Polygamy is not legal in Eritrea; this story is a hoax

A social media post claims that every man in the African country Eritrea must marry two wives. Otherwise, they will go to jail. Let’s check the facts.

To claim: Men in Eritrea must marry two wives or they will go to jail.

Do: This is a hoax started in 2016 by a gossip site. At the time, the Eritrean government, in response, said the story was fabricated. Polygamy is illegal in Eritrea according to the country’s penal code. Therefore, the assertions made in the message are FAKE.

We searched the internet with relevant keywords, which led us to a few media reports about this story from 2016. According to a BBC report, this hoax story was first published by a Kenyan satirical column called Crazy Monday. The story has been trending on social media for several days. Few other media reports on this story can be read here, here and here.

Response from the Eritrean government

Responding to this in 2016, Eritrean Information Minister Yemane G. Meskel tweeted, “The media frenzy to repeat this ridiculous, fabricated and banal story of the Mufti’s alleged religious decree on compulsory polygamy is appalling.” Another Eritrean official told the BBC that ‘”Even a madman in [the Eritrean capital]Asmara would know that this story was not true.

According to Eritrea’s penal code, polygamy is illegal. From this evidence, we can conclude that this is an old hoax that has resurfaced now, and the claims made in the message are false.

In summary, polygamy has not been legalized in Eritrea; it is a hoax.

In fact

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