• Torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religious freedom remain routine in Eritrea. Elections have not been held since Eritrea gained independence in 1993, the constitution has never been implemented, and political parties are not allowed. There are no institutional constraints on President Isaias Afewerki, in power now for twenty years. In addition to ongoing serious human rights abuses, forced labor and indefinite military service prompt thousands of Eritreans to flee the country every year. Access to the country for international humanitarian and human rights organizations is almost impossible and the country has no independent media.

  • The sun sets near the Egypt-Israel border on April 30, 2013, sealed off since early 2013 by a five meter high Israeli fence. Trafficking victims told Human Rights Watch that throughout 2012, Egyptian border guards or unknown men fired at them as they approached the border.

    Traffickers have kidnapped, tortured, and killed refugees, most from Eritrea, in eastern Sudan and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, according to dozens of interviewees said Human Rights Watch.



  • Sep 26, 2014
    The United Nations Human Rights Council’s establishment in June 2014 of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights abuses in Eritrea is an important step toward justice for the victims. On September 26, 2014, the President of the UN Human Rights Council appointed Mike Smith (Australia) and Victor Dankwa (Ghana) to serve in the Commission of Inquiry, together with Sheila Keetharuth (Mauritius), the council’s special rapporteur on human rights in Eritrea.
  • Sep 24, 2014
    Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled on September 22, 2014 that the law establishing a facility where Israel is holding thousands of asylum seekers and migrants is void.
  • Sep 16, 2014
  • Sep 15, 2014

    Since January 2013 - six months after Israel introduced an unlawful policy of indefinitely detaining as many "infiltrators" as possible to coerce them into leaving - almost 7,000 people, mostly Sudanese, have buckled under the pressure and returned home. Another 44,000 Eritreans and Sudanese in Israel's cities live in constant fear of receiving orders to report to a remote desert detention centre near the Egyptian border where, the authorities say, they will be confined until they also agree to leave the country.

  • Sep 9, 2014

    Israeli authorities have unlawfully coerced almost 7,000 Eritrean and Sudanese nationals into returning to their home countries where they risk serious abuse, Human Rights Watch said. Some returning Sudanese have faced torture, arbitrary detention, and treason charges in Sudan for setting foot in Israel, while returning Eritreans also face a serious risk of abuse.

  • Jun 18, 2014
    Human Rights Watch’s research on Eritrea confirms many of the concerns raised in the Special Rapporteur’s thorough report. The human rights situation in Eritrea remains dire, with no improvement since the last Universal Periodic Review. Many Eritreans are denied fundamental human rights, including the right to express opinions, form associations and peacefully protest.
  • May 8, 2014


    The Sudanese authorities have deported 30 Eritreans, including at least 6 registered refugees, to Eritrea, said Human Rights Watch. Sudan did not give the UN refugee agency access to the group. Unknown numbers of detained Eritreans recently convicted of immigration offenses in Sudan also risk deportation.

  • Mar 17, 2014

    Members of the UN Human Rights Council called on Egypt and Sudan on March 14, 2014, to investigate and prosecute traffickers for kidnapping, torturing, and killing refugees in the Sinai Peninsula, said Human Rights Watch. 

  • Feb 11, 2014

    Traffickers have kidnapped, tortured, and killed refugees, most from Eritrea, in eastern Sudan and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, according to dozens of interviewees said Human Rights Watch.

  • Dec 28, 2013
    Thanks to a ruling on December 13 from the European Court of Human Rights, thousands of mig­rants and asylum seekers arbitrarily detained in Malta each year may finally have a way to challenge their imprisonment.