On the 62nd UDHR Anniversary

Let us escalate our Efforts for the Release of the arbitrarily arrested people in Eritrea.

On the day the world is celebrating the 62nd Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we have to stress the ever deteriorating present situation of the human rights in Eritrea.

This situation however demonstrates a dark gloomy and tragic chapter in our country’s record pertaining human rights. It represents an open defiance to that sublime historic document. There are thousands of detainees and arbitrarily arrested persons in Eritrea, some of them arrested directly in the post liberation period. Their fate remains unknown dead or alive. Their families are not allowed to see them or to know their whereabouts. The authorities refused to disclose their places of detention. The latest request made to the Eritrean government to release the detainees was made last year by the UN Human Rights council on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the situation of human rights in Eritrea. It recommended the Eritrean government, among other recommendations, to set free those detainees. Contrarily this government is practicing other gross forms of suppression like the grave violations of religious and political freedoms and rights as well as press and expression freedom. In this regard, the government does not allow the formation of parties, trade unions and the practices of independent press. Furthermore, the regime in Eritrea didn’t conduct any general elections in the country since its independence in 1993. The Eritrean government is also committing continued violations in its implementation of the military service programme (better known as national service programme NSP). Its practices in this respect include torture and compelling those doing national service to stay for years, sometimes extending for 13 years or more for most of them, contrary to the law and regulations of the NSP which defined the duration of the service for the individual as 18 months.

The Suwera Centre for Human Rights (SCHR), on this anniversary renews its commitment to carry on with its efforts and dedication to expose and stop the flagrant and outrageous violations committed by the dictatorial regime in Eritrea against our citizens. The SCHR on this honorable occasion calls and appeals for the organizations of the Eritrean civil society and Eritreans in general to work by all means for the exposure of these violations.

We must admit that the efforts exerted by us, whatsoever, are not proportionate or commensurate with the immensity and size of the tragedy lived by our people. What is required is diligent, continued and sustained efforts and activity until we compel this dictatorship to stop its heinous and savage practices and its anti human rights violations against our people. The SCHR also appeals to the international organizations active in the field of the defense of human rights to enhance their solidarity efforts with the Eritrean people especially in the field of making pressure for demanding the release of the arbitrarily arrested and all prisoners of conscience in Eritrea.

The SCHR at present declares that it is on its way to overcome the compelling circumstances which led to hampering and stopping its activity, and accordingly it is hoping to be able in coordination with its Eritrean and international partners to organize next year a worldwide campaign for the release of the arbitrarily arrested in Eritrea.

The Centre in commemoration of this anniversary would like to express its unlimited solidarity with victims of human rights violations on the global level. We look forward in the coming year for a year free of violations of human rights, a year governed with the prevalence and supremacy of the lofty and great principles and ideals expressed in the International Declaration of Human Rights.

Suwera Centre for Human Rights