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UN Eritrea Special Rapporteur: Conclusions And Recommendations

Editor’s note: the following is an excerpt from the Eritrea Special Rapporteur report (dated May 28, 2013) which was submitted to the UN on June 4th, 2013.To read the entire (20 pages, pdf) report, visit here. Following the report by the Special Rapporteur, the Government of Eritrea (GoE) was given the right of rebuttal. The  GoE delegation, headed by Ambassador Tesfamicael Gerahtu, addressed only a fraction of the report. It questioned the report’s claim that the University of Asmara is closed; that there is a shoot-to-kill policy, or that there is a requirement for special permit to move around the country and other minor claims. The ambassador failed to substantially address the Rapporteur’s report that there is rampant “extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, indefinite incommunicado detention, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” in Eritrea. The ambassador recommended that a report provided by E-Smart (a pro-government group of Eritreans in the United States) be considered as part of Eritrea’s rebuttal. Following the Eritrean ambassador’s speech, representatives from Croatia, Cuba, Austria, Norway, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and Ethiopia gave short addresses.  With the exception of Cuba, whose address was in Spanish, all addressed the body in English and all were supportive of the Rapporteur’s report and condemned the Eritrean government. Specially noteworthy was the presentation by the delegation of Norway, a self-described “long standing friend of the Eritrean people” nation, (and, indeed, it was during Eritrea’s armed struggle),  who noted that “Eritrea cannot use this [the failure of the Eritrea-Ethiopia border demarcation] as an excuse to violate human right obligations” which are “serious and systematic” because respecting human rights ” does not depend on external factors.” 

VI. Conclusions and recommendations

A. Conclusions

95. While acknowledging the importance of finding a resolution to border disputes, Eritrea cannot use this as an excuse to continue to violate its human rights obligations. Giving effect to the State obligation to respect, protect and fulfil human rights domestically is not dependant on external factors.

96. Excessive militarization is affecting the very fabric of Eritrean society, and its core unit, the family. The open-ended nature of national service is depriving the women and men of Eritrea of their most productive years, forcing them to cross borders to take their destiny into their own hands.

97. Even children as young as 7 or 8 years of age are crossing borders unaccompanied, citing dysfunctional family circumstances caused by the absence of one parent or even both as a result of conscription, detention or exile or forced military training as the reasons for flight.

98. There is no rule of law to provide citizens with a transparent legal system to protect them from the arbitrary use of power by the State, other institutions and individuals.

99. There are no internal mechanisms or institutions to hold to account those responsible for the pervasive human rights violations committed on a daily basis in Eritrea. The State is obliged to investigate and prosecute those responsible for human rights violations. This legal obligation to punish those found guilty of having committed human rights violations is an important element of the rule of law. The State’s failure to investigate, to punish perpetrators and to provide reparations for victims perpetuates a culture of impunity that undermines the credibility of the country’s criminal justice system.

100. Extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, indefinite incommunicado detention, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, all of which are prevalent in Eritrea, undermine the deepest values of any society committed to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

101. Freedom of expression and opinion, of assembly and association, the very cornerstones of an open society respecting the democratic principles of governance, are severely curtailed, creating a climate of fear fuelled by rumours, propaganda and suspicion. The result is an all-encompassing feeling of fear and distrust, even within families, reflecting a pervasive intelligence network that the Government of Eritrea has established throughout the country.

102. People cannot choose their profession and their remunerations are too low, causing them to rely on remittances from family and friends from abroad and pooling resources to be able to live in dignity.

103. While human rights violations are widespread and pervasive and affect all components of Eritrean society, minority ethnic groups suffer from a disparate impact, multiple forms of discrimination and marginalization, leading to exile.

104. Real change would require a fundamental reform process transforming the current culture of rights denial into one anchored in the rule of law and in respect for and the realization of all human rights and human dignity.

105. During the initial period of the mandate, the Special Rapporteur concentrated on ensuring access to Eritrea and opening up channels of communications with the Government, gathering information on the human rights violations, and engaging with a broad spectrum of interlocutors to gather information about the human rights situation in Eritrea, primarily with victims.

106. The Special Rapporteur would like to focus on three priority areas and relative action points in the delivery of the mandate in the medium term:

(a) To respect, protect and fulfil internationally recognized human rights standards;
(i) To revoke the shoot-to-kill policy when people cross borders;
(ii) To release all prisoners detained without charge or trial, including those detained because of their political or religious beliefs;
(iii) To put a stop to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment;
(iv) To put an immediate end to indefinite national service;
(v) To give effect to the right to freedom of expression and opinion, and of assembly and association;

(b) To restore and respect the rule of law;
(i) To strengthen democratic governance institutions;
(ii) To guarantee the independence and impartiality of the justice system to combat impunity;
(iii) To take legislative, administrative, institutional and practical measures to give effect to the rule of law;

(c) To ratify international human rights standards and to cooperate with United Nations and regional human rights mechanisms;
(i) To ratify international human rights treaties (such as the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance) without further delay; and to give effect to the right to freedom of expression and opinion, and of assembly and association;
(ii) To cooperate with United Nations human rights treaty bodies and special procedures, including with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea;
(iii) To cooperate with regional human rights mechanisms.

