The EU thanks the Special Rapporteur, Dr. Babiker, for his oral presentation and reaffirms its support to his mandate.
The human rights situation in Eritrea continues to be a cause for serious concern. The EU remains deeply concerned about the continued practice of indefinite National Service, arbitrary detention and forced disappearances, as well as the severe restrictions on the exercise of freedom of expression, freedom of religion or belief, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
While we note reports that Eritrea released prisoners belonging to different religions, the EU calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all those detained arbitrarily, including political prisoners, journalists and human rights defenders. The EU furthermore urges the government of Eritrea to put an end to the practice of forced disappearances, to implement a constitutional, legal and institutional framework for the promotion and protection of human rights, for land and property rights, including those of foreign communities, and to address all forms of gender-based violence.
The European Union is deeply worried about the involvement of Eritrean military forces in the widely reported serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law in the conflict in Tigray. It is imperative to allow independent experts to investigate these human rights violations and abuses, establish responsibility and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice for the crimes committed. All parties are expected to ensure full cooperation immediately with these investigations. Furthermore, the EU calls on the government of Eritrea to immediately withdraw its forces from Ethiopia and to respect applicable international laws, including human rights law, refugee law and international humanitarian law.
We call upon the government of Eritrea, a member of this Council, to fully respect human rights and the rule of law and to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur and grant him full and unhindered access. The EU remains ready to support Eritrea in this endeavour.
How can the international community best assist you in monitoring the human rights situation in Eritrea and of Eritrean refugees in the region?