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.

Wave of Foreign Lawsuits Against Local Miners Hits Canadian Courts

Business in Vancouver-logo(biv.com, Nelson Bennett, April 19, 2016) Human rights groups are backing several claims against firms operating in Guatemala, Eritrea:

In the coming months, the BC Supreme Court is expected to decide whether a civil claim against a B.C. company with a mine in Eritrea can be heard in Canada.

Three former Eritrean mine workers claim Nevsun Resources Ltd. (TSX:NSU) was complicit in the Eritrean government’s use of conscripted labour and other human rights abuses at the company’s Bisha mine. Continue reading

More Shooting of Innocents Because Of Forced Conscription in Eritrea: Eleven Shot Dead in Asmara Including Woman And Child, Many Severely Wounded

Human-Rights-Concern-Eritrea-150x150(London, April 7, 2016) According to various credible sources, on Sunday 3 April 2016, Eritrean soldiers escorting 10-15 convoys of conscripts from a military training camp near to Akordet, to work as labourers in Assab, shot dead at least eleven people, including a woman and child, as well as severely wounding many others when some conscripts attempted to escape. The child was walking towards a shop, while the woman was going about her business. Continue reading

USCRI: Forgotten Refugees- Eritrean children in Northern Ethiopia

Forgotten Refugees: Eritrean children in Northern Ethiopia

Forgotten Refugees: Eritrean children in Northern Ethiopia

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants released this report on its findings and recommendations on the plight of the forgotten Eritrean refugees in Norhthern Ethiopia. Please find the full report on the link below.

Ref: http://refugees.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/USCRI-Report-Forgotten-Refugees.pdf

How Much More Mistreatment Before Mr. Tesfagaber Haile Desta Can be Reunited with His Daughter?

A 52-year-old Eritrean former political prisoner, who fled his country after being tortured systematically, and who subsequently endured several beatings at the hands officers at the immigration and detention Centre in Brussels after seeking asylum there is currently sitting in a cold metal chair in an Ethiopian airport, resisting attempts to deport him to either South Sudan, Uganda or Eritrea.  Continue reading

Awate: “Mistir Leyti”: Secret of The Night

(Awate.com, Tzigereda Haile, Feb 10, 2016)  During the struggle (Ghedli), the Tigrinya phrase for “password” was “misTir Leyti”: secret of the night. Usually, it was the name of a martyr, shared and circulated per whisper up to the tegadalay (combatant) serving in the frontline. Practiced throughout the whole Liberation Front and renewed on a daily basis, it was crucial for the survival of a military unit, especially during the night. It served to identify a comrade and rule out any risk of an intruder or enemy respectively. When darkness falls, the first thing you would ask any suspected moving person is “dew bel, men iKa,mistir leyti!” (Halt, who are you, name the password!) If the person in question cannot immediately render a correct response, he would be in serious trouble. So, you memorize it. The guards in charge for the night shift (Hares) are assigned alternately. Continue reading

Israel’s Unwanted African Migrants

 (BBC NEWS, Kathy Harcombe, 3 February 2016) BBCNewsFor nearly a year Israel has been offering African migrants cash and the chance to go and live in what is supposed to be a safe haven in a third country – but the BBC has spoken to two men who say that they were abandoned as soon as they got off the plane. One was immediately trafficked, the other left to fend for himself without papers.

Asylum seekers stage a protest by leaning against the fence of the Holot detention centre

Asylum seekers stage a protest by leaning against the fence of the Holot detention centre

Continue reading

Press Release: Eritrean Conscripts Still Subject to Forced Labour in the Bisha Mine; Nevsun Still Denies It

Human-Rights-Concern-Eritrea-150x150(London, April 7, 2016): On January 11, 2013, Nevsun Mining Resources Ltd. issued a press release in which the company stated that “In early 2009, within a few months of the start of mine construction, Nevsun became aware of allegations that a particular subcontractor, Segen Construction, might be employing conscripts from the country’s national service. Unfortunately, at the time, BMSC’s national service discharge document inspection procedures did not apply to subcontractors. In response to the allegations BMSC acted quickly by immediately extending its procedures to include subcontractors and by obtaining a written guarantee from Segen that it would not use conscripts at Bisha.” (http://www.nevsun.com/news/2013/january11/).

Later, in February 2016, in an interview with the Fifth Estate, Canadian Premier Investigative Program (http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/episodes/2015-2016/nevsun-in-eritrea-dealing-with-a-dictator), Nevsun’s Vise President Todd Romain retracted the statement. However, the evidence still shows that Nevsun have and are still using Eritrean conscripts as labourers in their mines. Continue reading

HRCE: An Open Letter to Mr. Louis Mazel

Human-Rights-Concern-Eritrea-150x150Dear Mr. Louis Mazel,

I write in response to your comments following your visit to Bisha Mine in Eritrea: http://www.eastafro.com/2015/12/10/u-s-embassy-asmara-my-visit-to-the-bisha-mine/

I understand that you and your team visited Bisha Mine on November 21 -22, 2015. According to your account, it was an “eye opener” visit. Your team consisted of your deputy, along with her husband, dignitaries from the Embassies of Canada, Germany, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and included representatives from the European Union and UN offices in Asmara.

