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UN Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea

Human Rights Watch’s research on Eritrea confirms many of the concerns raised in the Special Rapporteur’s thorough report.  The human rights situation in Eritrea remains dire, with no improvement since the last Universal Periodic Review. 

Human Rights Watch’s research on Eritrea confirms many of the concerns raised in the Special Rapporteur’s thorough report.  The human rights situation in Eritrea remains dire, with no improvement since the last Universal Periodic Review.  Many Eritreans are denied fundamental human rights, including the right to express opinions, form associations and peacefully protest.  Scores of people continue to be arbitrarily detained and imprisoned without trial at the whim of commanders and

security forces; many are tortured.  Freedom to practice the religion of one’s choice is denied if the government disapproves of the choice.


The Eritrean government’s policy of indefinite military conscription and other patterns of serioushuman rights violations described above continue to prompt thousands of young Eritreans to flee their country. According to UNHCR, over 313,000 have fled, over 6% of the population.  The results have been tragic.  Fleeing Eritreans undertake horrific journeys to reach places of refuge and many have fallen victim to traffickers who torture them in order to obtain ransom from their families.  Many other Eritreans have been among those drowned trying to reach Lampedusa, Italy, including 366 who died when their boat capsized in October 2013.

The departure of so many has left the country desolate, as described by four Eritrean Catholic bishopsten days ago in an open letter.  The letter notes that“aged parents are left with no one to care for them and have been spiritually damaged” as their offspring are “scattered in national service . . .[in]rehabilitation centers [and] prisons” or abroad.

The promises that the government made during its first UPR remain unimplemented, including the commitment to ratify the Convention against Torture. In fact, Eritrea showed during it second cycle of the UPR that it was only determined to distort facts and to bluntly reject well-documented allegations of rights abuses. The government also showed that it has no interest to let any independent human rights monitor inside the country – including the Special Rapporteur. However, despite the government’s efforts to restrict information, the Special Rapporteur has succeeded in documenting the grim human rights situation and in exposing to the world the dire reality of millions of Eritreans. This is the clear demonstration of why her mandate is so much needed and should be renewed and strengthened.

The Council should call on the Eritrean government to implement the recommendations contained in its previous resolutions and unequivocally call upon the authorities to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur. We also call on members States to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur’s mandate. The Council should weigh the need for further investigation of the patterns of abuse identified by the Special Rapporteur in order to determine whether such abuse amount to international crimes in order to ensure that those responsible are held into account.

Source: HRW

Review overview
  • Bilen June 19, 2014

    Dani, If ur name is daniel, then read the Bible part of Daniel please. the true daniel didnt wont to worship the kind. said “i must worship only the God” then the kinf threw Daniel & other two in Oven. But God sent his Engel to save this 3 true believers. so Dani dont worship Dictator.

  • getsmarterfirst June 19, 2014

    Dear fellow Eritreans. What do you think could happen now if we Eritreans have helped each other build up our educational, political and economic viewpoints for the last 17 years. In a modern world people may skip history like what mandela did(pass power and avoid civil war), or repeat history like many African nations( dictatorship followed by civil war). How can a person seek justice while refusing others attitudes rather than makeing them understand. Are not we the same as the dictator if we do not embrace political, religious and ethnic differences. How can we seek justice while we establish a political opposition group based on religion, ethnicity or region. What is the motive for that. As far as I am concerned, many most Eritreans try to confront the fine dictator who works in hideouts in a manner that he wants and enjoys. Everybody should think of justice for all. Not just for the justice seekers, but for the people who support the government including those in his circle. In short, we are way behind in almost anyway in the world than almost all countries in the world interms of our political awareness, cooperation and motivation. Trust me if we do not change our approach the dictator will stay in power forever.

  • ERITRAWIT June 20, 2014

    We have to wipe out Isaias and people doing the dirty job for him. Who ever left underground they are waiting for us!!!!!!!

