Thursday, May 2, 2013

UN Special Rapporteur On Human Rights in Eritrea Begins Official Tour

Ms. Beedwantee Keetharuth, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea
The United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, is due to begin on Tuesday (April 30th) a 10-day fact-finding mission to Ethiopia and Djibouti to collect first-hand information on the human rights situation inside their country, Eritrea. During her mission, Keetharuth will interview Eritrean refugees residing in various locations in Ethiopia and Eritrea to assess allegations of widespread and systematic violations of human rights in Eritrea contained in a number of disturbing reports received from different sources.
The visit comes as the regime in Asmara has rejected her appointment, describing it as politically motivated and blocked her from entering the country. Following this, Keetharuth, in a statement issued by The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said she "will engage with all others concerned by human rights in Eritrea, including those who consider themselves to be victims of alleged human rights violations, human rights defenders and other civil society actors" due to "a lack of access to Eritrea".
The10-day fact-finding mission to Ethiopia and Djibouti would be her first field mission since her appointment in November 2012 with a one-year mandate. In her one-year mandate, she is tasked with carrying out investigations on the human rights situation inside Eritrea and reporting her findings to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Her findings will be published in her first report to the UNHRC in June.

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