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Monday, July 4, 2022

UN report: Human rights situation in Eritrea hits new low

A UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Eritrea has issued a critical report on the deteriorating situation there, noting forced military recruitment, arbitrary arrests, disappearances and torture among the reported violations.

In a report submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mohamed Abdelsalam Babikar said that Eritrean’s involvement in the armed conflict in neighboring Ethiopia highlights the impact of the Eritrean government’s system of precarious national military service. He described the rights situation as dire.

He said those who try to evade the draft are imprisoned indefinitely in inhuman and degrading conditions.

“The authorities punished draft thieves veiledly, for example by imprisoning a parent or spouse to force themselves to surrender,” he said. “I also found reports about soldiers who were killed as they tried to flee from Tigre or military training centers in Eritrea.”

Ethiopia’s military offensive against the Tigre People’s Liberation Front began on November 4, 2020. Since then, thousands of Eritrean soldiers have been forced to take part in the conflict.

Investigator Babikar said children under the age of 14 have been cornered and recruited, and Eritrean refugees have been kidnapped and forced to fight in Ethiopian camps. He said the human rights situation in Eritrea is forcing thousands of people to migrate to other countries for asylum.

“I am deeply concerned by the condition of the hundreds of Eritreans who have been banished and arbitrarily detained in secret prisons in violation of human rights standards,” he said. “I continue to hear the testimony of witnesses and victims in what are known as ‘villas’. These are actually secret places of detention that are not easily identifiable.”

Tesfamichel Gerahtu, an ambassador in Eritrea’s foreign ministry, said he would not respond to the allegations in the report, saying they were based on information from selective and irresponsible sources. He said there was no human rights crisis in Eritrea and that the persecution and sanctions imposed on his country had to stop.

Eritrea was re-elected to serve as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council in October 2021. Reporter Babikar said the country’s failure to promote and protect human rights jeopardizes the council’s credibility and integrity.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
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