UN Human Rights Council Technical Team Visiting Eritrea

UN Human Right Council technical team in Eritrea; Human Right records to examined under the UPR mechanism in Geneva
UN Human Right Council technical team in Eritrea; Human Right records to be examined under the UPR mechanism in Geneva

By TesfaNews,

A technical team from the United Nation’s Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights is currently visiting Eritrea prior to the eighteenth session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) that is to be held in Geneva from 27 January to 7 February.

During their stay, the team will have a series of meetings with several government officials, diplomats, UN Country Team in Asmara, as well as a steering committee that consists of representatives from various government ministries and Civil Society organizations.

The team will also assess the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground as well as fulfillment of the State’s human rights obligations and commitments.

Eritrea is actively engaging the Human Rights Council including under the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism with the aim of exploring areas of cooperation in the consolidation of human right in Eritrea. It is already working on the implementation of the recommendations it accepted in the first UPR cycle.

Fourteen countries including Eritrea are scheduled this week to have their human rights records examined under the UPR mechanism.

States under Review are expected to spell out the steps they have taken to implement accepted recommendations posed to them during their first review. Eritrea already submitted its second national report (see below) to the Human Rights Council Working Group and expected to be reviewed this week.

Eritrea objects the use of human rights as a tool for political pressure. It rejects the appointment and mandate of the Special Rapporteur while it is engaging the human rights council in the UPR process.

The government also criticizes Special Rapporteur Sheila Keetharuth for her lack of impartiality, objectivity, transparency and professionalism in compiling her report on human right situation in Eritrea.

Her report always reflects the one-sided allegations and accusations from the same and questionable sources while it systematically avoid reflecting the views of the majority of the people.

Even without the cooperation of the government of Eritrea, Special Rapporteur Sheila Keetharuth could have easily verified the one-sided accusations forwarded to her by approaching to some of the over 300 Eritrean diaspora communities that represent nearly 99% of the diaspora population.

The UN Human Rights Council was mandated to by the General Assembly resolution 60/251 to undertake universal periodic review based on objective and reliable information with full involvement of the country concerned.

Special Rapporteur’s methodology and report is therefore in violation of the said resolution in its entirety.

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Eritrea’s National report to Human Rights Council
18th Session (27 January – 7 February 2014)
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