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Letter to President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh of Djibouti Regarding the Release of Prisoners of War from Eritrea

hrcelogo_161626_rgb_eng_opa50Re: Release of Prisoners of War from Eritrea

President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh,
President of the Republic of Djibouti.
Office of the President, DJIBOUTI

21 November 2016

Your Excellency, President Ismail Omar Guelleh,

It was with great relief and delight that we received the news of the release of all 19 Eritrean Prisoners of War who had been detained in the Nagad Detention Centre in Djibouti for eight years. Continue reading

During the roundtable held in Brooklyn on September 20, 2016, U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers (EDNY) stated that he hoped the meeting would “foster dialogue between law enforcement and members of the community we serve so they can better understand the challenges of these cases and what tools law enforcement has to assist in the pursuit of justice.”

HRSP Hosts Community Roundtable Meetings

us_doj_logoHRSP (Human Rights and Special Prosecution, under the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice) launched an initiative 15 months ago to ensure that immigrants living in our communities know that justice might be served in the United States for atrocities that happened long ago and far away. To that end, HRSP has hosted, together with U.S. Attorney’s Offices, FBI and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), meetings throughout the United States with immigrant and refugee service providers. Continue reading

President Afwerki of Eritrea Demands that the Underlying Causes of the Migration of Refugees be Addressed

hrcelogo_161626_rgb_eng_opa50President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea made a statement on 8th November 2016, about the plight of refugees. He said that migration and the movement of refugees had “become rampant globally”. Particularly to be noted was the fact that he stressed “the need for the underlying causes and driving factors to be fully and comprehensively addressed.” Continue reading

Sheila B. Keetharuth

UN Expert Panel Cites Crimes Against Humanity Committed by Eritrean Authorities Dating Back 25 Years

UN News Centre, 28 October 2016 – Eritrean officials have committed crimes against humanity since 1991, including enslavement, imprisonment, enforced disappearances, torture, other inhumane acts, persecution, rape and murder, a member of the former United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the country reported to UN Member States. Continue reading

Sheila B. Keetharuth

Statement by Sheila B. Keetharuth, Member of the Former COI & Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Eritrea

On October 27, 2016, Sheila B. Keetharuth, member of the former Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea and Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Eritrea, gave the following statement at the 71st session of the General Assembly, Third Committee. (Item 68 b, c)

Honourable Chair,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, I will brief you in my capacity as a member of the former Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea. I will present the final report of the Commission (A/HRC/32/47), which was jointly presented to the Human Rights Council by the three Commissioners, Mike Smith as Chair, and Victor Dankwa and myself as members, in June 2016.

In its work, the Commission has been at all times guided by the principles of independence, impartiality, objectivity, transparency, integrity, and the principle of “do no harm”; the protection of witnesses and victims was a central concern for the Commission. Continue reading

Eritrea: UN Commission has Urged Referral to the International Criminal Court

UN Office of the Higher Commissioner for Human RightsGENEVA (28 October 2016) – States must heed the pleas of countless victims of crimes against humanity for justice and accountability, Sheila Keetharuth of the former UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in Eritrea urged the UN General Assembly today. The Commission has recommended that the situation in Eritrea be referred to the International Criminal Court. Continue reading

Judges Deem Eritrea Unsafe for Migrants’ Return as Home Office Advice Rebutted

The Guardian(, Karen McVeigh, October 19, 2016) Legal ruling identifies risk of serious harm to returning Eritreans after MPs condemn ‘inexcusable’ delay in revising existing guidance

The Home Office will alter its much-criticised policy on Eritrean asylum seekers, after a legal ruling found that the majority of those fleeing the country risk persecution or serious harm on returning. Continue reading

Letter to the President of the United Nations General Assembly

hrcelogo_161626_rgb_eng_opa50Re: UN Commission of Inquiry’s Written Report and Oral update on – Human Rights Abuses in Eritrea

His Excellency Mr. Peter Thompson,

President of the United Nations General Assembly,
Office of the President,
United Nations,
NEW YORK 10017
United States of America

Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations;
Mr. Choi Kyong-Lim, President of the Human Rights Council;
Ms. Maria Emma Mejia, Chair of the Third Committee, General Assembly.

26 October 2016

Your Excellency,

The recent Report of the UN Human Rights Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses in Eritrea confirms what Human Rights Concern-Eritrea (HRCE)has been reporting for many years. In particular, the Commission of Inquiry confirms HRCE’s reports that: – Continue reading

Canadian Firm Faces New Forced Labour Claims Over Eritrean Mine

The Guardian(, Karen McVeigh, October 14, 2016) Dozens more workers alleging forced labour and intimidation at Bisha mine set to join civil action against mining company Nevsun Resources

Dozens of Eritreans are to join a groundbreaking civil action in Canada as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Nevsun Resources, which majority-owns the Bisha mine in north-west Eritrea, following a ruling last week. Continue reading

Open Letter to the Swedish Government

hrcelogo_161626_rgb_eng_opa50Re: Sweden’s Immigration authorities coercing Eritrean Refugees to sign a regret form and pay the 2% illegal diaspora tax to obtain national passport for family reunification.

