Human Rights Concern - Eritrea (HRCE) is an independent non profit making, human rights organization based in UK. The organization is dedicated to the promotion and protection of the human rights of Eritreans at home and all over the world. HRCE believes that all human beings are equal regardless of race, religion, gender and political affiliation and strives for a peaceful Eritrea where fundamental human rights are respected.

Eritrea: UN Expert to Investigate Pervasive Rights Abuses as Part of ‘Historic’ Inquiry

Sheila B. Keetharuth

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea Sheila B. Keetharuth. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

29 September 2014 (UN News Center) – Amid forced conscription, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, the human rights situation in Eritrea continues to remain “dire,” a United Nations independent expert warned, adding that a new Commission of Inquiry would help “pave the way” to accountability. Continue reading

Members of the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea Announced

COI Commissioners

COI Commissioners: Mr, Mike Smith (Australia), Ms, Sheila B. Keetharuth (Mauritius) and Professor Victor Dankwa (Ghana)

BREAKING NEWS: Members of the Commission of Inquiry to investigate all alleged violations of human rights in Eritrea have been announced.
They are: Mr, Mike Smith (Australia), Ms, Sheila B. Keetharuth (Mauritius) and Professor Victor Dankwa (Ghana) Continue reading

Press Release: Discussion with HRCE’s Elsa Chyrum on UN Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea’s Ruling Regime

HRCE COI DC event attendees

Washington DC, on August 9, 2014, Mrs. Elsa Chryum, Founder and Director of Human Rights Concern Eritrea (HRCE) discussed the recent decision of the United Nations Human Rights Council to establish a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate the widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Eritrea. Of those in attendance were Eritreans in the DC Metro Area, including asylum seekers and individuals willing to assist the COI by sharing the human rights violations endured by them or a family member. Members of various Eritrean civic and political organizations attended to participate in the discussion and demonstrate their support of the historic decision. Representatives from Human Rights Watch, Freedom House and National Endowment for Democracy were also present. Continue reading


eritrea_russia_diplomatsThe Eritrean government has become so isolated and desperate that it has tried to sell its precious gold resources to Russia – at any price. Sanctions have hurt the financial position of this government so much that the only way they could try to get support was to surreptitiously, and unannounced, send government representatives to Moscow, Russia in late 2012, to offer the Russian government the rich gold and base metal deposits in Mogoribe. Continue reading

Human Rights Council Creates Mandate on Persons with Disabilities and Establishes Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea

Extends Mandates on Belarus, Eritrea and Human Rights and Transnational Corporations

The Human Rights Council this morning adopted eight texts in which it created a Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities and established a commission of inquiry on Eritrea.  The Council extended the mandate of the Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, and the mandates of the Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in Eritrea and in Belarus. Continue reading

A National Team Without a Country

May 21, 2014



Eighteen players from Eritrea’s national team, shown in 2011, feared for their lives and disappeared after a tournament in Uganda in 2012

GORINCHEM, the Netherlands — The 18 Eritrean refugees arrived in this picturesque, blue-collar Dutch city 20 miles east of Rotterdam earlier this month looking for safety, security and, finally, after 18 months of fear and uncertainty in two refugee camps on two continents, a home.

Refugees are not an uncommon sight in the Netherlands. More than 500 are granted legal status every year in the country’s municipalities, towns and cities, often in groups of two or three, though a huge number of economic migrants arrive, many illegally. Continue reading

Eritrea: UN expert warns about persisting human rights violations linked to the national service

10011148_613242085434967_1325535129_nGENEVA (31 March 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, today expressed deep concern about persisting human rights violations in the country in the context of the Eritrean national service.

“National service dominates life in Eritrea entirely,” Ms. Keetharuth said at the end of an official visit to Germany and Switzerland from 17 to 28 March 2014 during which she collected first-hand information from Eritrean refugees and migrants on the human rights situation in Eritrea. Continue reading

March 8 – International Women’s Day

EritreanNationalsInternational Women’s Day, March 8 , is intended as a day of celebration for the economic and social achievements of women around the world, especially, as designated by the United Nations, in terms of political and human rights.

