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HEARING: Eritrea: Root Causes of the Refugee Crisis – Wednesday, April 18 @ 2:30 p.m. – 2255 Rayburn

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing Eritrea: Root Causes of the Refugee Crisis Wednesday, April 18, 2018 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. 2255 Rayburn House Office Building Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) for a hearing on human rights in

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing

Eritrea: Root Causes of the Refugee Crisis

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
2255 Rayburn House Office Building
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) for a hearing on human rights in Eritrea.
Migrants from the small east African nation of Eritrea make-up a disproportionate number of those included in the global refugee crisis. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that roughly eight percent of the population, or 474,000 Eritreans globally, were refugees or asylum seekers at the end of 2015. Many of these asylum seekers are exploited by smugglers, and traffickers, or find themselves in Libyan slave markets enduring detention, torture, and forced labor. Some, after gaining their freedom, expressed they would rather endure the experience of slavery over again than to be sent back to their native country. What are the human rights conditions in Eritrea that are causing so many people to leave their homes at the risk of slavery, trafficking, and death?
President Isais Afwerki has ruled Eritrea since 1993 by crushing civil society groups, religious communities, journalists, and opposition political parties. Jehovah’s Witnesses were stripped of their citizenship in 1993 and are not allowed to exercise basic rights. Military conscription is mandatory and indefinite beginning at the age of 18, amounting to a form of state-sanctioned slavery. The U.N. Commission of Inquiry in 2015 stated that the Eritrean government’s actions amount to crimes against humanity.
The United States Committee on International Religious Freedom has recommended Eritrea be designated as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) since 2004, and the United States has implemented strict sanctions against the country since 2002. What more can Congress do to support the universal rights of the Eritrean people?
Panel I
  • Jana Mason, Senior Advisor, External Relations & Government Affairs, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Panel II
  • Father Thomas Reese, Commissioner, United States Committee on International Religious Freedom
Panel III
  • Maria Burnett, Director, East Africa and the Horn, Human Rights Watch
  • Abraham T. Zere, Executive Director, PEN Eritrea
The hearing is open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. The hearing will be livestreamed via the Commission website, and will also be available for viewing on the House Digital Channel service. For any questions, please contact Jamie Staley (for Mr. Hultgren) at 202-226-1516 or or Kimberly Stanton (for Mr. McGovern) at 202-225-3599
Randy Hultgren, M.C.                                    James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chair, TLHRC                                          Co-Chair, TLHRC

Review overview
  • amanuel April 16, 2018

    Responsibility regarding our situation primarily lies on us, not the USA or europe. If they do not see hope in us they can not take decisive actions against the gang group or minority regime or else what ever the regimes nature is. We need big and heavy weight political hitters who can expose everything going on inside the regime and country, who can sway the public. One is kubrom dafla but we need hundreds like him who can rip the regime naked. We also need powerful speakers who can Pull all strings and our emotions for action. Then all countries will be willing to walk with us.

  • amanuel April 16, 2018

    Weyane and hgdf are criminals every body knows that. Ethiopians are well organized and are eradicating weyane everyday from their country and will soon take back their country from weyane chifras. Are we ready like ethiopians? Hgdf is full fledged criminal gang group that needs open agressive aproach like weyane is facing from inside and outside.

  • rezen April 17, 2018

    Subject: “Eritrea: Root Cause of the Refugees Crisis”

    Commentary, 16 Apr 2018
    It is alarming that about “474,000 Eritreans globally, were refugees or asylum seekers at the end of 2015” The number, obviously, is way up since then. This is more than half the population of Asmara [804,000. Google]. Needless to say, it is shocking.

    It is commendable that human right commission hearing is taking place on Eritrea. with specific unambiguous subject. Needless to say, one wishes good success to the meeting. The fact that the meeting will be conducted by ‘neutral’ members gives the hope that the discussion and resultant recommendation for action would be free from appearing to be emotional– but concentrating on the hard fact of TRAGEDY on the ground. It would have been NATURAL and MOST desirable to have indigenous Eritrean experts to solve the problem of Eritrea. To do so however — it goes without saying – complete cooperation and working together, as one unit, must be prerequisite. Sadly, we don’t have that melody, yet. Hence, we have to depend on international organizations, which, admirably, includes an Eritrean Scholar, “Executive Director, PEN Eritrea”

    With that background, it is hoped that the out come of the meeting, with appropriate recommendations, will be transmitted to an international organization for appropriate international action to bring the matter to the Government of Eritrea. Everything is done through norms of international organization to which Eritrea would have to seriously consider the international recommendations. As we all know, the mechanism of international organizations can be very slow but can also be effective in putting pressure on the Member State involved.

    Since diaspora Eritreans opposition entities (estimated to be 80 to 90 groups) are not in complete harmony with each other to form ONE organization , there seems to be no choice but to rely upon international organizations to make pressure upon the Eritrean government from the other side of the prism. Let us ‘cross our fingers’ that the international meeting will initiate some force to nudge the Eritrean government onto the right direction. THE END

  • Tesfai April 17, 2018

    Eritrea is so lucky to live close to the most civilized Wahabi Arabs — The Saudi Arabian barbarians. More shocking is that there are still political dinosaurs and fanatics who would anything to copy them — talk about slavery or Abeedsim.
    BBC reports:
    Saudi Arabia is about to open its first cinema for 35 years, showing the film Black Panther. After being banned for decades, why is it now OK to go to the movies?

    Saudi Arabia’s decision to end its ban on cinemas is part of a wider change across society.

    In the 20th Century, its ruling Al Saud dynasty could rely on two sources of power: plentiful oil wealth and an informal pact with conservative religious clerics.

    But now the country has to adapt to a 21st Century where oil wealth will not be enough to fund government spending and create jobs, and where the clerics have less influence than they once did with the new leaders of the royal family.

  • meretse April 18, 2018

    ንቡር ዝጠፍኦም ሕፍረቶም ዝቀልዑ
    ዓዲ ውዕል ኮይኖም ከይተሰማምዑ
    ምልላይ ስኢኖም 2 ኣዕኑድ ኪዳን ….. (ብሉይን ሓዲሽን)
    ኣብ’ዚ እነሆ ናይ ኣርግቶት ዕብዳን
    ሓደ ረዳ ክብል ሓደ ሓምዳን
    በርካ ኣስፊሮማ ጓላን ወዳን
    መጨረሻ ኣስዒብሎም ዕብዳን
    ኣብ ኢትዮ ዘሎኩም ኣብ ሱዳን
    ክፉእ ዝረኣኩም ደርብይሎም ክዳን