Commission of Inquiry Welcomes Resolution on Human Rights in Eritrea

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Mike-Smith HRC resolution on Eritrea
The 32nd UN Human Rights Council passed a severely watered-down resolution on Eritrea after the draft resolution draws strong opposition from Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador, while the U.S. degenerates the Commission’s report as “not precise and sophisticated” as expected.

By UN News,

A United Nations-mandated human rights inquiry panel today welcomed a resolution that brings justice for the “people of Eritrea” who have suffered gross human rights violations over the past 25 years “a step closer” to being realized.

The resolution, passed without a vote by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on the final day of its thirty-second session on 1 July, commends the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea for completing its work in a transparent, impartial and consultative manner.

[NOTE: As stipulated in paragraph 1, the resolution comes short of appreciating the Commission’s “report” probably for lack of the expected level of “precision and sophistication”, as the U.S. representative already put it.]

“The Commission welcomes this resolution which fully endorses the “work” we have done over the past two years,” said Commission Chairperson Mike Smith. “We hope that justice for the “people of Eritrea” who have suffered gross human rights violations over the past 25 years has now taken a step closer to being realized.”

The Commission hoped that the resolution, which cites the lack of cooperation by the Government, including the denial of access to the country by the inquiry panel, will provide a solid platform for the next steps to be taken by the Eritrean authorities.

Amongst the 19 recommendations, the resolution reiterates the HRC’s numerous calls on the Government to end the use of arbitrary detention, to put an end to the system of indefinite national service and to allow unhindered access to the country to further missions of the “Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)“, including the consideration for the Office to be based inside the country.

The Commission strongly endorsed the decision to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur [not the Commission of Inquiry] on the situation of human rights in Eritrea for a further year. The Special Rapporteur is a position appointed by the HRC to examine a specific human rights theme or a country situation.

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