    • Smerrrrrrrr June 20, 2014

      Don’t talk about doing things ,just do it if you are a man enough bitch ass

  • Tamrat Tamrat June 21, 2014

    The ugly economical side of Eritrean exodus:

    1) The corrupt officials and the shark human traffickers makes the exodus their lving.

    2) Pfdj uses the hard currency which is collected by the illigal Methods, from 2% tax, and Direct remittance from eri abroad for recuritting militaries and cheap Manpower.

    3) Pfdj thinks the exodus as a relief from the press of unempoyment.

    4) Families abroad invest in the exodus instead of supporting thier Family for life.

    5) Pfdj collects hard currency from the non-ending eri-festivals from all over the world.

    6) The camp including the europ makes a living out of eris-refugees. No refugees, no employment for hundreds only in norway.

    7) Eri translators enjoy if not praying for their economy bost by the exodus.

    The above are the economical drive for eri exodus in addition to the african north-korea dectatorship. Eritrea is so closed now no one blieves whatever happens is true or fals.

  • Yerhiwo June 21, 2014

    From earlier post in response to UN Human Right Watch concern in Eritrea.

    It is very sad we ERITREANS can’t eradicate the Dictator Wedi Medhin Berad (originally from Tembien). He is taking our country to hell. What are we waiting for? Why are we dying slowly? Are there any men left in Eritrea who can put this drunkard snake dictator in the sewer? Where are the mothers and fathers who lost their kids? Can we demonstrate at least to demand justice and freedom? Where is that slogan “we Eritreans are special”? Are we special just to tolerate abuse, rape , torture and injustice? Ask where your brother is!!! Wake up Dekebat Eritreans and eliminate Dictator Isaias Afwerki and his cousins Hagos Kisha and Yemane Monkey!!!

  • rezen June 21, 2014

    Subject:UN Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea 19 June 2014

    Commentary: 21 June 2014

    Needless to say the deliberation of the Human Rights Council on the report by the diligent Special Rapporteur on Eritrea is commendable. The Council is doing its part. What is glaringly lacking, as pointed out by many commentators, is Eritreans’ part on their affairs. There are baffling questions:
    1. What are Eritreans themselves doing — especially those thousands and thousands of Diaspora [1] who are living in safe, secure, comfortable and democratic countries — to help their people who are suffering under inhuman conditions?
    2. In particular, what are the highly educated Eritrean scholars doing — scattered, around the globe and living comfortably — to help and guide their unfortunate people?
    3. What have they achieved, if any, since the dictatorial nature of the Eritrean Government came to the surface, at last, beyond the shadow of a doubt – for all the world to see? Here is what a renowned scholar wrote, scolding his brethren scholars for their deliberate silence. This is my fifth time to quote him!

    “I believe the Eritrean people expect Eritrean scholars to objectively and critically assess the ills of the nation and offer bold and constructive suggestions for the good of their country and the Eritrean people. Eritrean scholars should assume this responsibility as their national duty and indeed as their obligation. I also believe Eritrean scholars should not give a deaf ear and a blind eye to the suffering of their people. They should have the moral courage and intellectual integrity to speak on behalf of the voiceless and the oppressed.”

    It is worth repeating it hundred times. What else can one add more than the above wise criticism upon educated compatriots?

    Based on wild guess, there are about three-hundred PhD carriers, engaged mostly in educational institution as teachers in foreign countries including (mostly, one assumes) the United States of America. How high can one get than that!!! And yet the saddest part of it all is that these Eritreans who have the ultimate knowledge, and who profess to love their country of origin, have done absolutely nothing — and there is no hint of doing something for the future — to rescue Eritrea from cruel indigenous government. With this background, one cannot help but ask further why they find it important to have several civic groups (with high fluting names) if they are not willing or capable of doing anything constructive to save their old country from misery. It is all a charade.