Dear Sirs or Madams,

From our recent visit to Israel, Human Rights Concern – Eritrea (HRCE) understands that some Eritrean refugees in Israel have applied to join their families in Sweden, as provided for under international law and the European Convention of Human Rights. All of them have family members already residing in Sweden who have been granted the right to stay there. Continue reading

Slave Labour in Eritrean Mining to be Focus of Landmark Court Case in Canada

Human-Rights-Concern-Eritrea-150x150(London, 9 October, 2016) In a landmark ruling, three Eritreans have won the right to be heard in a Canadian court in a modern slavery case against a Canadian mining company.

In a 160-page ruling, the Supreme Court of British Columbia dismissed the efforts of the mining company, Nevsun Resources Limited, to block the case from going forward in Canada and to prevent the plaintiffs from pursuing claims for complicity in crimes against humanity.   Continue reading

Vancouver Court Clears Way for Slave Labour Lawsuit Against Canadian Mining Company to Go to Trial

CCIJ logoVancouver, October 6, 2016. The Supreme Court of British Columbia today rejected efforts by Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources Limited (TSX: NSU / NYSE MKT: NSU) to dismiss a lawsuit brought by three Eritrean men who allege they were forced to work at Nevsun’s Bisha Mine.

This marks the first time that a mass tort claim for modern slavery will go forward in a Canadian court, and the first time a case against a mining company for alleged abuses in overseas operations has been allowed to proceed in British Columbia. Continue reading

Eritreans’ Case Against Nevsun Can Proceed in Canada

mining-com(, October 7, 2016) “There is a real risk that the plaintiffs could not be provided with justice in Eritrea,” said Justice Patrice Abrioux in a ruling that allows three refugees to proceed with a civil lawsuit against Vancouver-based Nevsun Resources.

In an unprecedented decision, the British Columbia Supreme Court rejected the miner’s request to dismiss the case and allow it to proceed in the African country. “Canadian courts have jurisdiction to try Canadian companies for alleged criminal acts that occurred in other countries, but have been reluctant to do so,” says Nelson Bennett of Business in Vancouver. Continue reading

Canada Allows Refugee Lawsuit Against African Gold Mine for Alleged Abuse

The Guardian(The Guardian, October 7, 2016) Foreign workers who have accused a Canadian company of human rights abuses at an African gold mine will have their case heard in Canada’s legal system.

The supreme court of British Columbia in a judgment this week is allowing three refugees to file a civil lawsuit against Nevsun Resources, which owns a controlling interest in the Bisha gold mine in the east African nation of Eritrea. Continue reading

Open Letter to the Attention of Chancellor Angela Merkel

Human-Rights-Concern-Eritrea-150x150An open letter concerning the Flow of Refugees from Eritrea and the Policies of the European Union and Federal Republic of Germany towards these Refugees and their Country of Origin.

We are writing to you to express our very deep concern about possible changes in the policies of the Federal Republic of Germany towards Eritrea and its citizens who are fleeing their homeland. We fear that the recent visit to Germany of two Eritrean Ministers and Mr. Yemane Gebreab, Head of Political Affairs and Presidential Adviser[1] for confidential negotiations may herald policy changes by the Federal Government which could greatly endanger refugees from Eritrea while ignoring the appalling human rights situation in the country. Continue reading

Eritrea: 15 Years Later Still No Information On Jailed Senior Politicians and Independent journalists

UN Office of the Higher Commissioner for Human RightsGENEVA (16 September 2016) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, today called on the Eritrean Government to urgently provide information on the whereabouts and state of health of senior government officials and independent journalists arrested on 18 September 2001 and in the following days.

Fifteen years ago, the Eritrean authorities arrested and detained a group of senior cabinet ministers, members of parliament and independent journalists without charge or trial. To date, the Government has refused to share any information on their whereabouts and state of health. Continue reading

Eritrea’s National Service ‘A Cancerous Growth’

(, Daniel Nelson, September 6, 2016) National service in Eritrea “is like a cancerous growth” that has been eating into people’s lives, a London-based Eritrean academic told an MPs’ group in the Houses of Parliament on Monday.

Prof Gaim Kibreab of London Southbank University told the All Party Group on Eritrea that national service had initially been a useful nation-building tool but was now largely responsible for turning Eritrea into the world’s “fastest emptying nation”. Continue reading

How Eritrea Became a Major UAE Base

UAE base in Asseb

UAE naval base in Asseb

(, Alex Mello and Michael Knights, September 2, 2016) Britain militarily withdrew from areas “east of Suez” in 1971, triggering the Trucial States to form today’s United Arab Emirates. Now, 45 years later, this Arab country is increasingly focused on projecting military power “west of Suez.” Events such as the Arab Spring in 2011, Iran’s growing confidence and escape from nuclear sanctions, plus the rise of the Islamic State have convinced Emirati leaders to become more activist in managing the risks facing their federation. Most recently this has resulted in this tiny Gulf nation establishing its first power projection base outside of the Arabian Peninsula in the Eritrean port of Assab. Over the last year, this port was built up from empty desert into a modern airbase, deep-water port, and military training facility. Continue reading