• 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.

Reports

Eritrea

  • 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.
  • Dec 26, 2013

    If officials in a foreign country to which you had fled forced you and hundreds of your compatriots to live in isolation in the desert, surrounded by a fence and armed guards to monitor your every move, limited the public transport available to take you elsewhere during the few hours between mandatory headcounts and gave strict orders to stay inside at night, it would be fair to say that you were in detention.

  • Dec 18, 2013

    Israeli authorities are effectively detaining hundreds of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers despite an Israeli High Court order for their release, Human Rights Watch said. More than 150 of the migrants ignored the rules restricting their mobility and walked out of what they called an “open prison” in the Negev desert to march toward Jerusalem in protest. On December 17, 2013, they gathered outside the Knesset in Jerusalem, where police apprehended them.

  • Nov 26, 2013
    This week, millions will set out for Thanksgiving, a holiday that celebrates how refugees from religious persecution found freedom in a new land. I’ll be one of those traveling. Of course, I’ll be travelling legally, with the right paperwork. Most of us can't imagine how much harder it is to cross international borders if you can’t get your papers in order. Yet millions of people fleeing war and instability, or fearing persecution from their own government, don’t have the luxury of applying for passports and waiting for visas.