The UN Special Rapporteur paints a picture

The UN Human Rights Council opened its annual session on Monday, June 21, including examining the situation in Eritrea. The new UN special report, the Sudanese Mohamed Abdesalam Babiker, presented his first annual report on the country, condemning Asmara.

It is every year in fairly diplomatic language that the conflict between Eritrea and the UN Human Rights Council takes place, and this time was no exception.

Nevertheless, like his two predecessors, the special report painted a cruel picture for Eritreans: prisons full of innocent people, not even knowing why they are being held, missing persons, “inhuman conditions”, no rule of law. His short report was supported by the European Union and the United States, Great Britain, the Nordic and Baltic countries …

In response, Eritrean Ambassador Tesfamichael Gerhatu read for five minutes Asmara’s vision: a virulent text saying that all the “accusations” from the Special Rapporteur were “unacceptable” and that the testimonies of the rapes, looting, kidnappings, murders committed by Eritrean forces in Tigray, Ethiopia, was fake news in the service of the Tigrayan uprising. He demanded that the discussion be limited to provoking Eritrea’s internal situation, while praising his record of leading the Covid-19 pandemic.

As for him, he received support from a few countries that traditionally opposed the function of special rapporteurs: North Korea, Venezuela and this time Ethiopia. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is currently conducting a joint inquiry with the Ethiopian Commission on Human Rights in Tigray. High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said on Monday that she hoped “this work will be completed in August”.


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