Rights groups call for renewal of UN Special Rapporteur for Eritrea’s mandate

Sightmagazine.com/World Watch Monitor Rights groups have called for the mandate of the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur for Eritrea to be renewed in June. The human rights situation in the East African country has been monitored by

Sightmagazine.com/World Watch Monitor

Rights groups have called for the mandate of the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur for Eritrea to be renewed in June.

The human rights situation in the East African country has been monitored by the UN Human Rights Council since 2012, when it appointed Sheila B Keetharuth as the special rapporteur. In March this year she, however, acknowledged that during her tenure the human rights violations in the country have “continued unabated”.

Fr Thomas Reese, of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, told a US human rights commission in April that Eritrea remained “one of the worst examples of state-sponsored repression of freedom of religion or belief in the world”.

“The State Department estimates that between 1,200 and 3,000 individuals are held on religious grounds,” he said. Among them are several Evangelical and Pentecostal pastors who have been detained for more than 10 years.

Evangelicals and Pentecostals in Eritrea have been at particular risk of detention since a 2002 law was passed prohibiting churches other than the Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and also Sunni Islam.

“The situation in the country is only getting worse”, Dr Berhane Asmelash told World Watch Monitor.

The Eritrean pastor who was imprisoned for his Christian activities and moved to the United Kingdom 18 years ago, said, “We’re seeing the abused becoming abusers. They know it is wrong but it was done to them too. The government, the president, has been successful in sowing division and creating mistrust. You can’t speak in Eritrea because it might make you end up in jail at any time”.

The rare protests that were seen in the streets of the capital Asmara in November, following the government’s plans to turn all schools public, were not a sign of a possible ‘Eritrean Spring’, according to him. It won’t be repeated again soon, he said, “because of what happened to the protesters: they were arrested, jailed, and tortured. They [the authorities] will make sure you won’t do it again. And it discourages anyone who has similar ideas”.

The pastor was visiting a refugee camp in Ethiopia three weeks ago. At the end of 2017 Ethiopia was host to 164,668 Eritrean refugees with most of them in transit to other destinations.

People are “streaming out of [Eritrea]”, he told World Watch Monitor. Just the week before about 5,000 people had crossed the border, he said.

World Watch Monitor reported last month that an estimated 10 per cent of Eritreans have fled the country since the turn of the millennium, finding refuge in neighbouring countries or crossing the Mediterranean in search of safety in Europe and beyond. They have become the “top group” of African asylum seekers in 2017.

People leaving their country “is exactly what the government wants”, the Eritrean pastor said. “They say: ‘Who needs people? They only cause trouble’.”

He says that there are hardly any young people left in the country. “The regime makes it impossible for them to stay. They leave the country because they can’t find a job or have a normal family life because of the mandatory conscription. Or they are kidnapped, like the son of a friend of mine. He was sold to someone in Sudan and his father had to pay a ransom to get him back”.

It is a bleak picture the pastor paints of his home country, which has been dubbed the “North Korea of Africa”.

“The kind of people the government want in the country are like the woman I saw in a disturbing YouTube video”, he told World Watch Monitor.

“In an interview with the Eritrean state television she said she had been paralysed but that, after having washed herself in a dam that was built by the government, she had been healed. She praised the president for that. For her it was now first the president, then Jesus.”

 
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11 COMMENTS
  • Danilo May 31, 2018

    No more secret and no more doubt what is happening in Eritrea. No more action which supposed to be done. All is waste of time when there are people who consider that isayas as jesus.

    • Michael Tesfamariam June 2, 2018

      Definitely! This is all about extending her payroll if there was anything she might be needed to stay with UN HR. She is well aware of the fact that the regime in Eritrea will never let her in to the country to be able to assess human right situations out there. I have always wondered though as to why this woman insists she would like to travel to Eritrea where she knew she could literally do nothing to veer the course of the regime’s actions and the immense human suffering that has already been witnessed for more than decades. Instead, the UN should help us document and disseminate each and every crime committed and the perpetrators and we already know. This is the only sensible job we can do while waiting the regime voluntarily steps down and hand the power over to the lazy opposition as they are desperately praying and wishing for.

      • Meshalit June 6, 2018

        She is already out and no one is going to hire her. What is she going to write in her resume? Tried to change a regime in Africa and it failed.

  • rezen May 31, 2018

    Subject: Rights groups call for renewal of UN Special Rapporteur for Eritrea’s mandate, 31 May2018.

