Eritrean Regime Tells UN HR Council: It Gives “Dignified Life” to its People

2020-02-28 08:09:32 Written by  EPDP Information Office Published in EPDP News Read 1241 times

Responding to an oral statement of Ms Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Eritrean envoy, Tesfamichael Gerhatu, told the plenary session of UN Human Rights on 27 February 2020 that his government deserved praise for the progress it made in giving “a dignified life” to its people.

He accused the UN official of depicting “fake crisis” about Eritrea instead of reflecting on “Eritrea’s progress in promoting equal rights and opportunities” to its people.

This was the second day that Eritrea was widely debated at the 43rd Session of the UN HR Council with long list of speakers expressing deep concern about the continued failure of Eritrea to start changing to the better. The day’s meeting was opened by the statement of Ms Bachelet on a number of problem countries like Eritrea, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Venezuela and a few others.

She said despite the peace accord with Ethiopia and other opportunities opened to Eritrea, the civic space remains “entirely under Government control, and rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and belief, as well as freedom of the press, are largely denied.” She also regretted about Eritrea’s failure to respond to her Office’s offer for assistance in strengthening the judiciary, rights of persons with disabilities, and rights to water and sanitation.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also went on stating as follows:

“I am troubled by crackdowns on people who express even implicit criticism of the Government. For example, after Catholic bishops released a pastoral letter obliquely calling for justice and reform, 21 Catholic-run hospitals were reportedly closed down. We have also received repeated reports of arrests and detention of people for practicing their religious beliefs.

“The Government has continued to arrest scores of Eritreans for exercising their fundamental rights to the freedoms of opinion, belief and peaceful assembly, detaining many without trial, in sub-standard conditions, and often incommunicado.

“Eritrea should ensure that persons in detention are treated with humanity and dignity; release those subjected to arbitrary detention; enable fair trial guarantees; and clarify the fate or whereabouts of disappeared persons. I join the Human Rights Committee in its concern about widespread impunity regarding serious human rights violations.

“The indefinite duration and harsh conditions of military service are one of the main factors pushing many young Eritreans to leave the country. Reports indicate that some conscripts are used as unpaid or ill-paid labour. The Government has stated that reforms of conscription are planned, but no practical measures have been taken to date.”

Last modified on Friday, 28 February 2020 09:15