Monday, July 4, 2016

UN rights body calls on AU to respond to Eritrea violations

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council [official website] called [press release] on the African Union (AU) [official website] Friday to respond to a report [text, PDF] that detailed gross human rights violations in Eritrea. The report found that systemic and widespread gross violations in the detention facilities and military camps may even amounts to crimes against humanity. The council had previously called [press release] on the AU for assistance in providing accountability mechanisms for judicial reasons. The resolution[text, PDF] included the following:
[The Human Rights Council] Strongly encourages the African Union to follow up on the report and recommendations of the commission of inquiry on human rights in Eritrea by establishing an investigation, supported by the international community, with a view to examining and bringing to justice those responsible for violations and abuses of human rights identified by

the commission of inquiry, including any that may amount to a crime against humanity.
The call was welcomed [Al Jazeera report] by activists, human rights groups and Eritreans who see the resolution as a necessary first step in addressing the issues. Eritrea denies all allegations that it has committed crimes against humanity.

Eritrea has faced much criticism from the international community for continued abuses of human rights. In 2013 the UN called for an end to human rights abuses in Eritrea and appealed to the international community to increase scrutiny [JURIST reports] of the nation. The UN also pleaded aid [JURIST report] for Eritrean refugees, as denial of asylum would most likely condemn them to death, based on the country's shoot to kill order [report, PDF] for anyone attempting to leave the country illegally. In late 2013 a report from Dutch and Swedish researchers discovered that officers of the Eritrean military were kidnapping children [JURIST report] and smuggling them into Sudan. In March 2015 another UN commission released a report [JURIST report] that found that the various human rights abuses found in Eritrea included torture, a large number of detentions, and paltry wages insufficient for an adequate standard of living.