- Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned Eritrea's extensive use of torture, illegal jailing and indefinite military conscription saying it was creating a human rights crisis in the Horn of Africa state.
A 95-page report by HRW, titled "Service for Life: State Repression and Indefinite Conscription in Eritrea" has revealed serious human rights violations by the Eritrean government, also analysing the difficult situation faced by Eritreans who succeed in escaping to other countries such as Libya, Sudan, Egypt, and Italy, saying hundreds of Eritrean refugees forcibly repatriated from countries like Libya, Egypt and Malta face arrest and torture.
However, Asmara has denied reports saying they are meant to undermine Eritrea's sovereignty.
Human Rights Watch, Africa director, Georgette Gagno accused the Eritrean government of turning the country into a giant prison. “Eritrea should immediately account for hundreds of ‘disappeared' prisoners and open its jails to independent scrutiny,” he said in the statement.
The report said Eritreans who try to flee the country risk severe punishments and the possibility of being shot while crossing the border, stating that the government also punishes the families of those who escape or desert from national service.
Most refugees are reported to first flee to neighbouring Ethiopia and Sudan, and then travel to Libya, Egypt, and Europe.
The rights organisation has also called on the countries receiving Eritrean refugees to ensure their protection and assistance. “Under no circumstances should Eritreans be returned to Eritrea, where they face almost certain detention and torture simply for having fled,” he said.
Human Rights Watch also called on the United States and European Union to coordinate with the UN and the African Union to resolve regional tensions and ensure that development aid to Eritrea is linked to progress on human rights.
Eritrea has had tense relations or military clashes with all of its neighbours since it gained independence in 1993.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.