UN Human Rights Rapporteur for Eritre, Ms Daniela Kravetz, presented on Tuesday, 2 July, her first written annual report to the UN Human Rights Council and expressed deep concern and regret on Eritrea’s failure to improve the situation of human rights in spite of the peace accord with Ethiopia a year ago and Eritrea itself joining the Human Rights Council as a new member. She said there are not even “signs to suggest” that Eritrea is willing to change course any time soon.
The UN expert also reported that Eritreans still fleeing the country in big numbers. While answering to a question by a German diplomat, Ms Kravetz confessed that even Somali refugees in Eritrea were denied contact outside their camp and are, since last December, escaping to the neighboring countries because “they no longer feel free and safe to stay in Eritrea.”
In her introductory remarks, Ms Kravetz stated that the acts of human rights violations are continued to this day, and the listed recent incidents that included incarcerations and seizure of private properties like the 21 health facilities of the Catholic Church in the country. She said needy people in the rural areas will suffer the consequences of the unwarranted actions of the government.
Majority of the speakers at the session expressed alarm and dismay about what is taking place in Eritrea and blamed the authorities of not showing the most minimum “care and love” for their own people.
As usual, the Eritrean delegate, Mr. Tesfamichael Gerhatu, found the reprt “unacceptable.” Also as usual, countries like Venezuela and Iran took side with the Eritrean envoy and even suggested that the mandate of the UN Human Rights Rapporteur for Eritrea should be terminated now.