Human rights abuses in Eritrea glossed over in development-centered meeting

On Monday, 29 November 2016, the Irish European Parliament member Brian Hayes hosted a conference on Eritrea in the European Parliament. Despite the fact that the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (COIE) found in its latest report the perpetrating of crimes against humanity by Eritrean officials, the country’s Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel was invited as keynote speaker of the meeting. Gebremeskel was present despite protests from human rights advocates and more than 800 Eritreans and supporters who petitioned against the meeting taking place.

Daniel Mekonnen: deconstructing the myth of a “promising” political change in Eritrea

On 24 November 2016, Eritrean lawyer Daniel Mekonnen gave a speech at a panel discussion on Eritrea, organized by Amnesty International, in Basel, Switzerland. The speech was aimed at two recent pronouncements by the Swiss government that suggest that positive political change is taking place in Eritrea. According to Mekonnen, this completely ignores the reality in the country.

European Parliamentarians refuse to condone visit Eritrean Minister

Five MEPs have put out a press release under the lead of MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat. The Press release responds to the planned conference on 28 November in the European Parliament, which is controversial due to the fact that Eritrean minister for information, Yemane Gebremeskel, is keynote speaker. The MEPs denounce the human rights situation in Eritrea en Gebremeskel’s role in this.