The Documentalist

An Attempt at Web-Archiving Human Rights in Eritrea

Posted in Reviews by Sarah on October 7, 2009

I found the Web page that I review below in a comment on the WITNESS Media Archive blog.  It struck me as an interesting example of a local attempt to gather together human rights documentation, as well as a bit of a cautionary tale–much of the information in the site comes from links to other Web resources that have subsequently disappeared.


EHREA: Eritrean Human Rights Electronic Archive

Flag Map of Etriea

Flag Map of Etriea. Image courtesy of

EHREA, or the Eritrean Human Rights Electronic Archive, represents an effort to consolidate information about human rights abuses that have taken place in Eritrea since independence from Ethiopia in 1991.  The goal of the site is to archive photos, testimonies, media reports, video clips, and links to related Web sites  in an effort to “increase public awareness of injustices carried out in Eritrea and elsewhere by the PFDJ [People’s Front for Democracy and Justice] and to serve as a platform to hasten the introduction of justice and democracy in Eritrea.”  People are invited to submit any information or documentation they have concerning  abuses to a personal email address for the individual who appears to be responsible for the Web page.

The website is a bit difficult to navigate–It isn’t clear how materials are preserved and the organization is a bit piece-meal–but it’s worth exploring because of the variety of information and resources available.   Equally interesting is the number of links to resources that are broken, highlighting the fragile nature of human rights Web sites, especially in states or areas that have fewer Web resources than we do in the West.  It appears that the organizer of this Web site has been able to capture images of Web pages, but they no longer link when the pages are shut down for whatever reason.


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