    Quote: “In an interview with the Eritrean state television she said she had been paralysed but that, after having washed herself in a dam that was built by the government, she had been healed. She praised the president for that. For her it was now first the president, then Jesus.” Unquote

    Commentary, 31 May 2018
    Issayas Afewerki Abraha, the self-appointed President, Master of the People of Eritrea, once said to a colleague in a moment of relaxation ,with a glass of spirit, these two immortal Tigrigna words: “ከሪኤክን እየ።” >>> translated as “I WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY” Wow! Wow! Wow!
    Indeed we are now witnessing the transformation of Issays as s single force in the universe – much more powerful force than God. And WE eritreans [with small ‘e’] are blessed to have — in addition to our countless modern learned people of the 21st Century — such a unique benevolent guidance, unheard/unseen of in our universe of darkness.
    With the above background, one can’t help wondering why the honourable “Rights groups call for renewal of UN Special Rapporteur for Eritrea’s mandate” ? Would a “renewal of the expert’s mandate help the wretched people of Eritrea? If Issayas cannot ‘hear’ for the last twenty-seven (27) years what makes him softer by being the cause of extending the employment of the richly paid UN Employee, with additional compensations for travel to dangerous underdeveloped countries, full of beggars. Ad so, one is forced (tempted) to conclude that the wretched African people are actually a source of employment for the developed countries retirees aswell as for those who are aspiring to have cozy life — at the expense of the eternally poor people of Africa. . C’est la vie, as they say in French. Still, I can’t help ending this diatribe with my usual quotation >>> “Cry, My Beloved Africa. THE END .

  • amanuel June 1, 2018

    Iseyas=God=Eritrea.
    Nimintay eyom etom nay sahil akale sunkulan niadi halo keydom zeytehaxbun zedehanun gerimuni alo. Dimxi hafashin mengistin nezom sunkulan nimihigaz nab adi halo nimwsad kinetfu yigibae!

  • Hidat June 2, 2018

    ወዮ ድኣ ከሲስና ከነራካክበሉ ኣይከኣልን ኮይኑ እምበር ብቀዳምነት ክክስስዝግብኦ ትካል ባዕሉ U.N ኢዩ።መጀመሪያ እቲ ዶብኤርትራን ኢትዮጵያን ክሕንጸጽ እሞ ተርኡ ይግበር ሽዑ ከሳሲ ኮይኑ ክቀርብ።

    • amanuel June 2, 2018

      Hidat
      might is right kibil kelo wedi medhin tetakie nerkis hiji higi tibli, feshkal. Higi zeyfelit ke entay azarebo bzaeba higi. Kuwam yitegber zeybelkis nay UN higi deliki.

    • Tesmin June 2, 2018

      Hidat, UN ነቲ መንግስቲ ኤርትራ ዝፈረመሉ ውዕል መስል ደቂ ሰባት ክሕሉ እዩ ዝሓትት።ካብ ምሕታት ሓሊፉ ዘቅረቦ ክሲ የለን።ንግዳይ ዶብ’ውን ኢትዮጲያ ዝፈረመትሉ ውዕል ፍርዲ ክቅበል ይሓትት እዩ።UN ነቲ ክሲ ነቲ ግዳይ ዝኾነ እዩ ዝገድፈሉ እምበር ካብ ምኽሳስ ምትግባር እዩ ግቡኡ ነይሩ ግን፡ካብ ህግደፍ መንደፍ፡ካብ ወያኒየ ምጽራር፡ካብ UN ድማ ኣሽካዕላል እምበር ፈዓራ የቡሉን።ስለዚ ፡ጉዳይ ክሲ ንበዓል ጉዳይ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ዝምልከትን ተሪር ስጉምቲ ኣብ ልዕሊ በደልቲ ግድን እዩ።

      • amanuel June 5, 2018

        Nezom kab tureta zikoblelu, bdem nxuhat ertrawyan zichekewu bshim nexanet barnet zelbesuna nihna ena kinitehananekom zelena, UN aykonen.

  • RAHWA June 5, 2018

    cry for our brothers and sisters who are in endless slavery serving old feudal like generals .Cry for those in harsh prisons subject to torture and mutilation in daily basis .

    Down down the tyrant !

  • Hidat June 5, 2018

    Tesmin”””ካብ U.N ኣሽካዕላል እምበር ፋዕራ ከምዘይብሉን ካብ ወያነ ድማ ቀጻሊ ተጻብኦ ከም ዘሎ ካብ ገለጽካ መንግስትናከ?ኣብ ከምዚ ኩነት መንደፋ እንተኮነ.ከ የክፋኣሉ.ዶ?

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