GOOBJOOG NEWS|GENEVA: Eritrea continues to abuse human rights despite and has not made any improvements, a UN Special Rapporteur has said.
Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker to the UN Human Rights session Wednesday ‘he had seen no concrete evidence of progress or actual improvement in the human rights situation in Eritrea’.
Babiker told the session that the plight of Eritrean asylum seekers and refugees in light of the ongoing Tigray conflict ‘had a complicated dynamic in monitoring the human rights of the Eritrean people.’
According to the UN body, there were over 96,000 Eritrean refugees in Tigray before the conflict. The rapporteur said he had received first-hand accounts of allegations of grave human rights and humanitarian law violations, including extrajudicial killings, targeted abductions and forced return of Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers to Eritrea, allegedly by Eritrean forces.
“On the situation in Eritrea, he (rapporteur) had seen no concrete evidence of progress or actual improvement in the human rights situation in the country,” the UN body said.” Eritrea lacked rule of law, a constitution and an independent judiciary to enforce the protection of and respect for human rights.”
However, Babiker welcomed the release of a large group of Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
But Eritrea said the allegations were ‘presumptive and offensive’. It added that it ‘had been treated unfairly and unjustly through this worn-out and distorted narrative and the mandate served this purpose, relying on biased evidence from Eritrea’s enemies.’
There have been unconfirmed reports of the participation of Somalis undergoing military training in Eritrea being deployed in Tigray to fight alongside the Ethiopian army and Eritrea against the Tigray rebels.