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Eritrea: Human Rights

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL957, tabled on 30 June 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what response they have made to the recent report by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea, in particular its findings regarding the failure of the rule of law, and the incidence of persecution, torture, forced labour and sexual enslavement of women, taking place within a "climate of impunity".

Answered on

13 July 2015

We recognise the important work of the Commission of Inquiry and we share its concerns regarding human rights in Eritrea, in particular widespread arbitrary detention and shortcomings in the rule of law and respect for fundamental freedoms. We regret the Government of Eritrea’s failure to receive the Commission in Asmara, which compelled the Commission in its report to rely on witnesses who are outside the country and whose testimony may have been based on first-hand experience of Eritrea some time ago.

Eritrea continues to fall short of its international human rights obligations. We have called on Eritrea to honour these obligations through discussions under the UN Universal Periodic Review as well as the EU Article 8 Dialogue. We note that Eritrea has taken some positive steps in engaging with the international community on human rights, including the ratification of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in September 2014. We now call on the Government of Eritrea to follow through on these commitments with concrete action to strengthen the rule of law and to improve the human rights situation on the ground.