#HRC50 Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea

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Oral Statement
Fiftieth session of the Human Rights Council
Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea
NGO: Jubilee Campaign*
Speaker: Elizabeth Chyrum

 Check Against Delivery

Jubilee Campaign and Human Rights Concern Eritrea thank the Special Rapporteur for his report.  

The report shows that no tangible progress has been made in solving the ongoing human rights crisis in the country. The government has not implemented the ratified constitution or established a legal framework to protect human rights nor has it established an independent judiciary.

It has not reformed the national military service to limit its length, or demobilized conscripts. Those who joined in 1994 are still conscripts 28 years later, held against their will. Forced conscription for military service, including of minors, has intensified dramatically. It has not ended the practice of arbitrary arrest, indefinite detention and enforced disappearance. Nor has it released thousands of political prisoners. It has not facilitated freedom of expression or established a free media and many journalists remain in prison.

It has not stopped widespread violations of freedom of religion or belief.

Since November 2020 the government has extended its terror to Ethiopia’s Tigray region and Eritrean forces are accused of committing horrific human rights violations. They also destroyed two refugee camps and forcibly returned over 20 000 refugees to Eritrea. The remaining Eritrean refugees in Tigray are dying from lack of food, medicine, and healthcare, as supplies have been prevented from reaching them due to a blockade imposed by the Ethiopian military and its allies including Eritrean forces. Thousands of lives are at imminent risk.

Despite being a member of this Council nothing has changed in the government’s attitude. The Council cannot relax its scrutiny through the Special Rapporteur. It is essential that the mandate remains in place.

Thank you

*Human Rights Concern Eritrea (non-ECOSOC)