We are submitting this memorandum to appeal for your support to categorically and unequivocally reject the politically motivated report of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (COI-Eritrea) of June 8, 2016 that is now before the UN Human Rights Council.
In its preliminary response of June 8, 2016, Eritrea has answered to these charges point by point. It has shown that the Commission has not presented solid evidence to support its grave and extreme accusations. Eritrea has also presented facts and figures that reveal that the methodology the Commission followed was so fundamentally flawed and lacked rigor and balance as to compromise its findings. The Commission has ignored all positive developments in Eritrea, including, but not limited to, any consideration of economic, social and cultural rights, violating the principle of indivisibility and complementarity of human rights. More crucially, the Commission’s case against Eritrea is legally indefensible as it fails to prove that the “crimes” it alleges were committed were indeed “persistent, widespread and systematic.”
The National Council of Eritrean Americans (NCEA) in strongest terms deplores the recent statement issued by the US Department of State on the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Human Rights Situation in Eritrea. As Americans of Eritrean origin we expect a fair and balanced response than what we read. Neither the politically motivated mandate of the Commission of inquiry nor the US lead campaign to isolate Eritrea serves the cause of human right in Eritrea; in fact we believe it is a prescription for yet another war in the Horn of Africa, as Ethiopia, sensing it got a green light from Washington, has embarked on another path of aggression by attacking Eritrea a mere hours after the Department of State’s wholesale “endorsement” of the COI's faulty findings.
The “Commission of Inquiry” (COI), is campaigning to take yet another African country, this time Eritrea, to the International Criminal Court. The COI claims that it “has reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in Eritrea since 1991.” Yet it has no solid evidence or firm legal basis to support its extreme and unfounded charges. The report of the COI fails to meet the principles of impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity as laid out in the guidelines of the United Nations. It also lacks the minimum standards of rigor and professionalism.
Press Statement by H.E. Mr. Yemane Gebreab
Presidential Adviser, The State of Eritrea
Geneva, 8 June 2016
The UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea today (6/8/2016) issued its second report on Eritrea, a very young and independent-minded African nation, once again distorting the facts on the ground. As expected, the new report is no more evidence-based, balanced, or contextually-grounded, or constrained by the requirements of such investigative tools as impartiality and verifiability--than the last one to correctly reflect the reality in Eritrea. Furthermore, its conclusion that it "has reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity, … have been committed in Eritrea since 1991" contradicts the reality that exists in Eritrea and is part of a well-orchestrated political campaign by those powers that has hijacked the UN system and are not happy to see Eritrea working hard to ensure the rights and dignity of all of its citizens.