B. Recommendations

107. The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government of Eritrea:

(a) Respect all obligations under international human rights treaties to which Eritrea is a party, and ratify and implement other international human rights instruments, in particular the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance;

(b) Implement the Constitution ratified in 1997 by the Constituent Assembly and review the national legal framework to bring it into line with international human rights standards;
(c) Allow the creation of political parties and hold free, fair and transparent democratic national elections;
(d) Restore and respect the rule of law, in particular by institutionalizing an independent and transparent judiciary, checks and balances against the abuse of power, and by providing access to justice, especially for the accused and detainees;
(e) Cease the shoot-to-kill policy implemented at the borders with immediate effect, as well as all other forms of extrajudicial executions;
(f) Set up an effective mechanism to establish the whereabouts of those who have reportedly disappeared and provide information thereon to their families immediately;
(g) Investigate and prosecute all allegations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings and bring perpetrators to justice in accordance with international standards;
(h) Put an immediate end to State-sponsored violence, namely killings, disappearances and all cases of arbitrary arrest, torture and other ill-treatment;
(i) Immediately release, or charge and bring before a court of law, the members of the “G-15” and the journalists arrested in 2001, and release all other political prisoners and those detained on the basis of their religious belief;
(j) Put an immediate end to the practice of incommunicado detention, close all unofficial and secret places of detention and allow access to prisoners by family members, lawyers and judges;
(k) Guarantee the physical integrity of all prisoners, ensure access to medical treatment of those in need, improve the conditions of detention in accordance with international standards, and allow unhindered access by international monitors to all detention facilities;
(l) Stop use of torture, establish an adequate complaints mechanism, and ensure that prompt and effective investigations are conducted into all allegations of torture and ill-treatment with a view to bring perpetrators to justice;
(m) End the practice of indefinite national service and initiate demobilization for those who have completed 18 months service; and stop the use of national service conscripts as forced labour, and the recruitment of children under the age of 18 years into military training;
(n) Ensure accountability for past human rights violations by investigating promptly all allegations of violence committed by police and security personnel, as well as other government actors; by bringing perpetrators to justice, in particular those with command responsibility; and by providing adequate redress to victims;
(o) Fully respect the freedoms of expression and opinion, of peaceful assembly and association as critical foundations for any democracy; put an end to harassment and intimidation of journalists; allow the creation of private media; and provide licenses to private radio and television stations;
(p) Respect the substantive role that civil society actors play in democratic societies and ensure that human rights defenders and civil society organizations are
able to carry out their activities in an open, safe and secure environment, without fear of retribution or curtailment of their activities;
(q) Respect the religious freedom of all faiths, and ensure that people of all faiths can practice their religion without fear;
(r) Put an end to restrictions to the freedom of movement within Eritrea and to travel outside the country;
(s) Address the alarming living conditions and, at a minimum, ensure the enjoyment of the minimum essential level of economic, social and cultural rights for all, in particular the rights to food, water and health, through sustainable livelihood, especially in rural communities;
(t) Ensure access to education, including higher and academic education, by reopening the University of Asmara to provide Eritrean students with access to higher-level education that is internationally recognized;
(u) Cooperate with the international community to allow those providing international humanitarian assistance unhindered access throughout the country;
(v) Collaborate with the Special Rapporteur in implementing her mandate and respond positively to her requests for an invitation to visit Eritrea;
(w) Cooperate with other international human rights mechanisms and respond positively to pending visit requests by special procedures mandate holders; ensure an inclusive and comprehensive follow-up process to the universal periodic review; implement the recommendations made by treaty bodies; and submit overdue reports;
(x) Seek technical assistance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other agencies, as appropriate, with a view to facilitate the promotion and protection of human rights.

108. The Special Rapporteur recommends that the international community:

(a) Keep Eritrea under close scrutiny until meaningful change is evident in the country, while increasing efforts to constructively engage with Eritrea and neighbouring countries with a view to improve the situation of human rights in the country;
(b) Strengthen efforts to ensure the protection of those fleeing from Eritrea, in particular the increasing numbers of unaccompanied children, including by respecting the principle of non-refoulement and by granting at least temporary refuge or protection, and end bilateral and other arrangements between Eritrea and third countries that jeopardize the lives of those who seek asylum;
(c) Promote channels of migration from Eritrea to reduce clandestine channels and promote intercountry cooperation to counter human smuggling and trafficking, while treating victims humanely;
(d) Provide space for long-term solutions to help refugees, including local integration in the first-asylum country and resettlement in third countries, and strengthen international solidarity in sharing the responsibility to care for refugees and migrants.

inform. inspire. embolden. reconcile.