Let us examine the human rights situation in relation to Eritrean women:

It is an established fact that women displaced by armed conflict – often living alone with their children – are frequently exposed to sexual violence, discrimination and intimidation. Many face poverty and social exclusion as well. International humanitarian law therefore includes specific provisions protecting women, for example when they are pregnant or as mothers of young children. Since Eritrea, however, is a law unto itself, and the ‘armed conflict’ has been over for decades, it is the phoney ‘threat’ from Ethiopia used as a justification for national conscription which produces the same ill effects on Eritrean women. Women are forced into national service, where they are treated as subhuman, or are separated from their menfolk on the outside with no provision made for the most basic survival needs for themselves or their children.

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Human Rights Council President appoints Members of Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea

unhr(26 September 2014) : The President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella (Gabon), announced today the appointment of Mike Smith of Australia and Victor Dankwa of Ghana who will join Sheila B. Keetharuth, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, to serve as the members of the commission of inquiry to investigate all alleged human rights violations in Eritrea, mandated by the Council at its June 2014 session. Mr. Smith will serve as Chair of the three-person commission. Continue reading

The Use of Forced Labour at the Colluli Potash Project in Eritrea

Colluli Potash Project in Eritrea

Colluli Potash Project in Eritrea

The systematic stripping of Eritrea’s mineral resources continues. It is not enough for the Eritrean government to give foreign companies such as Nevsun 60% ownership of the Bisha Mining, which has benefited the president and a handful of cohorts, but has yet to trickle down to the Eritrean population which continues to go without electricity even in hospitals where the recent blackouts caused many deaths. The Eritrean government’s rapaciousness continues as they enter into a partnership with South Boulder Mines Ltd. The South Boulder Mines Ltd is an Australian mining company, and its headquarters is based in West Perth, Western Australia. Continue reading

HRCE’s Statement on the African Asylum Seekers in Israel

Human Rights Concern – Eritrea, condemns the brutal handling of the African asylum-seekers by the Israel Police on Sunday 29 June 2014.

On Friday 27 June, the asylum seekers walked out of Holot detention center in protest of their illegal detention and headed towards the Egyptian border, aiming to cross the border to Egypt and hoping to seek help from the UNHCR. Unfortunately, they were blocked from crossing and finally decided to settle in Nitzana forest, about three hundred meters distance from the border.

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Eritrea: HRC Must Establish a Commission of Inquiry

25 June 2014

We the undersigned are writing to call on the UN’s Human Rights Council to establish a Commission of Inquiry on the human rights situation in Eritrea given the ongoing gross and systematic human rights violations being committed by the government of Eritrea against its own people with total impunity, and its continuing policy of non-cooperation with the UN’s human rights mechanisms, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea. Continue reading

The slaves of Eritrea

(Canadian Business, May 9, 2014  by Matthew McClearn) The news was grim, but not surprising. Yannick Lamonde, an official within Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), received word in January last year of an impending report by a prominent non-governmental organization. Its contents were explosive: Human Rights Watch claimed a Canadian-owned mine in Eritrea had been built partly by de facto slaves. Department officials were already well-acquainted with the mine’s majority owner, Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources, and certainly its mine, Bisha, located in the dusty interior of the North African nation. They had even heard similar rumours at least a year earlier. But with those unproven allegations now receiving widespread publicity, remaining silent was no longer an option. Continue reading

Elsa Chyrum’s Speech at the Ohio University African Student Union 2014 Heroine Lecture on April 13, 2014

elsa_speechMy name is Elsa Chyrum, and I am an Eritrean human rights activist, and a Director of
Human Rights Concern – Eritrea, a London based NGO which advocates for the rights of all Eritreans.

I would like first to congratulate the African Studies Programme at the Ohio University on their 50th anniversary and its achievements.  I would also like to thank the Ohio University’s African Student Union for inviting me, and hosting me during my stay in Athens. I thank all those who worked hard to make yesterday’s event successful. Continue reading


EritreanDjubutiesPress Release

English Version


Geneva 24 March 2014:

Elsa Chyrum, Director of Human Rights Concern Eritrea (HRCE), is starting a hunger strike today outside the Djibouti Mission to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, in support of 267 Eritrean refugees detained in Djibouti.

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Statement by Mr Osman Saleh, Minster of Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea

Mr Osman SalehStatement by Mr Osman Saleh,
Minster of Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea

Presented at the High Level Segment
25th Session of the Human Right Council

3rd of March 2014

Mr. President,

It is an honour and indeed a privilege to address the High Level Segment of the Human Rights Council on a subject that my delegation attaches great importance.

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