Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Eritrea
Statement by the United States of America
31st Session of the Human Rights Council
As delivered by Amanda Jessen
March 14, 2016
The United States thanks Special Rapporteur Sheila Keetharuth for her continued work on the human rights situation in Eritrea, both in her role as Special Rapporteur and as a member of the Commission of Inquiry. With thousands of Eritreans fleeing their country each month, the Council must continue to look for ways to improve the country’s dire human rights situation. We welcome the Government of Eritrea’s permission for OHCHR to visit the country in the past year. We strongly encourage the Government to respond positively to the UN mandate holders who have requested a visit.
Special Rapporteur Keetharuth, you have encouraged the international community to advocate for reforms with respect to national service in Eritrea. Indeed, the United States believes that ending indefinite conscription would be one of the most positive signals the Government of Eritrea could send.
We also urge the government to account for and release prisoners of conscience including journalists, members of the G-15, and those detained due to their religion or belief. We encourage the Government to enable international human rights monitors to visit detention centers.
We would like to ask the following question of the Special Rapporteur…
Have you seen any concrete signs that the Government of Eritrea is considering limiting the duration of national service?