About Awate Team

The Awate Team is a group of individuals who collaborate in preparing editorial contents that mainly appear under the PENCIL signature and other columns that carry the Awate Team signature. It represents the collective team's view.

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  • haile


    As of January 2012, the number of refugees that are registered by the UNHCR as originating from:

    Sudan – 3,283, 139
    Somalia – 2,464, 989
    Eritrea – 266,126
    Ethiopia – 109, 386
    Djibouti – 888

    The figures include Internally displaced persons, which is higher than 2 million for Sudan and Somalia and recorded as 0 for Eritrea.


    • Haile,

      The raw data does not clearly highlight the differences among the countries. How about using proportion for comparison purposes:

      Arranging the proportions in the increasing order helps compare countries.

      Somalia – 26.34% of its population registered as refugees.

      Sudan – 10.29% of its population registered as refugee.

      Eritrea –5.09% of its population registered as refugees.

      Ethiopia– 0.14% of its population registered as refugees.

      Djibouti – 0.10% of its population registered as refugees

      What accounts the fact that Eritrea is not the one with the highest number of refugees?
      a. The very tight control of the border?
      b. Kill-to shoot policy of the government?
      c. Eritreans’ harrowing experience in the hands of Rashida and Bedouin, and its awareness?

      • Correction: Eritrea is not the one with the highest number of refugees in relation to its size

        • yegermal

          “Somalia – 26.34% of its population registered as refugees.

          Sudan – 10.29% of its population registered as refugee.”

          They both are countries at war… that accounts for the difference. So we should compare Eritrea to those that are in a relative peace, i.e., Ethiopia and Djibouti, and others.

          • I agree on that. I don’t know if you also agree on mine. Mine also accounts for the facts…Wouldn’t you agree?

          • One more thing: Eritrea does not have IDP. If you take out IDPs from the figures, Eritrea would probably be on top of all the aforementioned countries.

        • yegermal

          I definitely agree with your approach for analyzing UNHCR data. Indeed other contributing factors must be taken into account in order to determine the per capita refugee number contributed by each country. Accordingly, Eritrea would take the cake if IDPs and other factors are considered.

          • meb

            IDPs don’t count as “refugees” according to UNHCR. It is not good to twist truth.

      • haile


        Ideally, the comparison should only be out of the last three. Somalia and Sudan were in a turbulent situation at the time and hence, their values can be considered an outlier against their historical values.

        There are also many other con-founding factors that would go to show that Eritrea’s case is indeed a crisis. I have only put the numbers data, and people can see and reflect in their own ways. Kinda ‘a statistical modern art’ 🙂

        • Haile,

          You are right. One thing that can be overlooked is this fact: there are a number of immigrants that the UHNCR does not know about ( unregistered immigrants). For example, UNHCR does not know me 😉 I avoided UNHCR and showed up “b’wezbi” in the land of honey and milk. I love my adopted country. Would die for it, if it comes to it 😉

          • Tamrat Tamrat

            You reminded me of amiches. Imagine amiches deing for Ethiopia!

    • Asmara Eritrea

      The UN Report is frankly something people across the world have known for two decades. Repression and human rights abuse has been going on in Eritrea unabated for well over 20 years. Lets face it, Eritrea is misruled by a group of mafia led by a brain dead godfather. All honest people know this deep in their hearts. No UN report is required to highlight what is an open secret and has been so for a long time. Our people are tortured day in and day out . We know that.

      The 64k dollar question, however, is what is the UN going to do about it ? We do not need lecture about something we know a million times more than the UN officials. We need action now! The UN should act immediately before Eritrea sinks into the dark ages. Remove tha mafia regime by force.

      Eritrea for ever, death to the dictator.

      • Saba

        Finally, one of my brothers clicked it! Great comment.

  • idris

    HELL on EARTH,
    Parents without sons and daughters, lol

  • yegermal

    And Zebene “Wegah Tibel Leiti” is back as well…as a national priority. This , while failing to give attention to youth’s exodus and the horrendous human/organ trafficking to which the youth is being subjected in Sinai. Yegermal!

    “In opening remarks, President Isaias pointed out that Eritrean festivals have been witnessing unique characteristic features since the armed struggle for independence through the entire nation-building process, and that its significant role thereof attests to this. He went on to describe national festivals as groundwork for depicting and popularizing societal harmony, national resources, progress of various sectors, as well as national and cultural values, besides the steadfastness of the Eritrean people and their leadership.”

