The United Nations Human Rights Council condemns Eritrea as the situation of freedom of expression and human rights has continued to deteriorate in Eritrea since the adoption of the last resolution by the Council in July 2012.
The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) on June 14, 2013 adopted by consensus a resolution in which it renewed the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea for a period of one year and strongly condemned the continued widespread and systematic violations of human rights committed by the Eritrean authorities.
Yet the government of Eritrea has consistently refused to cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea. As a concerned member State, Eritrea again refuted today’s resolution to renew the mandate but this did not change the position of member States.
The resolution strongly condemned “the sever restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of information, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom of peaceful assembly and association, including the detention of journalists, human rights defenders, political actors, religious leaders and practitioners in Eritrea.”
The Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA) today saluted the unanimous decision of the United Nations Human Rights Council, at its 23rd session in Geneva, to renew mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Eritrea while adopting a resolution strongly condemning the “continued widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms committed by Eritrean authorities”.
“Renewing the Special Rapporteur mandate sends an important message to the Eritrean government that violations should stop and they must comply with their international obligations, to restore the dialogue with the international community and to genuinely cooperate with international human rights mechanisms,” said Omar Faruk Osman, EAJA Secretary General who addressed the council today.
Ahead of the adoption, EAJA urged the Member States of the UN Human Rights Council to support the resolution renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, and to toughen the resolution of the Human Rights Council by condemning the patterns of widespread and systematic violations, including the incommunicado detention of journalists, committed by Eritrean regime.
“Today the Human Rights Council once more affirmed that the violations of human rights in Eritrea should end urgently and continued to mandate an in-depth monitoring of the situation in the country,” added Osman.
39 countries supported the resolution, which was jointly tabled by Djibouti, Somalia and Nigeria. EAJA lobbied Djibouti and Somalia to take the lead in sponsoring this resolution which concerns a member State in the Horn of Africa region.
Exercise of the right to freedom of expression and of the press is subjected to severe restrictions and these rights no longer exist in this Horn of Africa country. Eritrea stands worst jailer of journalists in Eastern Africa region, and continues to ignore calls to free all journalists in prison and other prisoners of conscience.