Eritrea: UN denounces “lack of progress” on human rights


A United Nations investigator has condemned a lack of progress on numerous human rights issues in Eritrea and a series of recent events that no improvements are being made in the country.

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights situation in Eritrea, Daniela Kravetz, delivered her latest update to the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday where she outlined ongoing concerns about the political situation in the Horn of Africa nation.

No evidence of progress

Speaking at the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council Update on Eritrea, Ms Kravetz said she has seen “no concrete evidence of progress” in relation to human rights since her previous update in July 2019.

“Several recent developments illustrate the lack of progress,” she told the council.

“Since my last update, the arrests of Christians who worship without government approval have continued. Last year was particularly harsh for non-recognised Christian congregations. According to reports, last August, more than 80 Pentecostal Christians were arrested, the majority of them in Asmara.”

In her last update, Ms Kravetz reported the arrests of around 200 Christians in separate incidents in Asmara and Keren, most of whom were women and children. However, she says the Muslim community has also been targeted by authorities in recent months.

At the same time, Eritrea continues to run its controversial conscription programme despite a peace deal being agreed with neighbouring Ethiopia in 2018.

Ms Kravetz cited a complete lack of cooperation by the Eritrean authorities with her mandate.

Featured image: “40th Session of the Human Rights Council” flickr photo by UN Geneva shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.