roll on
? The soldier would lean over a tree. If there is no tree
around, a big log is used. (We used to carry one log for that
purpose whenever we move.) Then, two hands would be tied
together with the tree. The two feet would also be tied the
same way. Usually a place on an edge of an escarpment would be
chosen. The victim will stay in that position for three or
more days, untied only for meal.
Tear & Burn: The soldier would be
forced to run barefoot on sharp stones, usually at noon, on
The soldier would strip to his pants only and forced to spend
a night or more locked in a mosquito populated area. An example would be a
bathing /washing places.
Shave & Shoot: The punishment for
women deserters is to have their heads shaved. Men would be
was practiced until 2000.
Deny & Isolate: A
victim who intentionally injured himself/herself would be
denied medical treatment and isolated. By the way, it is not
uncommon to see people who commit self-injury because the
Eritrean army has a substantial number of psycho pathetic,
epileptic, diabetic and asthmatic peoples who are very much
stressed and poorly medicated.
Kfel (pay up):
The soldier is forced to pay the price of any armament and
tools he/she lost or is missing, for whatever reason. I
remember a platoon paying for water tankers lost due to
If a soldier
escapes to Ethiopia, the soldier?s mother, father, sister,
brother son or daughter is arrested for a month or longer.
are just some of the punishments practiced. There is no
written rule and regulation to implement these punishments.
The soldier does not expect a certain punishment for
particular misdeeds. It all depends on the commander of the
unit on when and how to punish. The commander can
inflict any of the above-mentioned punishments for whatever