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Eritreans in Ethiopia demonstrate over abuses back home

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Hundreds of Eritrean refugees and dissidents in Ethiopia demonstrated Thursday against alleged human rights abuses committed by their government back home, expressing support for a new U.N. commission report that accuses

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Hundreds of Eritrean refugees and dissidents in Ethiopia demonstrated Thursday against alleged human rights abuses committed by their government back home, expressing support for a new U.N. commission report that accuses the government of crimes against humanity, including enslavement, rape and torture, over the past 25 years.

The Eritreans protested outside the headquarters of the African Union in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Similar protests occurred in refugee camps across Ethiopia, which has no diplomatic relations with neighboring Eritrea.

Eritrean refugees are one of the largest groups trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. The U.N. report says 47,025 Eritreans applied for asylum in Europe in 2015.

“Everyone in Eritrea is very desperate at the moment due to the dire conditions at home,” said Bashir Isaac Abdulla, an organizer of the demonstration. “Many of them want to escape from the country by any means, and that is why we are witnessing a massive migration of the youth.”

The protesters in Addis Ababa carried banners calling for the indictment of Eritrea’s president, Isaias Afwerki, who has been in power since 1991. They staged a mock execution and carried a casket draped in Eritrea’s flag.

Afwerki has become increasingly repressive, according to rights groups.

The three-member U.N. commission, which was not allowed to visit Eritrea, said many rights violations occur behind “the facade of calm and normality that is apparent to the occasional visitor to the country.”

The report estimated that between 300,000 and 400,000 people in Eritrea are enslaved, mostly through military conscription. The country’s population is about 6 million.

Eritrea rejected the U.N. report, saying it lacked solid evidence to back up the serious allegations.

 Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Review overview
  • Yared Bereket June 24, 2016

    What are the Eritreans doing in Ethiopia in the first place after fighting against their so called “colonizers & enemies”?
    Politics funny old game and played and manupulated by the smart operators and abusing the innocent people.

    • Berhe Tensea June 26, 2016

      If you can’t understand why are these people in Ethiopia, I feel very sorry for you. Are you a retarded person or not? Every one in Eritrea and those who know Eritrea know that no one can can live on the hell on earth called Eritrea.
      If you are a willing person go back and be a slave, and live worse than Aboy Bahta’s donkey and live without freedom to have a family, work and any future, and be called a meskinay by the people of the world.
      How can one live in the planets largest prison, and if he or she speaks or you zombie speak up to end in the torture camps or end up the servant of the generals.
      If you can’t understand why? go and seek medical help and consult a mental therapist moron.
      If you have parents back home they need to take you to Deranto to be healed.
      Regarding the expense don’t worry we help with that.,be asked to shelter you and my grand parents who happen to live near by will shelter you for the duration of your stay, I promise that, you can contact me through Assena.
      Mehret yewrdelka, Amlakh yehaghzeka.

  • Eden June 25, 2016

    Yared, I absolutely agree with you but don’t forget those wicked mafia operators have so many obedient korakhur running around and hassling poor people. Indeed, how could you have Eritrean refugees in a supposedly enemy country that you are still fighting against and you are being told that they are your colonizers and are trying to take over Eritrea again!!!! Dirty, dirty politics especially for the backward Africans. Unity and prosperity for the oppressed and manipulated people of the highland Eritreans and Ethiopians.

  • The secular socialist republic June 25, 2016

    The Ethiopian government allows Eritreans to protest against Shaebia
    but declines Oromo grievances….
    What a fascinating “democracy*. No political agenda behind this for sure (cynism). Eritreans shouldn’t even report this event, it’s abject and an insult to pro-democracy Ethiopians which are our best allies !

    • Berhe Tensea June 26, 2016

      Who are your allies, the Demhit who changed their mind to be used by the dictator, and Ghumbot 7 and others who dream to overturn Eritrean independence .
      Your allies are dreaming of Asab and the return of Eritrea to her mother..
      The Oromo were given the chance to demonstrate peacefully but they abused that right and tried force, and the result is bloodshed.
      I think you are another innocent Eritrean , and one the few who are visiting Meskerem in search of what is bad news in Ethiopia.
      The main objective of that site is to confuse more the confused or yewhat and make them stay that way..
      I feel sorry for you for yourfailure to understand the motives of paid agents, who are engaged in misinforming the public..
      Misinformation department is run by the PFDJ’s security agent, and it has a huge budget going to sites such as Meskerem, and many agents in the cyberspace., like you tube.
      The mafia regime is wasting millions to confuse people who to stupid to question , verify, and analyze things.
      By the way zombies love what they want to hear see and feel happy even if it s just a fiction.