The situation in Eritrea is severe and reports show that crimes against humanity are committed in Eritrea on a daily basis. The fact that the people in Eritrea are forced into military service for an indefinite time and face slave labour in their country causes an ever-growing number of Eritreans to flee and to risk their lives on their way to Europe.
The reasons for their flight are comprehensible. Eritreans are exposed to systematic torture as a deliberate policy to instil fear amongst the population and to silence opposition. There are accounts of detainees held in vastly overcrowded cells, underground dungeons, and shipping containers. Acts of sexual and gender based violence, including rape and sexual torture are also reported to be part of the government sanctioned process for the systematic oppression of its people.
It can be legitimately said that the country can be deemed as an open prison. So far these crimes are left unpunished and is impossible for any opposition to express itself openly. Due to the lack of elections, the lack of a democratic legislation and under the pressure of a controlled judiciary, any oppositional aspirations are prevented. Any attempt to challenge the government nonetheless is heavily penalized and comes with great danger to the life of the opponent.
These crimes against humanity have recently been confirmed and reported by UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea. Two ongoing petitions call attention in order to gain support for the condemnation of human rights violations in Eritrea. The petition initiated by EEPA appeals to the UN General Assembly to demand that the findings in the report are taken account at the UN Security Council and to ensure that it is forwarded to the International Criminal Court.
The second petition, started by United Eritrea Media which has attracted 3.000 signatories, is addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon asking for the appeal to be shared with the official representatives of all Member States attending the UN 71st General Assembly. It equally demands the endorsement of the resolution of the UNHRC and for a vote in favour of its findings.
Both petitions condemn the crimes against humanity committed in Eritrea and call upon the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council to hold the Eritrean government and its respective actors accountable for the gross human rights abuses in the country. Each signature gives support to the ending of the flagrant impunity that the Eritrean government has enjoyed up until now and aims to bring justice to the Eritrean people whose plight has long been denied.
Both petitions are published at change.org and can be accessed for signing here:
Petition by EEPA: UN deliver Justice and Accountability for Eritrea – Stop Impunity NOW
Petition by United Eritrea Media: Eritrean Diaspora Community petitions Crime Against Humanity by the government of Eritrea.