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UN Human Rights Council 50: UK statement on Eritrea

The UK delivered a statement during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea and urged Eritrea to take steps to address longstanding human rights concerns expressed by the Human Rights Council.

Thank you, Mr Vice President.

The United Kingdom thanks the Special Rapporteur for his work and his report on the human rights situation in Eritrea, which remains deeply concerning.

We take this opportunity to again urge Eritrea to take steps to address longstanding human rights concerns expressed by this Council, including prioritising National Service reform, releasing all those in arbitrary detention, and guaranteeing the freedom of religion or belief for all faiths, and the freedoms of expression and association. And we call on Eritrea to cooperate with the mandate of the Special Rapporteur.

We are also disappointed by the continued lack of progress from Eritrea in implementing recommendations it accepted during its last Universal Periodic Review. We call on them to do so as a priority.

Mr Vice President,

We continue to urge the Eritrean government to engage constructively with the recommendations of the 3 November UN-Ethiopian Human Rights Commission joint investigation report. We also urge them to work both with the Human Rights Council mandated mechanism, of 17 December 2021, to investigate and redress the human rights violations and abuses committed during the conflict in Ethiopia.

We are concerned that the recent increased tensions on the border between Eritrea and the Tigray region of Ethiopia could lead to further conflict,2 putting already vulnerable civilian populations at even greater risk. We would expect all sides to the conflict in Northern Ethiopia to respect international human rights and international humanitarian law.

Special Rapporteur,

Will you consider engaging with the International Commission of Human Rights Experts to share best practice, analysis and insight on engaging on human rights in Eritrea?

Thank you

Published 13 June 2022