The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) today adopted a resolution on Eritrea, increasing the scope of the mandate for the UN Special Rapporteur, who will now also present her groundbreaking report on the human rights situation in Eritrea to the UN General Assembly in New York.
GENEVA (5 June 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, today reiterated her call on the international community to keep monitoring the human rights situation in Eritrea and to protect and support those fleeing the country, in particular the increasing numbers of unaccompanied children.
“I urge the international community to keep Eritrea under close scrutiny until meaningful change is evident,” Ms. Keetharuth said during the presentation of her first report to the UN Human Rights Council. “It will be important to increase efforts to constructively engage with Eritrea and neighbouring countries to improve the situation of human rights in the country.” Continue reading
The head of the Eritrean Consulate in Toronto has been ordered to leave Canada in the wake of reports that said Semere Ghebremariam O. Micael has been involved in soliciting a “diaspora tax” from Eritreans in Canada. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird issued a news release Wednesday that said he has taken steps to expel Micael and he must leave by noon ET on June 5. “Today’s actions speak for themselves,” Baird said. “Canada has repeatedly made clear to Eritrea to respect international sanctions and Canadian law.”
RE: African Civil Society Call for Action on Human Rights Situation in Eritrea
We, the undersigned representatives of African civil society, present our compliments and congratulations on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the African Union and the Organisation of African Unity. Reflecting the overall theme of 2013 as the year of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance, we are writing to call on the African Union to take urgent action to respond to the appalling situation of widespread and systematic human rights violations in Eritrea, especially in light of the commemoration’s sub-theme of promoting peace and security in Africa.
The diplomat who represents Eritrea in Canada insisted Monday his office was not extorting money from expatriates but merely providing “information” to those who want to donate to the African regime.
Mr. Micael said the 2% tax was Eritrean law. But he said the consulate in Toronto was no longer collecting the levy or the defence fee. He said those who pay do so voluntarily. “We don’t force them at all,” the consul said.
My name is Elizabeth Chyrum and I am the Director of Human Rights Concern – Eritrea, a London based Human Rights organisation that promotes and protects the human rights of Eritrean inside Eritrea and in diaspora.
I am writing to you as we are very much concerned about your ongoing bilateral engagement with Eritrea, although according to your own accounting Eritrea is one of the countries about which you have expressed concern because of its gross human rights violations towards its own people. Eritrea’s abuse of human rights is not better than North Korea’s, but Eritrea does not make the media headlines.
1) 76 Eritrean refugees in Libya are being used to clear land mines in Sirte, the home town of the late Gaddafi. The refugees are forced all day to clear land mines. These are not trained professionals. This is not humanitarian de-mining. This is a callous, inhuman treatment of humans as if they were disposable pieces of equipment. It amounts to nothing less than murder. Continue reading
Ms Chyrum was one of five Human Rights defenders who attended a meeting with the German President. The others were representatives from Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Kazakhstan and North Korea who had gathered to discuss the human rights situations in their respective countries with Mr Gauck, himself a staunch defender of human rights. Continue reading
I heard Elsa Chyrum, founder of Human Rights Concern Eritrea (HRCE) in London, speak at the Eritrean Community Center in Boston on January 19, 2013 about the human trafficking of Eritrean refugees in Africa and the Middle East. Horrifying. This is a transcription of Ms. Chyrum’s speech:
“Thank you for coming this afternoon and it is an honor for me to be here with you today. As Dan [Author and Professor Dan Connell of Simmons College] has covered most of the politics and horror stories of our people in Eritrea and Egypt, I would like to extend it a little bit farther and talk about the human trafficking, which starts inside Eritrea and ends just with a question mark. Continue reading
(Toronto) – International mining firms rushing to invest in Eritrea’s burgeoning minerals sector risk involvement in serious abuses unless they take strong preventive measures. The failure of the Vancouver-based company Nevsun Resources to ensure that forced labor would not be used during construction of its Eritrea mine, and its limited ability to deal with forced labor allegations when they arose, highlight the risk. Continue reading