The government of Eritrea–one of the most repressive in the world–has placed 3,000 Christians in prison, “where they face mistreatment and deprivation of food and medical treatment, pending renunciation of their faith,” according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The organization is part of a coalition that is calling upon the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate human rights violations in the African nation.

Colonized by Italy, Eritrea was awarded to Ethiopia in 1952 and eventually annexed, leading to a decades-long civil war. Eritrea regained its independence in 1993 under the leadership of Isaias Afwerki, a Marxist who received his military training in Mao Zedong’s China. Afwerki remains the totalitarian nation’s leader today. Reporters Without Borders deems Eritrea’s treatment of press freedom the worst in the world.

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