  • Tamrat Tamrat

    I dont think pfdj People have understood the seirousness of the mass exodes, its consquences and the 2% and other intersts of the pfd government and its supporters (i know one a hell of tax collecter here). The People who left Eritrea have their own experiences or story how their life is threatened by the pfdj policies and its long arms of its Law.

    1) if the government of Eritrea directly or indirectly (planning the 2% Income) involves in the mass exodes then it is involved in its violation of humman right or in involving itself in hummantrafficking. As the government though the latter one is horrifying and has great dameging consqunecs for further punishment from the international community, pfdj is detsroyed Beyond recognition as a political instituion. One can not mafia system to run a country. No matter a country is poor, no government can plann to send its peopel under FALS pretext to other country for the well being of its nation TAKING what pfdj is saying its unique democratic and justice based progrss.

  • haile

    Merhaba btsay saay

    You asked msaAt halena? Well, I take great pride in my musical sundial:

    Se’at akhila
    Babur Neqila 🙂

    Although, for some, it might have arrived too. As I am also hearing:

    Metsi’Ekaley do
    K’tsbeyeka 🙂

    …hang on, mama Trfe teresiEn 🙂


    • haile

      Just got some time and thought of including a small explanation for those who may not have followed our discussion! (I have learned the hard way if I must make a joke, I better explain what it is all about:))

      I notice, with disappointment, that Eritreans tend to forget the big picture (aka mama Trfe) when they come to deal with an intermediate success. This, in my humble opinion, seems the critical problem in creating momentum. I suppose this may be more to do with lack of central and cohesive leadership, than the fault of individual person or smaller group.

      For example, lets look at the two news items from recently (Canada Consul and UN SR). Where do these two events belong?

      a) Advancing the movement towards freeing the Eritrean people


      b) Advancing long held beliefs and tendencies that may not be compatible with everyone’s frame of mind?

      In my opinion, if the answer is consistently (a) then every little accomplishment can be absorbed towards such endeavor, hence a momentum is built.

      Otherwise, if it happens so that we give it an unqualified and personal or small group, characterizations it only serves to narrow the its support base, thus hindering momentum.

      So, this is to clarify, so that our esteemed sisters don’t feel my comment above was meant for them. In fact, I am not sure if it helps PTS’ed society, but I have always been a fan of women in leadership for Africa. No evidence whatsoever, but I tend to think that the chances of peace may be greater when women are at the helm.


  • ddawit


    • EEBC

      The first thing the Hague would ask is: How come Ethiopia is not abiding by the Hague boundary commission’s ruling? and getting away with it?

      That would be the very question out of Hague.

  • Tzigereda

    Dear Sal,

    How dare you forget three names?

    Asia Abdulkadir, Dr. Alganesh Fesseha Ghandi, Sister Azezet Kidane, Aida Kidane, Alia Gabres, Feven Solomon, Asia Abissinya Jobe Gergishu Yohannes, Luwam Estifanos, Harnet Bokre (Miriam September), Rut Bahta…..
    Maybe it is because there are not only three but hundreds of women marching for justice, determined, devoted, fighting in different ways , and this is a sign that soon it will be our turn to win.

    Elsa Chirum has done an excellent job!!!

  • yegermal

    “96. Excessive militarization is affecting the very fabric of Eritrean society, and its core unit, the family. The open-ended nature of national service is depriving the women and men of Eritrea of their most productive years, forcing them to cross borders to take their destiny into their own hands”

    In addition to indefinite conscription and national service, DIA has found yet one more way to erode and adulterate the very foundation of our society, religion. While he has effectively emasculated our traditional religions (Islam and Christianity), he is introducing Confucianism – a system of belief characterized by its strong promotion for submission to authority.

    1. Confucius Institute Opens in Asmara:
    “Heading the Chinese team of academicians, Dr. Chen Houyi, President of Guizhou University of Finance and Economics, made note of the historic relations between Eritrea and China, and expressed conviction that the opening of such an institute would have remarkable impact in strengthening the ties between the two countries.
    Dr. Tadese Mehari, Executive Director of the National Board of Higher Education, equally voiced conviction that the opening of an institute of this type would further Sino-Eritrean relations.”

    2. Confucianism:
    “During the Warring States Period and the early Han dynasty China grew greatly and the need for a solid and centralized corporation of government officers able to read and write administrative papers arose. As a result Confucianism was promoted and the corporation of men it produced became an effective counter to the remaining landowner aristocrats otherwise threatening the unity of the state.

    Since then Confucianism has been used as a kind of “state religion”, with authoritarianism, legitimism, paternalism and submission to authority used as political tools to rule China.”

