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Source: European Parliament


European Parliament resolution on Eritrea, the case of Dawit Isaak


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2017 on Eritrea,

 having regard to the 2020 report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

 having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas we mark the 19th anniversary since Swedish-Eritrean author and journalist Dawit Isaak was arrested and put in an Eritrean prison like many other political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Eritrea who continue to be held incommunicado and detained indefinitely, denied basic due process rights without access to legal counsel, judicial review and family visits, some for decades;

B. whereas the UN Special Rapporteur stated that over the past year there was no tangible evidence of a meaningful and substantive improvement in the situation of human rights in Eritrea;

C. whereas in May 2019, the Eritrean authorities have carried out a crackdown on non-recognized Christian congregations, and, after Eritrean Catholic bishops called for justice and reform from the government, took over important religion-affiliated schools and confiscated all Catholic health facilities, negatively affecting the health and education rights of the population,

D. whereas Eritrea is the world’s most censored country according to the Committee to Protect Journalists;

1. Condemns in the strongest terms Eritrea’s systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations, calls on the Eritrean government to put an end to the detention of the opposition, journalists, religious leaders and innocent civilians, demands the immediate and unconditional release of Dawit Isaak and of all prisoners of conscience, demands that the Eritrean government provide detailed information on the fate and whereabouts of all those deprived of physical liberty;

2. Demands that Eritrea fully respect and immediately enact the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and fully uphold its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights;

3. Urges the Eritrean authorities to introduce much needed reforms to ensure the full enjoyment of basic rights for all Eritreans, to allow religious institutions to operate freely and respect the freedom of religion, and to reform the indefinite national service system, which a 2016 UN commission of inquiry equated to mass enslavement; denounces the pressure on and intimidation of the Eritrean diaspora in the EU, including via the diaspora tax, by the Eritrean government and organizations allied to it;

4. Calls on the Commission to ensure that the funding allocated in the framework of the 2021-2027 EU budget does not benefit the Eritrean government, and in particular is not used to fund projects and investments for which the government uses forced labour, but is strictly and transparently assigned to meeting the needs of the Eritrean people for development, democracy, human rights, good governance and security;

5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the VP/HR, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the African Union, the East African Community, the Secretary-General of the UN and the Eritrean authorities.



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