Interactive Dialogue on the Human Rights Situation in Eritrea

Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Eritrea Mohamed Abdelsalam Babiker

47th Session of the Human Rights Council

U.S. Statement as Delivered by
Allison Lombardo
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of International Organization Affairs

June 21, 2021

Thank you for your presentation.

The United States condemns Eritrea’s continued troop presence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and calls for the immediate and verifiable withdrawal of Eritrean forces from the Tigray region.  We remain gravely concerned that Eritrean government forces continue to commit human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, rape, and sexual violence, and by credible reports that they are forcibly returning Eritrean refugees to Eritrea.  We also remain gravely concerned about their role in preventing humanitarian access to populations in Tigray, directly contributing to conditions of famine.  We call for those responsible for human rights abuses or violations of international law to be investigated and held accountable and highlight Eritrea’s responsibility to do so.

Beyond the situation in Tigray, we remain concerned by reports of arbitrary detention within Eritrea, including of individuals arrested for exercising freedoms of expression, religion or belief, or peaceful assembly, as well as conscientious objectors of compulsory and indefinite national service.  Reports of pervasive abuses, including torture, of detainees are deeply troubling.

Question: Has the Government of Eritrea taken measures to investigate human rights abuses or allegations of violations of international law by its forces and hold those responsible accountable?