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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Eritrea
January 28, 2019

UPR Intervention for Eritrea


Geneva, January 28, 2019

as delivered by Charles Bentley

The United States welcomes the Eritrean delegation.

We recommend Eritrea:

  1. Release political prisoners, including journalists and members of religious groups held on account of their beliefs or affiliations, and allow greater transparency into legal proceedings for those arrested.
  2. Adhere to the proclamation that limits national service to 18 months, facilitate free enterprise and job creation to bring more employment opportunities outside of national service, and allow conscientious objection to military elements of national service.
  3. Implement constitutional provisions and international obligations that protect the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, association, and religion or belief, and expand opportunities for citizens to participate in their government.

The United States applauds Eritrea’s efforts to pursue peace with its neighbors and its engagement with the international community.  We highlight the importance of protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms as essential elements of peace, security, and development and restate our interest in working together to advance these common goals.

We strongly believe that strengthened human rights protections create the conditions for Eritrea’s domestic development and can also bolster Eritrea’s contributions to regional peace and security.

We urge Eritrea to begin a dialogue with UN Special Rapporteur Daniela Kravetz on the situation of human rights in the country, as this would improve the international understanding of Eritrea’s views and actions on human rights issues.