Eritrea: maintain Human Rights Council scrutiny and engagement

In a letter released today, DefendDefenders and partners call on the UN Human Rights Council to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea. Ahead of the 44th session of the Coun­cil (scheduled to begin in June 2020), the signatories urge State delegations to support the adop­­tion of a resolution extending the Special Rappor­teur’s mandate for a further year.

The group of non-governmental orga­ni­sations recall that Eritrea’s domestic human rights situation remains dire and no concrete evidence of pro­gress can be reported. Despite Eritrea’s obligations, as a Council member, to “uphold the highest stan­d­ards in the promotion and protection of human rights” and to “fully cooperate with the Council,” the government refuses to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur.

In their joint letter, the signatories write: “The Council should urge Eritrea to make progress towards meet­ing its membership obligations and to engage with the UN human rights system constructively. It should not reward non-cooperation by, but rather maintain scrutiny of, one of its members.”

Read the full letter.

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Ocen Ivan Kenneth is a Program Director at Foundation for Development and Relief Africa (FIDRA), with more than 10 years’ experience working in the human rights field. Ivan’s ambitions for change focus on building inner peace, defending human rights and empowering local communities using theatre and storytelling. He creates a space where people from the community share their personal stories of trauma and resilience as well as identify mechanisms of healing.

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