Sound of Torture

Keren Shayo

Radio host Meron Estefanos uses her program Voices of Eritreans to offer help to hundreds of Eritrean hostages in the Egyptian Sinai desert. She fights for their liberation and also travels to the dangerous camps in Egypt.

Swedish-Eritrean radio host Meron Estefanos produces her program Voices of Eritreans in her home city of Stockholm. This weekly broadcast is devoted entirely to the hundreds of Eritrean refugees held hostage in wretched conditions in the Egyptian Sinai Desert. The Bedouins have held sway in the desert ever since the Egyptian revolution, so they kidnap Eritreans making their way to Israel and demand large ransoms from their families. We follow Meron in her attempts to turn the tide by making telephone contact with hostages and kidnappers alike during her radio show. The film focuses on the stories of two hostages. Hiriyti was pregnant when she got kidnapped. Her husband Amaniel in Tel Aviv is doing everything he can to free his badly abused wife and their baby from a torture camp. The ransom for 20-year-old Timnit has been paid, but neither her brother nor her boyfriend have heard anything from her since her flight to the Egyptian-Israeli border 18 months ago. The battle for Hiriyti’s release and the search for Timnit take Meron to Sinai by way of Israel. There, she stumbles on the marks left by the many atrocities.


Keren Shayo
Osnat Trabelsi , Galit Cahlon
Country of production
60 minutes
Spoken language
Arabic, Hebrew, Local languages
Production company
Trabelsi Productions
World Sales
First Hand Films