Wednesday, September 19, 2012
EU Concerned Over Continued Rights Violations In Eritrea
(RTTNews) - The European Union on Tuesday voiced concerns over the Eritrean government's continued violation of its human rights obligations under both domestic and international law, highlighting the cases of political prisoners and journalists being held in the country without trial for years.
In a statement issued Tuesday, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton expressed the European bloc's deep concern over the continued detention without trial of a group of eleven prominent parliament members from the People's Front for Democracy and Justice as well as ten independent journalists, including the Eritrean-Swedish citizen Dawit Isaak, since 2001.
"Despite repeated appeals by the international community, including by the UN Human Rights Council and the European Union, these people have been detained for the last eleven years without any contact with the outside world, and with all rights suspended," the statement said.
Noting that they have been reports about the arrests and detention without trial of several other journalists in the African nation, Ashton said the European Union remains particularly concerned about the reported deaths of some of the political prisoners and the deterioration of the medical situation of others.
Ashton reminded the Eritrean government that continued lack of information on the whereabouts and the access to health care of the detainees were in "clear violation of several human rights obligations, such as the prohibition of arbitrary detention and the right of anyone deprived of his or her liberty to be treated with human dignity."