Eritrea

The organisers of the conference, Eritrea and the Ongoing Refugee Crisis, has published a new booklet: Eritrea: A Country Under the Sway of a Dictatorship. The publication provides a comprehensive overview of the situation in the country, the situation of Eritrean refugees in Europe and elsewhere, as well as introducing their initiatives and activities.

Connection e.V., Förderverein PRO ASYL, Eritrean Law Society (ELS), Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (EMDHR), Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA), and War Resisters’ International have published a new booklet, Eritrea: A Country Under the Sway of a Dictatorship. The booklet provides a comprehensive overview of the situation in Eritrea, the situation of Eritrean refugees in Europe and elsewhere, as well as introducing their initiatives and activities.

Today is Prisoners for Peace Day, when War Resisters' International and our members remember those imprisoned for their work for peace, and write to them in jail. Please join us!

Militarisation in Eritrea is extreme, with indefinite conscription in often unbearable conditions. Conscientious objectors are imprisoned. Many people flee the country if they can, but if they arrive in Europe, they are not always given protection, and this month the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Swiss government is not in breach of the European Convention by expelling an Eritrean asylum seeker.

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SUBMISSION TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE: 119th SESSION

for the attention of the Country Report Task Force on ERITREA

Military service, conscientious objection and related issues.

Prepared December 2016

Basic Information

HISTORY: Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, after a thirty-year armed liberation struggle, and that year became the 184th member state of the United Nations.1 Following independence, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front transformed itself into the “Popular Front for Democracy and Justice”, and under that title has imposed military rule ever since. Between 1998 and 2000 a war with Ethiopia over a disputed border caused massive casualties: since then there have been simmering border tensions but no full-scale military conflict. Nevertheless, the level of militarisation in the country has if anything increased.

The United Nations has released a damning report into the operations of Canadian mining company Nevsun Resources in Eritrea, which accuses the company of using conscripted labour at it's Bisha Mine in the country. Nevsun estimated that the mine held over a billion pounds of copper and 2.7 billion pounds of zinc.

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