    • haile

      ni hao yegermal,

      I think if you’re referring to your #1 – Confucius Institute, it is more like the British Council, with the only distinction of being part of the Chinese govt., while the latter isn’t part of the British govt. It is said to aim “to promote Chinese language and culture, support local Chinese teaching internationally, and facilitate cultural exchanges.”

      Confucius Institute are all around the world, are not considered to be places of spreading Confucianism faith and worship. Rather, that of funding and scholarship for cultural projects and initiatives.

      Here is a list of the Institute around the globe:

      • yegermal

        lol @ ni hao. Handa wielka malet dokon ykewun? Thank you for the info. and I stand corrected. Perhaps a little Chinese won’t hurt, huh?

  • sara

    is this news or noise? if it is news then it means you do not have access to the western media, if noise…well, we hear this and many like it always and we are fed-up with it,that the sales of ear plugs has shot up.

    [Moderator: please identify “we” in you comment.]

    • sara

      take it easy ya modeer!dont be that much sensitive..

  • MA Ozi

    Two vicious circles we need to postpone: “ELF/EPLF and the Boarder issue”
    I wonder why do people ALL THE TIME DIGRESS from the issue at hand. We became Mes’hak Sharafat laughable and comic by DIA and his puppets. In my opinion, the issue of ELF/EPLF will be settled by the Eritrean people when and if there is ballot box. Let’s assume they are two blocks like the Republican and Democrats in US or the Liberal and Labour parties in Australia. Somethings you just accept them as they are, for the sake of the bigger picture. On the issue of border dispute we can address it in due course. It’s a matter of Eritrean sovereignty, I do not mean to belittle it, but we have priority.
    If we do NOT give a simple and clear objective and vision for our people to adhere to and to bring about change, there will never be solution, attacking each other or attacking those who are martyrs, at times we elect the opposition to lead us and then we are the first to attack them. We’ll run in circles among our selves, while the real battle is to oust PFDJ.
    The logical lasting solution comes from Eritrean popular support, and not from Ethiopian army or even US army for that matter. Therefore, a clear objective can be in my opinion is a call for “REGIME CHANGE”. That will grow slowly and will ripe to give fruits. This type of call is simple to understand will and should not come from the international community be it the UNSC, US, AU and or EU. It comes from us Eritreans!!!

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      I think the border issue is forgotten. What you see now is the struggel between elf and eplf all over the world keeping in mind that pfdj represents eplf at least in Eritrea.

  • Berhanv gedem

    The international community the did great job to condomning the evil cruel Esayas and his puppets what. Is remain the opposition party leaving in diaspora ,time to act right know to work together forget about the past history for historian work with tolerance and respect each other for the better future eritrea.

  • Serray

    Selamat everyone,

    Behind this report is a sacrifice rarely seen in human history and a crush of a fifty-year aspiration of a nation. To watch nation after nation plead against extrajudicial killing, disappearances, torture and enslavement of our brothers and sisters is sad enough but what is even sadder is these pleas are directed against tegadelti who spent the best years of their lives fighting an enemy they now surpass in brutality. This is a report about a nation that celebrated its independence, by the hands of the same people accused of committing these biblical proportion crimes, less than a week ago.

    The world should consider bringing charges of crimes against humanity against isaias, his inner circle of advisers and his top military officials if they don’t account for every single person arrested and disappeared. As a matter of fact, the UN should focus on this particular recommendation by giving the regime a deadline to present the prisoners to an independent body. If the regime didn’t produce every single person, or refuse to cooperate, then a case of genocide should be brought against it immediately. The world should understand that the sanctions have turned the regime into unbelievable brute; the regime has some how convinced itself that the worst that could happen has happened and it is now free to do what it likes with our people. It is time to show it the other end of the rule of law.

    At the risk of sounding like Haile, if the organized oppositions abandoned their political stand and relationships based on politics that has brought no fruit and, instead concentrate on only human rights issues, with a report like this to back them up, they would have served the eritrean people much better.

    • haile

      Selam Serray,

      You didn’t sound like haile at all, because the tone was very much Serray’s:) You said that “…what is even sadder is these pleas are directed against tegadelti..” That was a disingenuous way of aligning it with your, by now well established view, as regards Ghedli. In fact, you could have also said that “…what is even sadder is these pleas are [are made on behalf of] tegadelti…” Who didn’t deserve to be treated as such. G-15 and many others are tegadelti too.

      Unfortunately, you wanted to frame your depiction to fit in the Ghedli-defaming narrative you hold. If any thing, your proposal needn’t have had to be packaged in such a politicized manner, while calling on others to do the opposite (avoid politics). BTW application of the principle of human rights have never been separated from politics (political rights is one component of HR).


