Friday, June 10, 2016

Send Eritrea to International Criminal Court, UN group says - The Boston Globe

GENEVA — Eritrea’s ‘‘systematic, widespread’’ human rights abuses should be referred to the International Criminal Court as crimes against humanity that include enslavement of up to 400,000 people, a United Nations commission of inquiry said Wednesday.
The commission said the government of the small Horn of Africa country has made no progress on most critical rights violations the group first documented a year ago.
Eritrean refugees are one of the largest groups trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, in power since 1991, has become increasingly repressive, say rights groups.
‘‘The crimes of enslavement, imprisonment, enforced disappearance, torture, persecution, rape, murder, and other inhumane acts have been committed as part of a widespread, systematic campaign against the civilian population since 1991,’’ commission chair Mike Smith said.
The commission’s role was investigative, not prosecutorial, Smith said, stopping short of identifying potential suspects or saying how many there are.


‘‘Officials at the highest levels of state’’ bear responsibility for crimes against humanity, the report said.

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