The Commission of Inquiry into the UN Eritrea today asked the international community not to ignore longer repression and systematic violation of human rights to which are subject Eritreans, forcing them to flee en masse from their country.
The commission was established in June 2014 by the Human Rights Council of the UN to prepare a report on the situation in Eritrea, which today appeared before this entity.
”Instead of being based on the law and order country, Eritrea is a defined by repression and fear country,” said the committee chairman, Mike Smith, introducing the study.
”Since independence, power has it remained in the hands of a person and of a governing party with arbitrariness and impunity,” he added.
”The commission has found that massive, widespread and systematic violations of human rights have been and are being committed by the Government of Eritrea and there is no accountability,” the report said.
”The Commission also considers that the violations in the area of extrajudicial executions, torture (including sexual torture), conscription and forced labor may constitute crimes against humanity,” he said.
However, the commission could not investigate the evidence of crimes against humanity because they are outside their mandate.
That is why experts today called for the Security Council to refer the situation in the country to the International Criminal Court, so that these atrocities can be investigated.
Despite repeated requests to the Eritrean Executive, members of the commission could not enter the country, so they had to base their work on more than 160 written testimonies and interviews with 550 Eritreans living in eight countries.
”Fear of reprisals including Eritreans living in third countries was one of the main challenges”, specifies the text.
The commission describes a totalitarian state controls its citizens through a vast security apparatus that has permeated all levels of society, including a network of spies citizens must control their neighbors.
”As a result of this surveillance, Eritreans live in constant fear that their behavior is monitored by security agents and they may be arbitrarily arrested and subjected to torture, disappearance or death,” he said.
Experts agree that ”torture is so common that you can only conclude that it is government policy that exalts as a way to punish people perceived as opponents.”
The text states that the judicial system in Eritrea is totally corrupt and that detainees are treated in a brutal, with many held and others disappear permanently incommunicado.
Moreover, the report claims that the Government undertakes to compulsory military service and conscripts are subjected to slave-like conditions, especially women, many of them forced into sexual exploitation.
In this situation, experts believe that over 400,000 Eritreans decided last year to leave their country and seek to be recognized as refugees in other nations.
”The fact that 5,000 people monthly leave such a small country should raise the alarm about a situation of systematic violation of human rights that can not be ignored,” Smith warned.