      • Serray

        Selamat Haile,

        what is disingenuous about the plea being directed at tegadelti? It is true that a few of the victims are tegadelti, but that doesn’t change the fact that 100 percent of the regime is controlled by tegadelti.

        The canada meeting you gave us a link to showed that the line between higdef and hizbawi ginbar is blurred. They are referring to each other as “bitsai” the way they used to in medda. How is that when we point out what they proudly saying ghedli-defaming. You guys have it upside down; they are defaming ghedli, we are just pointing it out.

        • haile

          Selam Serray,

          Consider these two statements:

          “100 percent of the [Eritrean] regime is controlled by tegadelti.”
          “100 percent of the tegadelti control the Eritrean regime.”

          Now if you re-read your earlier statement:

          “…what is even sadder is these pleas are directed against tegadelti..”

          What I called disingenuous was the fact that you have used the statement #1[true to some extent], and made it, seamlessly, appear as equivalent to statement #2 [which is false] and made the conclusion in statement #3 [Ghedli defaming].

          How about saying that “…what is even sadder is these pleas are directed against a regime, with most of whose members coming from tegadelti backgrounds, those who won us independence as well as dignified, us and the rest of our generation, with the recognition we deserve like any other sovereign people..”

          I am surprised it is taking this long for saay to give his rebuttal on the matter:)

          • Saleh Gadi


            According to the Eritrean Covenenat, those who control power in Eritrea are “estimated to be a maximum of several hundreds.”
            The rest of the combatants are like everbody else suffering from the oppression. But a few who gave nothing are now trying to appear as if they care about Eritreans more than those who gave their youth, limbs, and life to make the life of the people better. Generalization. But you also fall into that trap Haile, opposition is almost a four-letter-word to you:-)


          • haile


            Nice one:) I got a problem with the drivers, not the vehicle per se:)

            When I visit there (Eritrea), there are some tegadelti family (relatives) that I visit. You probably don’t know this but there are tegadelti living in a make-shift corrugate tin huts with their family in the middle of Asmara. In one location that I went, there were between 20-25 such make-shift (much like a tin box) huts occupied by tegadelti and their entire family.

            It is hard and immoral for me to accuse these people of anything other than be eternally grateful to what they went through on behalf of all of us.

            Serray, tesem’E do alokha 🙂

          • Salyounis

            Selamat Bitsay Tegadalay* Haile:

            I am surprised it is taking this long for saay to give his rebuttal on the matter:)

            Well, if I were going to comment on this issue**, I would say that to those who think that I overstate the importance of individuals (as they claim I do with Isaias Afwerki), I have two words for them: Elsa Chyrum. The chain of events that led to putting the spotlight on the bestiality of the Isaias Afwerki regime owes it to the determination of one remarkable Eritrean woman.

            Yes, yes, I will agree: many factors, teamwork, environment, shoulders of giants, etc. But still: no Elsa Chyrum, no Rapporteur report in 2013. You can make similar cases for Meron Estifanos, Selam Kidane and the three other women whose names I am forgetting that Tsigreda Zerai will jump in to remind me. Somebody should write a thesis on how post-traumatic societies look for leadership in women. Are you listening, somebody?

            * our friend Semere Andom, who is having technical difficulties and can’t post now, has given us license to add “Bitsay” to “Tegadalai” to show solidarity with the Eritrean opposition (who still address each other as Tegadalay) and the poor prosecuted PFDJ (who are calling each other Bitsay.)
            * paying tribute to Ghedli Cadre who always answered questions with “bzaEbi knzareb intedea quen’na…” What time is it? “Se’At kndey alo zbl ZaEba inte al Elna…”

          • Ghezae Hagos

            Selam Sal, Serray, Haile, Saleh and awatistas,

            Serray, what can I say that you have not said so beautifully…”..if the organized oppositions abandoned their political stand and relationships based on politics that has brought no fruit and, instead concentrate on only human rights issues, with a report like this to back them up, they would have served the Eritrean people much better…” You are onto something here.

            Dear SAAY, Just to back you up, here is what Miriam September put in the fb today on our women compatriots.

            “It just overcame me spontaneously … to write this post …. and to follow Selam to show my special appreciation to my sisters in this struggle, who have shown incredible strength and who somehow touched me again in recent days…and there are many more, so forgive me if I single a few out just for this post…

            1) Elsa Chyrum Haftey, you live and breath for the dignity of your people…let me add to Sele’s post: Elsa was the one who worked hard for 4 years towards an appointment of a special rapporteur to Eritrea. The outcome of Geneva yesterday, is down to Elsa’s unstoppable advocacy work. One woman against the UN system…and a mother figure to many refugees who have been forgotten.

