at Arizona State University's West Campus
Why a Container Car?
In Eritrea, 1000s of men, women and children are imprisoned in steel shipping containers merely because of their religious beliefs, political views, or for family connections to those that oppose the government. The prisoners are tortured for the slightest offense including talking in the evening or having extra food. Prisoners have been suspended from trees, arms tied behind their backs, a technique known as almaz (diamond). Prisoners have also been placed face down, hands tied to feet, which is known as the "helicopter." Prison visits by international human rights organizations are prohibited.
Sandals – represent the spirit of the 30 year revolution as well as convey the impression of the crowded conditions in the container cars.
Bowl of Lentils – represent the minimal amount of food provided to Eritrean prisoners. According to one account prisoners only receive 3 cups of tea and 3 pieces of bread each day.
“Helicopter” - (sculpture in helicopter position) - represents an Eritrean who was kept in the helicopter position for 55 days!
Hand Painted Faces – represent the 9 tribes of Eritrea
Candles and Barbed Wire – represent Amnesty International, the largest grassroots human rights organization.
Poster from War Resisters International – represents the hopes and dreams of Eritrea alongside the brutal reality under the dictatorship.
Helen Berhane (Image, Music) – a 30-year old Gospel singer who has been held for most of the past two years in a container car and tortured for refusing to renounce her faith.
Names inside the Container Car – a few of the 1000s detained in Eritrea. The names are written in English and Tigrinya.
Special Thanks to --
Amnesty International Reports
Eritrean News Souces
Prisoners of Conscience (pdf)
Torture in Eritrea (pdf)
Culture and Geography (pdf)