34th session of the Human Rights Council

CIVICUS expresses its appreciation to the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea for the work she has done to highlight the worst human rights violations and the overall dire situation in Eritrea.  We also laud the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) for the findings and recommendations presented in the report of the Commission. 

Sadly, there has not been any major improvements regarding human rights violations since the publication of the report of CoI. On the contrary Eritreans continue to be subjected to enslavement, compulsory and indefinite military service, torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, sextual and gender based violence and reprisals against family members who flee the country or those arrested for offending the regime.

Mr. President, the human rights situation in Eritrea remains dire – to the extent that the government accuses most of those currently in detention of committing acts of treason and or espionage.  Such accusations stem from actions by Eritreans that include asking for information about a family member in detention, offending a senior government official, attempting to leave Eritrea, and practicing an unauthorised religion.

The absence of an independent judiciary, a constitution and democratic and human rights institutions means that victims of these human rights violations have no recourse to justice. Impunity persists and those who have been subjected to enforced disappearances remain unaccounted for. 

We urge the Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Eritrea and provide the mandate holder with the human and financial resources needed to continue the work on Eritrea.

We call on the government of Eritrea to fully implement the 1997 Constitution, allow human rights defenders and civil society organisations to function without restrictions from the state and limit the national service to 18 months in line with the Proclamation on National Service. 

Thank you, Mr. President 

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