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Need for Urgent Protection, Assistance; Thousands Still Missing

(Nairobi) – Eritrean government forces and Tigrayan militias have committed killings, rape, and other grave abuses against Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Human Rights Watch said today. All warring parties should cease attacks against…
Aerial satellite graphic
News
Fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region is entering its ninth month, and it may intensify after leaders in several of Ethiopia’s regions as well as its capital, Addis Ababa, called on residents, including youth, to mobilize against the Tigray…
Tigrayans who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region stand on a hilltop overlooking Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan, November 26, 2020
News

HRW Statement - Item 2 ID with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea

We welcome the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea and share his assessment that there have been no tangible improvements in the dire rights situation in Eritrea, including against the bench­marks which the…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
News

Protect Students, Teachers in Region; Endorse Safe Schools Declaration

(Nairobi) – All warring parties in Tigray have been implicated in the attacking, pillaging, and occupying of schools since the conflict started, Human Rights Watch said today. On just one example, government forces used the historic Atse Yohannes…
Children look at books in an elementary school in the village of Bisober, Tigray on December 9, 2020. The school was occupied by Tigray Special Forces and also damaged after fighting broke out between Ethiopian and Tigray forces in November 2020.
News

UN Should Urgently Investigate Atrocities by All Parties

(Nairobi) – Eritrean armed forces massacred scores of civilians, including children as young as 13, in the historic town of Axum in Ethiopia’s Tigray region in November 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations should urgently establish…
Priest on his way to church in Axum, Tigray region, Ethiopia on January 25, 2011.
News

Dire Rights Record at Home, Abroad

This week, Eritrea announced that it is running for reelection at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The African Union usually endorses candidates from the region – but this carries a responsibility to only put forward credible candidates who…
Refugees who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region, which involved Eritrean as well as Ethiopian forces, arrive on the banks of the Tekeze River on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, November 20, 2020.
News

11 Asia-Pacific Governments Oppose 120 States on Capital Punishment Moratorium

(Bangkok) – Eleven countries from the Asia-Pacific region were among the small minority that voted against a United Nations resolution opposing the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 17, 120 UN member states voted in favor of a…
A view of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, October 1, 2018.
News

Government Ignores its own Covid-19 Restrictions

Videos and photographs circulating on social media earlier this week showed buses in Eritrea’s capital, Asmara, crowded with students, who were not wearing masks, as they were separated from their families and sent off to a military training camp in…
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News

Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, July 2020

We welcome the report by the Special Rapporteur and her ongoing efforts to shine light on the dire rights situation in Eritrea despite many challenges. Despite Eritrea’s engagement with certain UN mechanisms, including the Committee on the…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
News

Asylum Policy Changes Threaten Eritreans’ Rights

(Nairobi) – The Ethiopian government’s changes to asylum procedures for Eritreans undermines their access to asylum and denies unaccompanied children necessary protection. The Ethiopian authorities should ensure that all Eritreans have…
Eritrean refugee children play within Hitsats refugee camp near the Eritrean boarder, Tigrai region, Ethiopia, November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
News

Prisoner Ciham Ali Turns 23 Behind Bars Today

Ciham Ali turns 23 today, the eighth year in a row she will be spending her birthday behind bars in an Eritrea prison. She has been held there incommunicado since the age of 15. For several years now, Eritrean diaspora groups…
Ciham Ali Abdu
News

Court Ruling Means Mining Company Faces Lawsuit for Alleged Forced Labor

Canada’s Supreme Court has just ruled that a Canadian mining company which had operations in Eritrea can be sued in Canada for alleged abuses abroad. The ruling, made last Friday, sets a groundbreaking precedent. Nevsun…
Eritrean soldiers march during the country's Independence Day in Asmara in this May 24, 2007 file photo. One of Africa's newest and smallest nations has one of the largest armies in the region. But this is due to national service that continues for many y
News

Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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News

Free All Political Prisoners, Including Critics Held Since 2001

Eighteen years ago today, the Eritrean government began its chilling clampdown on those it perceived as critics, decimating the country’s budding independent press in the process. Eighteen years later, as Eritrea ends its diplomatic…
Picture-collage of political prisoners in Eritrea
Report
  Summary As a student, it’s difficult to live here [in Eritrea]. You don’t see a future.... A lot of people think of fleeing the country, but then you see people being arrested and you think about waiting for a…
News

Spurs Dropouts and Exodus by Students, Teachers

(Nairobi) – Eritrea’s use of secondary school to channel students into indefinite government service and its conscription of teachers subjects students and teachers to forced labor and physical abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
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News

Teachers and Students Flee Forced Conscription

What did Eritreans tell you about their everyday lives? The border war with Ethiopia remains heavily on the conscience of the country. Since then, Eritrea has become isolated internationally, no independent media or non-governmental…
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