Human Rights Council 53rd Session.
Item 2 - Enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in Eritrea.
Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway on behalf of the Nordic Baltic countries:
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden
Check against delivery
20 June 2023
The Nordic-Baltic countries thank the Special Rapporteur for his report.
Again, we must express our concern over the persistent human rights violations in Eritrea, including indefinite national service, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and widespread sexual and gender-based violence.
We welcome progress made in the sphere of social rights as concerns education and health, and the withdrawal of Eritrean forces from several towns in Northern Ethiopia. Yet, we remain deeply concerned by reports of continued Eritrean involvement in Ethiopia and condemn earlier deployments of child soldiers and the forced conscription of Eritrean refugees. We urge the Government to immediately seize such practises, withdraw any remaining Eritrean forces from Ethiopia and investigate all alleged breaches of international law by Eritrean actors.
We call on the Eritrean Government to release all those arbitrarily detained, to end the practices of prolonged, incommunicado and arbitrary detention, and to develop independent rule-of-law institutions to protect human rights. We condemn the severe restrictions on the rights to freedoms of expression, religion or belief and on civil organisations.
Yet again, we call on Eritrea to fully co-operate with the Council’s mechanisms, including by granting the Special Rapporteur full and unhindered access to the country.
I thank you.