Eritrea: UN Special Rapporteur urges for referral to Security Council

UN Special Rapporteur Sheila Keetharuth presented her report to the Third Committee , calling on the General Assembly to adopt a resolution submitting the Commission’s report to the Security Council for a referral of the Human Rights situation in Eritrea to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The report highlights the Human Rights situation in Eritrea where it states crimes against humanity has been committed by Eritrean officials since 1991. Allegations of enslavement, enforced disappearances, torture and other crimes were on the report. Keetharuth emphasised the need for accountability for these crimes.

Eritrea’s Presidential Advisor and Head of Political Affairs of the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) Yemane Gebreab dismissed the report, shifting the attention to the current developments in Ethiopia. He went on to claim that Eritreans “enjoy many civic and political rights.”

Members of the Eritrean Diaspora took part in a peaceful demonstration outside the UN Headquarters in support of the Commission, also urging for the referral to the ICC.

The Special Rapporteur went on to argue that ‘building trust is not only with the international community but also with the people inside the country.’ The trust that was so prevalent in Eritrea’s earlier years has declined with its citizens continuously fleeing.

It is to be noted that the IOM claims over 2,000 Eritreans crossed to Italy, via the Mediterranean route from January to April 2016.

Source: EEPA.