Eritrea’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) takes place as human rights abuses continue

Eritrea’s human rights record was examined by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group for the third time on Monday, 28 January 2019. Although the Eritrean government has stated in its report its willingness to intervene and state that they have addressed the recommendations of the previous UPR, many Eritreans and NGOs that work on Eritrea have reported continued serious violations of human rights.

News Highlights: Brussels Conference demands refugee protection, VP of Pan-African Parliament denounces slavery, UN migration deal causes trouble in EU

In this week’s News Highlights: Eritrean diaspora conference in Brussels demands protection of refugees; African leaders demand end to modern-day slavery; another testimony sheds doubt on prosecution in human trafficking trial; AU Commission Chairperson criticizes refusal to sign UN migration pact; HRW alleges human rights abuses at Greek-Turkish border; Eritrean president sidelines his own cabinet: article; state of emergency after protests in Sudanese city; Eritrea among top five journalist-jailing countries; Ethiopia starts withdrawing troops from Eritrean border: report; Eritrean Professor accuses Eritrea president of undermining Eritrean sovereignty; and Amnesty International criticizes MENA countries for violating migrants’ rights.

Eritrean refugees refuse to leave boat after interception, prefer starvation over life in Libya

Having been intercepted on the Mediterranean Sea, a group of 79 Eritrean refugees has pledged not to leave the boat they boarded to reach Europe and are starving now, say refugees in two videos posted on Facebook. The group was brought back to the Libyan coast, presumably by the Libyan coast guard. A young man who says he is 16 years old stated that he had lived in Libya since 2016 and had been sold three times, that he had been punished and that his brother died during his stay. He said that he does not care if he gets killed and that the whole group have decided that they will stay on the boat until they die. “If you saw this condition, I swear to you, even for a microsecond no one can live this life in this country.”