Human Rights Council 53rd Session: Enhanced interactive dialogue on human rights in Eritrea - PR UN, WTO and other organisations Geneva

Human Rights Council - 53rd Session:  Enhanced interactive dialogue on human rights in Eritrea | 21-06-2023

Statement delivered by H.E. Mr Lars Tummers, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

I deliver this statement on behalf of the BENELUX countries, Belgium, Luxembourg and my own country, the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

We align ourselves with the EU Statement and thank the Special Rapporteur for his report. We urge the Eritrean authorities, again, to fully cooperate with his mandate and grant him full and unhindered access to the country. We also encourage Eritrea to extend a standing invitation to all special procedures.

We are deeply concerned about the further deteriorating human rights situation in Eritrea, and call upon the Eritrean government to end any case of enforced disappearances, torture, arbitrary and incommunicado detention and persecution of political opponents, journalists, critical voices, prisoners of conscience, and people of faith.

Roundups of draft evaders and reprisals against their families seem to be continuing. We urge Eritrea to reform its indefinite military service system and to end  any pressure on the relatives of those who refuse to comply.

We also call upon Eritrea to expeditiously finalize the withdrawal of its troops from Ethiopia and to take all necessary measures to address impunity for serious human rights violations and mass atrocities committed by Eritrean troops.

Mr. Special Rapporteur,

In what ways can we best support Eritrean human rights defenders and civil society organizations in their efforts to promote human rights in Eritrea, while remaining vigilant to the risk of reprisals?

I thank you.