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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
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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
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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.
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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.
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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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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.
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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
The European Court of Human Rights found on 19 September that Finland violated its positive duty to protect the right to life of nine students and a teacher in a mass shooting at their vocational institute. It is only the second time that the court…
School #1 in Beslan, North Ossetia. 2004.
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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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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
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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
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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
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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
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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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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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