Eritrea. The dictatorship regime in Eritrea was subjected
to harsh international criticism during the year for the
suppression of human rights.
In March, the European Parliament demanded the release of
political prisoners and imprisoned journalists, including
Eritrean-Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak. Ahead of the 25th
anniversary of Eritrean independence, the UN Special
Rapporteur on Human Rights urged the country to introduce a
constitution, a condition for a rule of law.
countryaah, UN Commission on Human Rights in Eritrea (COIE) said
in a report in June that representatives of the country's
regime should be brought before the International Criminal
Court (ICC). The so-called National Security Office was
identified as responsible for arbitrary arrests, torture and
disappearances. Rape and murder were said to belong to the
systematic crimes committed to defeat resistance and control
the population. The conditions in the military service were
described as inhuman due to forced recruitment and
enslavement of hundreds of thousands of people. Recruits
have testified about how they are utilized as forced labor
in society. The regime was also accused of shooting people
who try to flee the country if they are caught at the
border. The Eritrean government described the report as
politically motivated and groundless.
In June, Eritrea accused neighboring Ethiopia of wanting
to start a full-scale war. Struggles occurred across the
border with allegedly high death rates, and both countries
blamed each other for initiating hostilities.
Eritrea's foreign minister claimed in an interview in
June that journalist Dawit Isaak is alive and that he will
be investigated in trial but is likely to be acquitted.
Isaak was arrested in 2001 for his criticism of the regime.
According to the Foreign Minister, it is the government and
not the judiciary that handles issues concerning political
Several judges expressed distrust of the minister's
duties and demanded that they be confirmed by President
Isaias Afwerki, who appears to have power concentrated in
In June, the first aid shipment was shipped in a decade
from the United Nations Food Program (WFP) through Eritrea
to South Sudan via the port city of Mitsiwa. It was seen by
observers as a sign of a small opening to the outside world.
More recently, Eritrea has also been forced to increase
contact with the EU due to the large number of Eritreans who
have moved to Europe.
Foreign diplomats stated that Eritrean politicians
promised to set a time limit for military service of one and
a half years, but the promises have not been kept. Instead,
the military service can be extended to over ten years and
used for forced pay with low pay in a number of occupations.
That seems to be the main reason why maybe 5,000 Eritreans
flee the country each month, most young people. The regime
claims that due to military threats from Ethiopia, military
service cannot be cut. The regime promised during the year
to raise wages in public operations in an effort to reduce
During the year, the EU signed an aid package of EUR 200
million to Eritrea, mainly supporting the energy sector.
Electricity shortages are a major problem for the business
community and for the residents of both the capital Asmera
and the countryside.