I am glad that you had an opportunity to visit Bisha Mine. What was the scope of this visit? Who organized the team of visitors? Why was it arranged at that particular moment in time? Are there perhaps some more questions to be answered? Yes, it was most certainly an “eye opener” for you and for the rest of the delegation. But what information was not included (or conveniently omitted)? Which questions were not asked? Continue reading

Statement by Ms. Sheila B. Keetharuth, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Eritrea at the 31th session of the Human Rights Council

Sheila B. Keetharuth

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

(UNHR, March 14, 2016) I am honoured to brief you in my capacity as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea. I present this oral update pursuant to HRC resolution 29/18.

The focus of my presentation will be the situation of unaccompanied Eritreans children crossing international borders, some of the root causes attached to this phenomenon, and their protection needs. Continue reading

“Labour Struggles truly have no borders:” Vancouver’s Connections to Slave Labour in Eritrea

Canada's Nevsun in Bisha, Eritrea

Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources’ gold and copper mine in Eritrea

(rankandfile.ca, Daniel Tsegay, Mar 3, 2016) They worked 12 hours a day, with no more than an hour break under an unrelenting sun, for six days a week. When one worker left the work site without authorization he was imprisoned for four months. Working for the equivalent of $30 a month, they were rewarded with inadequate food and the housing. Continue reading

Nevsun in Eritrea: Dealing With a Dictator

(thefifthestate.com, Mark Kelley, Feb 12, 2016) When a small Vancouver mining company struck gold in a remote corner of Africa, it started with so much promise. In remote Eritrea, Nevsun built a mine that was generating $700 million in profits in its first four years of operation. But it was also generating a lot of controversy – because Nevsun was partnered with a brutal dictatorship that runs the country and controls 40% of the mine. That has led to allegations by the UN and Human Rights Watch that the regime has used conscripted military labour in the mine. The Eritrea government has also been accused of funnelling arms to the terrorist group al-Shabaab.

Nevsun denies the allegations of human rights abuses and insists it is a “template for responsible international business.”

What is the price of doing business with a dictator? Mark Kelley investigates.

The Roots and Evo­lu­tions of YPFDJ, in search for 2nd gen­er­a­tion cadres

YPFDJ, Meseret Bahlbi, Yeman Gebreab

YPFDJ, Meseret Bahlbi, Yeman Gebreab

(fithinews.com, Biniam Yohannes, Feb 10, 2016) A decade after inde­pen­dence, the Eritrean People’s Lib­er­a­tion Front (EPLF), which won the war of inde­pen­dence from Ethiopian coloni­sa­tion in 1991, had started becom­ing the very enemy it drove out dur­ing its 30-​year pop­u­lar strug­gle. In 1994, a year after a national ref­er­en­dum almost unan­i­mously voted for inde­pen­dence from Ethiopia, the party had dropped the word ‘Lib­er­a­tion’ from its name and added ‘Democ­racy and Jus­tice’. A national army was set up, an Eritrean cur­rency cir­cu­lated and a new con­sti­tu­tion rat­i­fied. The first seven years of inde­pen­dence seemed to hold true promise for the future of the newly inde­pen­dent nation. But, even before the eupho­ria of inde­pen­dence had worn off, a bor­der war broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1998. The war took a heavy toll on Eritrean pol­i­tics, soci­ety and the econ­omy. By 2001, a blame game within the party about the han­dling of the war had led to the impris­on­ment of major politicians(G15) and army com­man­ders. The free press was shut down, the econ­omy slowed and any free­doms that the peo­ple had enjoyed for the few years between inde­pen­dence and the war were taken away. Continue reading

Court Rules in Favour of Mirjam van Reisen

Amsterdam court decides Mirjam van Reise not guilty of libel and slander for comments she made based on research. It says “evidence based criticism” in the Netherlands are legitimate although still the court fails to prove specifically if Meseret Bahlbi was or has ever been a “spy” of the Eritrean government in the Netherlands.

Amsterdam court decides Mirjam van Reise not guilty of libel and slander for comments she made based on research. It says “evidence based criticism” in the Netherlands are legitimate although still the court fails to prove specifically if Meseret Bahlbi was or has ever been a “spy” of the Eritrean government in the Netherlands.

(bellaafrica.com, Reinhardt Jacobsen, Feb 10, 2016) A Court in Amsterdam struck down Meseret Bahlbi lawsuit against Mirjam van Reisen, Dutch professor and human rights advocate. The judge found that she was not guilty of libel and slander and that the youth party of the Eritrean government can be seen as a means of collecting intelligence abroad. Continue reading