Item 2: Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the situation of human rights in Eritrea
Organisation: Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)
Speaker: Claire Denman
Thank you Mr President,
CSW thanks the Special Rapporteur and the panellist.
The Eritrean government continues to violate the rights of citizens comprehensively, including their right to freedom of religion or belief.
A campaign of arrests targeting Evangelical Christians has continued since 2002. In September 2022, 150 were arrested in Asmara, 98 of whom remain in Mai Serwa prison. In January, 44 were arrested in Asmara, and detained in Mai Serwa.
At least 44 Orthodox monks were detained in April for supporting Patriarch Antonios. On 15 February, Yeneta Israel, a strong supporter of the late patriarch, was found dead in his monastery from multiple knife wounds.
Forced conscription continues, with families of absconders deemed guilty by association, rendered homeless, and often detained.
Eritrean troops remain in parts of Tigray despite the 2022 peace agreement. IDPs from Irob report ongoing violations, including rape and obstruction of aid. News of earlier abuses is emerging, including the massacres of over 400 civilians in Adwa District.
In 2022, the General Assembly suspended Russia from this Council, even before the extent of its violations was known. Yet Eritrea was re-elected, even though a Council-mandated investigation found it has committed atrocity crimes since 1991. Now it is implicated in similar violations in Tigray.
We urge Member States to address this anomaly, and to ensure Council seats are henceforth reserved for nations that align with its ethos and cooperate with its mechanisms.