            2) Asia Haftey, I am worried that you fall ill, because you work hard, don’t sleep, and worry so much about your people non-stop. You have an energy second to none, you fully support the youth, and you are an incredible hope to our brothers in Shegareb camp who you devotedly call every day.

            3) Selam Haftey, from my heart I salute you for your commitment to this struggle, your unrepresented persistence, your bravery in stepping up against the PFDJ, and for keeping the hope alive and visible inside Eritrea with Arbi Harnet.

            4) Meron Haftey you have amazed us many times, you are a voice for the tortured and you have represented our people and made their pain heard in front of Africa’s leaders. When some of our people don’t know to whom to to turn to, they call you.

            5) Luwam Haftey, you have touched us with your posts about Sawa in the past. You are a young woman of strong principle and with a warm heart and after you left Eritrea, you never forgot whom you left behind. And I guess you just broke the EYSC FB record with the likes for your very funny and brave video – you are a trendsetter.

            6) Adiam Haftey, you are a brave leader for young Eritrean women in the West. You are not afraid to speak your mind….Women for Change make us proud and oh yes, indeed, you get what the concept of ‘change’ means.

            7) Winta Haftey, you are so young and always smiling, but gosh, we have seen the fire in you leading ahead. When you took the mic during the demos in Italy, the passion you showed made the crowd catch their breath.

            8) Abi Seyoum…you are only 14 or 15 and yet you are bravely challenging the conscience of Eritrean diplomats. I pray your dad is safe. You have become a determined and inspiring voice for the children of the imprisoned.

            9) Tsedal Haftey, you bravely live with the pain of your sister Aster in prison and you don’t even trade that huge pain for your principles and values. You step up against PFDJ with determination and yet always with a concern to be fair. You are amazingly strong,…a role model in so many ways.

            10) Dr Alganesh, many of us have never met you, but despite your humble and quiet ways we could not help but notice…You focus on the job at hand with real professionalism. You have met state men and traveled through the desert, you examined dead bodies and donated generously towards the youth conference…and although less in the public eye, you already made history in our hearts.

            And all the others who show their bravery and commitment in many ways, so many more names coming to our mind…

            These women have shaped our cause and the Eritrean opposition with amazing determination …. they have each moved mountains …but more that that, they have brought into it all a wave of inspiration, tears, warmth, confidence, and relevance …… I hope many more women will follow, because as these amazing sisters have proven….our struggle is not one of power, but it is predominantly a cause of love and care.

            Please never stop thinking about the women and mothers who carry double burden in this struggle in so many ways, be it inside Eritrea or abroad.

            Wow, look at them…. alewana, alewana indeed, and Eritrea needs more of you … !
            Bless you all, sisters! 🙂

    • Serray

      Selamat Everyone,

      Well, Haile, you asked for Saay, you got both Salehs responding to your call. I am not saying prosecute all tegadelti, just isaias, his inner circle of advisers and his top military officials. I want to respond to Saleh Ghedi, but not under this report.

      I join Gezae in saluting our sisters for the tremendous job they are doing in bringing the plight of our people to the forefront. And I salute you, gezae and aaron, for delivering the first meaningful blow to the regime’s extortion gimmick.

      Imagine if the weight of the whole opposition was behind you and our courageous sisters.

      • Ghezae Hagos

        Selam dear Serray,

        On behalf of the Hidmona Human Rights Group and members of the Eritrean-Canadian Human Rights Group, I deeply thank you and all Awatistas. This was a long-drawn out ‘battle’ and we are happy it out this way. More importantly, I hope this will be harbinger of good tidings for our people. As you know it has been exceedingly difficult year for our opposition camp and let us hope this will bring us some sort respite and hope. The premise is the same, dear Serray. Issayas Afewerki will certainly kill our nation, decimate our people. We have to fight back with what ever is at our disposal. Based on human-rights- prism, we have numerous resources to involve our second-homes, our governments, and international community. We never even touched them yet, in my opinion. We have moral and noble cause before our nation is rendered a full-fledged Chechen, Spring 1994 Rwanda, or Tamile ‘Elam’ as sure is the master plan of cruelest tyrant our land has seen or will ever see.

        • Saleh Gadi

          Congratulations again. I was thinking how the rest of Eritreans can benefit from the strategy you used to manage to boot the guy out. Would you consider writing a sort of reportthat includes lessons learned, lessons (mistakes to be avoided) that should not to be repeated, logistics? I am thinking of a report, the entire ABC of the journey; I believe it would serve as a manual for others to follow.

          One more thing: I heard someone from Canada, within the structure, is being considered to take the place of the late victim:-)

          I will share with you if I hear anything new.

