World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN expert to assess human rights situation in Eritrea

UN expert to assess human rights situation in Eritrea through neighbouring countries

Banjul, 11 April 2013 – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea, Beedwantee Keetharuth, today regretted that the Eritrean Government continues to deny her access to assess the situation of human rights in the country, and announced she will undertake a mission to neighbouring countries to talk to Eritrean refugees.

“I have urged the Eritrean authorities to cooperate with my mandate, as required by the UN Human Rights Council,” Ms. Keetharuth said during the 53rd session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) in Banjul, The Gambia, where she held an ad-hoc meeting with the delegation of Eritrea in the margins of the event.

“In the meantime, I will engage with all others concerned by human rights in Eritrea, including those who consider themselves to be victims of alleged human rights violations, human rights defenders and other civil society actors,” she explained. The Special Rapporteur will present her first report on the human rights situation in Eritrea to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2013.

Ms. Keetharuth welcomed a call on the Government of Eritrea to fully cooperate with international and regional mechanisms and to implement previous decisions by the African Commission, made by the NGO Forum which preceded the regional meeting. During the NGO Forum, she introduced her mandate and exchange information on the situation of human rights in Eritrea with various stakeholders.

Earlier calls by the African Commission for the release of eleven former Eritrean Government officials detained in 2001, a fair trial for 18 journalists detained without trial since 2001 and the lifting of the ban on free press have remained unanswered by the State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

From human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur heard about the Eritrean Government’s blatant disrespect for the rights and dignity of its people. They highlighted the indefinite national service, forced labour, and arbitrary and incommunicado detention of those held in more than 300 prisons throughout the country in inhumane conditions.

They also stressed the alarming living conditions in a country where most people are struggling to survive on insufficient food rations, lack access to health care and are faced with frequent shortages of electricity, water and the absence of an independent press.

All these factors were presented to the UN independent expert to explain why thousands of Eritreans deciding to leave their home county per months despite the serious risks along the routes to where they hope their human dignity will be respected.

“I reiterate my hope that the Eritrean Government would consider the mandate of the Special Rapporteur as an opportunity to start a fresh and constructive dialogue on human rights issues that have been raised by the international community and other stakeholders,” Ms. Keetharuth said, while stressing that the primary concern of the mandate is to provide an objective, fair and impartial picture of human rights in Eritrea.

The human rights expert also expressed her expectation that the Eritrean Government would view her mandate as an opportunity “to safely and in all trust, address Eritrea’s compliance with its human rights obligations as contained in international treaties to which the country is a party.”

Beedwantee Keetharuth was appointed as the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea during the 21st Session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2012. She took her functions on 1 November 2012. As Special Rapporteur, she is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. A lawyer from Mauritius, she has extensive experience in monitoring and documenting human rights violations, advocacy, training and litigation in human rights in Africa.

UN Human Rights, country page – Eritrea: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/ERIndex.aspx

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news