Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

CSW calls for targeted sanctions on perpetrators of human rights abuses in Eritrea

ICC Note

Eritrea has imprisoned thousands of individuals, including more than 3000 Christians who are imprisoned for their faith in Christ.  It is very sad that the international community has not done enough to pressure the officials of Eritrea to release the prisoners.

09/17/2010 Eritrea (Christian Today)-On the ninth anniversary of the nationwide crackdown on the independent media and political opponents in Eritrea, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is calling on the international community to impose targeted sanctions against individuals and institutions found to be complicit in human rights abuses in Eritrea.

In mid-September 2001 the Eritrean government shut down all independent media outlets and several journalists were indefinitely detained in remote areas along with eleven ruling party members who had called for democracy. At least six political prisoners are thought have perished in the harsh conditions, along with several journalists.

One person described being beaten, stamped on and kicked in or around the vital organs, a technique designed to cause maximum internal damage while leaving minimal external evidence. Female prisoners are reportedly beaten on the soles of their feet and about the womb.

Another former prisoner was caught attempting to flee the country and held for three years in eight different detention centres. He described being imprisoned with underage children as young as eight and being forced to work on plantations owned by army commanders, demobilised soldiers and prison guards, as well as for a construction company owned by the Ministry of Defence. The CSW Team also met a former prisoner whose eyes were damaged when he was suddenly exposed to sunlight after being held in chains for nine months in a dark, underground cell.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “The treatment meted out to the Eritrean people by their own government is a disgrace. Of even more concern, however, is the apparent failure to address these appalling abuses effectively at international level. We therefore call on the key international actors to urgently initiate sanctions against individuals and institutions that are complicit in human rights abuses, or benefit from the forced labour of prisoners. In addition, we call on the EU in particular to ensure that in future, aid to Eritrea is linked to progress in the area of securing unlimited and unhindered access to long-term detainees for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the EU Delegation in Asmara or any other competent international body.”

[Go to the Full Story]