    In 1991, prominent intellectuals on various fields of endeavour flocked to the so-called “independent” Eritrea, presumably to “help”. But what help? Was it for them or for the country? On his part, Mr. Issayas Afewerki Abraham; a first-year college dropout; the founder of a “liberation” front in his own image; the self-elected President of Eritrea, who abhor intellectuals, had a clear idea for them i.e. he used them to the lilt to his heart’s content and dropped them like a snot. They deserve it, by many accounts. And so, why did the intellectual elites flock to Eritrea? It has to be for their own self-interest just as much as Issayas used Eritrea for his own ego and hatred toward Eritreans. He succeeded in his own mission [2]. In both cases, the Eritrean people are the LOSERS. And we did not even address the other treacherous deception made in 1961 based on one of the cancerous diseases of Eritrea: RELIGION and its consequential dream for new IDENTITY – hence the disintegration of that forged land and baptized as “Eritrea”. Religion – blind spiritual faith – can be a curse to humanity. Just watch the world news on your TV in the comfort of your homes. But I am digressing.

    Eritreans are prone to glorify their “Eritrea” beyond boundary. They propagate false or exaggerated propaganda of: a) blessed country; b) hard working united people; c) kindest people known for their hospitality; d) gallant people with guts, glory, heroic, and determination who can repel any force; d) superior people in Africa etc ad nausea. It is a glaring manifestation of inferiority complex but camouflaged by artificial superiority complex – or, to put to put it differently, deeply hungry for recognition that was denied to them by string of colonial forces.

    “Eritreans” never had a chance to know themselves and build something worthy by themselves, for themselves. “Eritreans” seem to be comfortable and do admirably much better scattered (or being nomads – if you prefer!) around the world – but always dreaming of ‘home’ that never became a reality. In1991, after horrendous sacrifice in the order of three-hundred-thousand loss of life and a complete destruction of a country, that ‘dream’ became a reality but alas the custodians became completely at a loss as to what to do with this thing called “Eritrea”.

    In 1998 Eritrean intellectual elites started a quiet exodus back to their own safe holes abroad – waiting for the demise of the government by the army, or individual lowly heroes willing to sacrifice their lives. Intellectuals –especially in the Continent of Africa – are known for their shameless endeavour only for their own self interest, satisfaction and benefit.
    If there is disgust for the above opinion, prove it to the readers at large that there was a tangible course of action taken by intellectual civic groups to:
    a) develop meaningful plan (formal documentation) for the salvation of Eritrea;
    b) appeal to their adopted countries for cooperative assistance to extricate their people from cruel indigenous government;
    c) establish open communication with the International Community i.e. UN and others;
    d) foster close relationship with African Diplomatic Missions; and
    e) foster good relationship with other appropriate Diplomatic Missions around the Globe.

    In short, what single action did the Eritrean Intellectuals take to save their country? Do they even have “respectable office (organization)” from which to establish international relationship? How do they even contemplate of getting any favourable inclination from the international community without any visible and respectable mission by the Eritreans themselves? Eritrean Intellectuals would have been the first to recognize the importance of good international relationship. But alas they seem to have no clue at all – blinded by individual self interest.

    The future generation of Eritrea, wherever they may be, will remember them and document history for all to read.

    [1} The latest UN estimate is “4000 Eritrean exodus per month”!
    [2] By the way, it is not a secrete that there are many Eritrean intellectuals who believe in Issayas Afewerki — of course, for their own interest >>> and, of course, Issayas knows it!!! It must also be added that there is a formidable organization, well funded, with deep knowledge of Eritrea who are cautious of entanglement with international organizations, because they believe that their age-old fundamental dream would be jeopardized. Hence, with this consideration in mind, they have cautious approach to the demise of Issayas Afewerki!!! This time around, they are determined to have their way with Eritrea, AT ANY COST.

  • solomon Eritrean July 21, 2014

    Very good work!1 you will be successful!!