Exiled Eritreans have reacted to allegations by the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the country on systematic crimes against humanity by the government.
According to COI, over the past 25 years, officials in Eritrea have committed crimes against humanity, including enslavement, rape and torture.
“Although there are so many sorts of crimes that have taken place in Eritrea, one of the most serious crimes that has a place in Eritrea is crimes that involve the migration of people, the smuggling people out of Eritrea into Europe, into the west, into Sudan and Ethiopia et cetera,” said Henok Goyitom, Vice President of the Central Committee of Eritrean refugees.
Although there are so many sorts of crimes that have taken place in Eritrea, one of the most serious crimes that has a place in Eritrea is crimes that involve the migration of people.
Last year, thousands of Eritreans applied for asylum in Europe, many making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean.
According to the UN refugee agency, about 5,000 Eritreans flee the country every month because of an oppressive regime.
Berane Zewude, a refugee in Ethiopia said, “The governance in Eritrea is very brutal. People face endless imprisonment, unfair justice and you can’t express your opinions on the media. There is a system called ‘national service’ which says by law that you must serve the country for 18 months but practically there is no limit to the service.”
The report indicates that high level individuals bear responsibility for crimes against humanity and other gross human rights violations.
Meanwhile, dossiers of evidence have been compiled on a number of individuals who the Commission highly suspect of being responsible for crimes against humanity.