          • haile


            Here is a betting odd: Who is going to be appointed first, a new Eritrean Consul in Canada or a new Eritrean President in Asmara? 🙂

          • Saleh Gadi

            Ghezae, I really do not care, but could you switch the sequence 2, 1 instead of 1, 2 🙂

          • Ghezae Hagos

            Selam Saleh,

            On behalf of the ‘deleyti fithi’ and the Groups involved in this particular human rights campaign, thank you, dear Saleh. I can’t say much in this forum for obvious reasons. Suffice is to say, we, at Hidmona Human Rights Group, have tried to relay similar ‘methods’ to other activists residing in other countries since the start of the campaign. We have been some follow-ups with them. Again, the broad strokes are still the same. We are all amateur activists, but at the risk of sounding know-it-all, please allow me to say this. Look and look hard into your legal, and political resources. You have them. It just that you don’t think you have. You have them really. Study them. Use them. Do follow-ups. Preserve the little victories…Above all, remember Issayas Afewerki is still leading Erena.

      • yegermal

        It’s very gratifying to see the courageous sisters getting the recognition they so deserve. What distinguishes them from their male counterparts is that they are tirelessly working to address the immediate need of the fleeing Eritrean youth. Much like the giant Sojourner Truth in American history, they have decided that there is no time to waste when the youth is in danger of extinction. We all should feel the urgency these courageous sisters feel and strive to emulate their ways.

        Zeben deki anstyo metsyu, selam kisefin eyu:)

  • ddawit


  • ddawit

    there is no any excuse for oppressing your own people whether the EEBC implemented or not.respect human right period.i even wandering if diA isaias afeworki is an eritrean.DIA destroyed eritrean people and Eritrea it self MORE THAN ETHIOPIA.if he was real eritrean he will not do that.not even CIA or Ethiopia did that THE WAY pfdj HIGDEF DID TO ERITREAN PEOPLE AND ERITREA.TIME TO REFER DIA isaias afeworki.yemane monkey,hagose kisha,zemhret,germa asmorom,eritrean security chief,spy chief to ICC Hague for humane right crimes,including modern slavery,forcing people to eradicate from Eritrea and more

  • I agree with the recommendations, and to expedite their implementation on the ground,Isaias Afewerqi must be denied any loophole for any rationalization, the UNSC must force woyane to vacate Eritrean territory and to physically demarcate the Eritrean-Ethiopian border in accordance with the decision of EEBC.

    However, we must also realize that the so called “Eritrean Oppositions” are also ,unwittingly or wittingly, contributing their share to prolong the agony of our people at home under Isaias Afewerqi. I suggest the following changes be instituted:

    1. The residue of historical animosity between the followers of ELF and EPLF be totally scraped because twenty two years of antagonism have not produced any positive results. I think it is wise and timely to re-assess our experience in light of the worsening predicaments our people are facing.

    2. Our screaming at each other as followers of Isaias Afewerqi and woyane is extermely servile. We must regain our God given asset, our human rational, and put the survival of our Sovereingty and the Peace and tranquility of our people as the Alfa and Omega of our activities. Even our personal interest must not be allowed to interfer. Let our Martyrs be role-Model.

    3. We must be skeptical of the reality of the apparent antagonism between Isaias Afewerqi and woyane. I am of the opinion that it may be simply a theatrical drama for sinister end. Needless to say, I am being hunted by the spectre of what ELF used to say in this regard.

    4. We must line up in front of the UNSC, all of us united, and demand woyane be forced to vacate our territory and the Eritean-Ethiopia border be physically demarcated. This may give the appearance of supporting Isaias Afewrqi but in reality, we are demolishing his hideout. The era of the bulls, “tit for tat”, “the enemy of enemy is my friend”, must end, and be replaced by The Power of Cold blooded Reason.

    • F.M.

      Sure, stick to the same plan that has not worked for the last ten years. You may think this is the defining Eritrean character of stick-to-it-ness. Some long parted company with you, my friend, because your idea is the very definition of insanity. Let along join you in your cause, I would not live in the same country of your making with you–you can have it all. I have that choice, I only feel sorry for the many who are losing their kidney to have that choice.

    • yegermal

      hmmmm…..haile reincarnated ?

      • haile

        yegermal…tezkarey embe’Ar tebeli’u eyu? haile is alive and kicking, what is all this reincarnated thing..:)

      • Beza Sehaq Kirtim (BSK) as well as known as LOL

        • rodab

          You should follow the State media translation style to get translations right. For example,
          LOL = AES (Aw elka seHaQ),
          TTL = DKE (deHar kizarebeka eye),
          GTG = GKA (gdn kikeyid aleni),
          BRB = QKE (qeltife kmles eye)….

          • F.M.

            Can u be kind enough to translate this: