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Letter from NGOs to His Excellency Estifanos Habtemariam Ghebreyesus

31 May 2024

His Excellency Estifanos Habtemariam Ghebreyesus

Embassy of Eritrea in United Kingdom & Ireland

96 White Lion Street

London N1 9PF


30 May 2024


Dear Ambassador Ghebreyesus

We extend our warmest regards to the people of Eritrea as your nation marks 31 years of independence.  

We are saddened, however, by the reality that for so many Eritrean citizens, the full dividends of independence for which so much was sacrificed by so many, as well as the rights and fundamental freedoms articulated in the unimplemented Constitution continue to be denied.

This month also marks the 23rd year since all but three of Eritrea’s Christian denominations were proscribed. We call once again for the reversal of this decision and the fulfilment of freedom of religion or belief for all, in accordance with Eritrea’s obligations under Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

We remain deeply concerned by the continuing campaign of unjust, arbitrary, and indefinite detention that has targeted members of the Christian community since May 2002, around 400 of whom are among  thousands of prisoners of conscience currently languishing in harsh conditions. This number includes six senior church leaders who are beginning their 20th  year in incommunicado detention. Our concern has been heightened further by news of the death in detention on 14 May of Pentecostal pastor Ghirmay Araya, almost three years after he was detained arbitrarily.

We are dismayed that as Eritrea’s second term on the Human Rights Council draws to an end, there has been no discernible improvement in the plight of these prisoners, or in the general human rights climate.

We therefore reiterate our call for your government to release every prisoner of conscience unconditionally, beginning with those detained for extensive periods without charge, trial or access to their families.

Yours sincerely

  • Church In Chains (Ireland)
  • CSW
  • Human Rights Concern-Eritrea
  • Release Eritrea



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