Eritrea Focus – Letter on Eritrea’s Candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council

Monday 8 October 2018 To the Member States of the United Nations General Assembly; United Nations Human Rights Council; United Nations Headquarters; United Nations Office at Geneva; African Union; European Union; Foreign and Commonwealth Office; and the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eritrea, We

Monday 8 October 2018

To the Member States of the United Nations General Assembly;
United Nations Human Rights Council;
United Nations Headquarters;
United Nations Office at Geneva;
African Union;
European Union;
Foreign and Commonwealth Office;
and the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eritrea,

We are writing in support of the request made by Human Rights Concern Eritrea (HRC-E) in their open letter of 2 October to the UN General Assembly in relation to Eritrea’s possible future membership of the Human Rights Council. We understand that Eritrea is a candidate for the 2019-2021 term on the Council, and we are concerned that this poses a grave risk to the reputation and integrity of the Human Rights Council.

Only two years ago in 2016, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea submitted its final report. The COI concludes it is highly likely that the Eritrean regime is guilty of systematic crimes against humanity against the population, and calls for these to be investigated by the International Criminal Court. The report details the use of murder, rape, torture, and forced disappearance to intimidate citizens and stifle political opposition.

Also well documented is Eritrea’s policy of indefinite national service – equated with enslavement by the COI. This service, however, is not limited to military conscription. Eritreans are routinely forced to work in civilian roles in state-controlled industries. Our own report published this year, Mining and Repression in Eritrea, presented first hand evidence from conscripts forced to work in Eritrea’s extractive sector.

The Human Rights Council is “responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without any distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner” (A/RES/60/251). It is inconceivable that Eritrea should be in a position to promote these values while more than 10,000 of its own people languish as prisoners of conscience in its jails.

According to the Freedom in the World 2018 index, published by Freedom House, Eritrea is deemed ‘not free’, and is ranked third from last among all UN member states. Why should any country in the world take seriously a council whose mandate is to promote human rights, when one of its seats is occupied by a state with such a troubling human rights record?

Resolution 60/251, adopted by the General Assembly in its sixtieth session on 3 April 2006, to establish the Human Rights Council, sets out that “When electing members to the Council, States shall take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto”. We urge all UN Member States to take seriously these obligations.

Like all in the international community, we welcome the recent warming of relations between Eritrea and its neighbours, and sincerely hope this leads to substantive human rights reform. Surely that would be the time for Eritrea to take its place on the Council whose job it is to promote and protect human rights around the world.

As of yet there has been no such reform. This is confirmed by the latest report from Human Rights Watch, Eritrea: Diplomacy Changes, but Political Prisoners Remain.

We, Eritrea Focus, urge you to consider the human rights record of Eritrea, and to consider whether that country’s election to the Human Rights Council is appropriate at this time.

In all good faith,
Habte Hagos
Chair, Eritrea Focus

www.eritrea-focus.org
info@eritrea-focus.org

aseye.asena@gmail.com

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9 COMMENTS
  • Sol October 8, 2018

    ዝብኢሰ ኣባል ማሕበር ጔሶት is it the end of existence.

  • rezen October 8, 2018

    One can’t help being curious to see the List of Membership in the Human Rights Council [re:www.google.com ] and decide for thyself if the effort to block Eritrea has any meaning for the suffering, wanderers, homeless ERITREANS. We should also ask ourselves whether the UN, as a whole, is honestly, truly, really, frankly, candidly the champion of “Human Rights”, regardless of the colour of the skin, or political stature. It thus goes without saying, Our CURRENT dear Eritrea will be comfortable in the exact ጨናዊ atmosphere. IT IS A COCKEYED WORLD.
    By the way, USA resigned its membership effective June 2018.

    • Asmara Eritrea October 10, 2018

      Not surprised the US has pulled out of UNHRC under the leadership of President Trash. But that does negate the UNHCR’s noble princples.

      Eritrea forever, death to dictatorship

  • k.tewolde October 9, 2018

    ‘Our CURRENT dear Eritrea will be comfortable in the exact ጨናዊ atmosphere.’ ….indeed rezen,we live in a world which doesn’t favor the poor,downtrodden,disadvantaged..>>>>look at the Rohingya people,journalist Johnathan Miller states,’the saddest story I ever told’, so is Eritrea a sad story,just a story of colossal genocide of people for consumption.

    • rezen October 9, 2018

      Yes, so it is, Dear k tewolde but I still have the delightful daydreaming, in a tiny piece of corner in my mind, about our mutual promise for the legendary በራድ ሻሂ መዓመር [my treat] with delectable ኡንፖቲቶ [your treat] and SAYING NOTHING but pondering over the TRAJECTORY of ERITREAN HISTORY. THAT WOULD BE MY DAY & YOURS TOO, k. t. since you OFFERED YOUR DEAR AND ONLY LIFE. What else is there to give., for heaven’s sake !?!? Why couldn’t ERITREA see THAT and concentrate on the common benefit FOR ERITREA, instead of squabbling/latching to insidious perennial parochial matters, for eternity?

      • k.tewolde October 9, 2018

        I gave the best gift I can give young all of me like so many unfortunate ones of my generation,left all the spoils behind my parents were pouring on me to consummate the lethal and drunken love I had for this unraveling nation today. ‘Why couldn’t ERITREA see THAT and concentrate on the common benefit FOR ERITREA’>>>rezen,we are not a nation blessed to see things from that perspective,however prudence like yours is a spark from the flint in the darkest hour,when the dawn eventually arrives I can see you and me in a little corner of the city we left behind, me sipping on shahi mua’amar,you taking a bite at that succulent oil and vinegar dripping umbetito having a hearty conversation….. I am a simple man with simple needs and a whole lot wants for my people and I have found a partner in you rezen.I haven’t given up on that delightful daydreaming,it keeps me going,chivediammo amico mio.

  • Sol October 9, 2018

    ኣንታ ተኽላይ ኣነ ኢትዮጵያዊ ክኸውን ምደለኹ ኔረ ግን ኣምሓሩን ኦሮሞን ወያነ ትግራዋይ ኢሎም ከይሓርዱኒ እናፈራህኩ።

    • Haregot October 10, 2018

      Ethiopians wouldn’t allow back an old ROOTLESS CANCEROUS Muslim nomad Jihadist ISIS.
      You must’ve trained the Amhara & Oromos how to behead and slaughter innocent people then.
      Did you take part in beheading our innocent young Eritrean/Ethiopian Christians in your Libya deserts? Or were you just celebrating with your ISIS Jihadist members? Get lost to Arab deserts.

  • Geladios October 12, 2018

    Mr. Haregot who slaughter General Aman Andom, General Isaias Gebreslassie, and Degyat Haregot the Mayor of Asmara etc…ISIS? Who is killing the youth of Eritreans ISIS? Who is responsible for the lost over 20,000 in the name of Bademe, in the avoidable war ISIS? Who has shot in the spot in border no one unable to count them in the border crossing ISIS? Who has shot the many heroes in the Sudan ISIS? Who jailed and killed the G15, ISIS? Who killed the hero of Forto in Asmara Wedi Ali, and his comrades, endless to count you tell us ISIS? Not Isaias your uncle. in your account. Tell us more and we are going to believe you, go crazy on the cover the Dictator of Eritrea.

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