Press Release

A response to the Disinformation Campaign Being Waged by the PFDJ Against the Commission of Inquiry’s Mission to Uncover the Truth About Human Rights Violations Occurring in Eritrea


The Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (COI) is a UN commissioned body with a mandate to shed light on the human rights violations being perpetrated by the Eritrean government against its people. It is carrying out its mandate by collecting oral and written testimonies of ordinary Eritrean citizens.  Most Eritrean households, both at home and abroad, can bear witness to the level of brutality and inhumanity of this regime.


The Commission‘s mission is to document the horrific, widespread and systematic human rights violations that are currently taking place in Eritrea. It is an absolutely necessary endeavor because it will help to bring the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) to justice.


The PFDJ’s reign is a tyrannical one and continues to hold the Eritrean people hostage for no other reason except to maintain power. The threat of arbitrary arrest and detention is very real in Eritrea and has been for a very long time. This regime is ruling Eritrea with impunity. It has imprisoned and tortured all those that it deemed to be a threat to its hold on power, among them journalists, former high-ranking government officials and their family members.


There are over 300 prisons in Eritrea and conservative estimates state that there are about 35,000 political prisoners languishing in Eritrea. Never before seen footage smuggled out of Eritrea’s Adi Abeto prison shows images of 500 or so prisoners crammed into dangerously over crowded, unsanitary halls. It is worth mentioning that these prisoners are ordinary Eritrean citizens who have been denied legal due process.


Furthermore, under the guise of military service, tens of thousands of Eritrean men and women have been subjected to forced labor and indefinite military service. In a 2015 Amnesty International report, the following was stated about Eritreans fleeing national service:


“These people, many of them children, are refugees fleeing a                      system that amounts to forced labour on a national scale and that robs           them of choice over key aspects of their lives”


          The situation in Eritrean can be best described as a form of slavery that deprives Eritreans of the basic human right to live their lives free from exploitation and abuse. These inhumane conditions have left Eritreans with no other option but to flee in order to save their lives.


The PFDJ usually responds to the mass exodus out of Eritrea by implementing an inhumane shoot to kill policy on its borders; as a result, Eritrean men, women and children are being met with a barrage of bullets as they seek to escape the open-air prison that is Eritrea today.


Sadly, Eritreans feel that they would have a far greater chance of survival if they risked the wrath of human traffickers, militants or even the sea as opposed to staying at home and continuing to suffer abuse at the hands of their government.


It is of no surprise that the PFDJ is seeking to level a smear campaign against the COI and the sincere individuals assisting them in their efforts to give a voice to millions of subjugated Eritreans. This same regime would like to have us believe that the tens of thousands of Eritreans escaping the country (an estimated figure of 5,000 a month) are doing so purely for economic gains and not because of the PFDJ’s tyrannical policies.


As advocates for human rights in Eritrea, we are extremely concerned about the PFDJ’s mounting efforts to pressure Eritreans living in the diaspora to attend its meetings and fill out forms designed to undermine the COIE’s work. The regime and its agents are doing this with the intention of delaying the inevitable, the prosecution of criminal government officials at the International Criminal Court.


As a moral obligation, we urge all Eritrean refugees in their respective host nations to remain vigilant and steadfast in the wake of such aggressive disinformation campaign. We request that you stand in solidarity with your oppressed people and to extend your hands to the COI. Only with your support can we solve our problem and make the dream of a prosperous and thriving Eritrea a reality.



Thank You!


Eritrean Solidarity Movement for National Salvation

Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change – North America

Eritrean Law Society

Freedom Friday Project (Arbi Harnet)

Stop Slavery in Eritrea Campaign



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Posted by on Jan 6 2016 Filed under News, Press release. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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