5 October 2012

Eritrea Rejects Appointment of UN Special Rapporteur

Addis Ababa — The Eritrean government has rejected the appointment of a UN Special Rapporteur to the Red Sea nation.

The UN Human Rights Council last July appointed Mauritian national Beedwantee Keetharuth as Special Rapporteur to Eritrea to investigate the situation of human rights in the Horn of Africa.

The Council adopted the resolution in response to the continued and widespread gross human right violations committed by the Eritrean authorities.

The appointee's duty was to submit reports of its findings to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly.

However, the secretive East African nation has opposed the Council's decision, according to the Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has declined to allow the special Rapporteur carry out her duties in Asmara.

"Eritrea rejects the decision of the Council because it was politically motivated and did not accept the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea."

Neighbouring Ethiopia has welcomed the appointment and called on the Eritrean Government to comply with the resolutions of the Human Rights Council.

Eritrea, which also is referred by some right groups as a giant prison is one of the world's leading human rights violators.

The country has severe restrictions on freedom of press, freedom of religious worship, freedom of expression. Conscription into the military can be indefinite.

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