Statement from UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea Human Rights

It is my honor to introduce my first oral update to the Council since taking up the part of Special Rapporteur last November 2020. In my update today, I will zero in on the common freedoms of Eritrean evacuees and refuge searchers with regards to the continuous Tigray emergency in Ethiopia, which added another convoluted dynamic in checking the basic liberties of the Eritrean public, and the advancement made according to the benchmarks set out in the reports of my archetype. 

I additionally got direct records of claims of grave basic freedoms and helpful law infringement, including extralegal killings, directed kidnappings and constrained return of Eritrean outcasts and refuge searchers to Eritrea, supposedly by Eritrean powers. 

I’m especially worried about the two displaced person camps, which facilitated more than 25,000 Eritrean exiles in Tigray locale, Hitsats and Shemelba, and which were supposedly obliterated in assaults completed by Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers between November 2020 and January 2021, regardless of their ensured helpful status under the 1951 Convention on the Protection of evacuees. 

I’m additionally worried about charges of conceivable ramifications of Eritrean soldiers in instances of genuine common freedoms infringement, including demonstrations of kidnappings, powerful or involuntary return of Eritrean outcasts and haven searchers, and their detainment in various jails in Eritrea. 

Such claims should be researched expeditiously and altogether by autonomous instruments. On 28 January 2021, in my letter to the Government of Ethiopia, I approached the Ethiopian specialists to secure the common liberties of Eritrean exiles and shelter searchers in the Tigray district, and to guarantee regard for their privileges under basic freedoms law, worldwide philanthropic law and global outcast law.

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