Eritrea: the UN should ensure continued scrutiny of the human rights situation

In a joint letter released today, DefendDefenders and partner NGOs call on the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution ensuring continued scrutiny of the human rights situation in Eritrea. The Council should take this step at its upcoming 41st session (HRC41, 24 June-12 July 2019).

The letter elaborates on a paper DefendDefenders published in May 2019, which outlined reasons why a Council resolution on Eritrea is needed and elements that should be included in it.

In the letter, we write: “This is the wrong time for the Council to relax scrutiny of the situation in Eritrea. As a newly-elected member of the Council, Eritrea has an obligation to ‘uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights’ and to ‘fully cooperate with the Council’. […] Obstructionist behavior should not be rewarded. Eritrea’s membership in the Council should be fully leveraged for improvements in the country’s human rights situation and cooperation with the Council and its mechanisms.”

We also stress that Council membership does not prevent, but rather triggers an enhanced responsibility to accept, scrutiny. Indeed, Eritrea became a member of the Human Rights Council in January 2019. The government has an obligation to cooperate with the UN with a view to improving its human rights record.

Read the full letter.

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