Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea Presents its Report at 32nd UNHRC Session

18207184513_1006fe5dd6_bThe Commission of Inquiry into the state of human rights in Eritrea presented its finding to the UN Human Rights Council this week. The Commission concludes that crimes against humanity have been committed in Eritrea.

The Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea, which had published its second report  on 8 June, presented its findings to the  32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.  Following the UNHCR’s consideration of its 2015 report in which it had identified “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations” that “may constitute crimes against humanity”, the Commission had been asked to assess whether such crimes had taken place. It concluded that its investigations led them to conclude that Eritrean officials had indeed committed crimes against humanity.

In answer to the question of how the international community could engage with Eritrea, Mike Smith, spokesman of the Commission of Inquiry, answered that targeted aid could help, but “it is no good simply offering money if there is no will and no obvious steps being taken to improve that situation” by the Eritrean government. In the 94-page report, the Commission also gives detailled recommendations to the Eritrean government which are said to be necessary to improve human rights in the country.

Eritrean pro-government newspaper TesfaNews reported that thousands of Eritreans protested in Geneva against “false and politically motivated accusations” of an alleged US-led conspiracy. Opposing Eritrean diaspora groups will in turn organise a demonstration supporting the Commission of Inquiry on Thurday, 23 June 2016, also in Geneva.

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