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The Case for Crimes against Humanity in Eritrea

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Assessing the Reports of Two UN Fact Finding Missions

image of Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies

In June 2015, a commission of inquiry, mandated by the United Nations (UN), published the most critical report of its kind on the situation of human rights in Eritrea. One year later, the commission said there are reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in Eritrea since 1991. The findings of the commission follow in the footsteps of other ground-breaking reports that were produced by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, appointed in July 2012. Over the next four years, the Human Rights Council has also adopted a number of resolutions in which it strongly condemns the continued widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms committed by the Eritrean authorities. With a focus on the commission of inquiry, this article will assess an assortment of reports and official documents produced by the designated UN human rights entities. Based on the assessment, assertions will be made that the conclusion made by the inquiry commission with respect to crimes against humanity in June 2016 should in fact have been made in its first report of June 2015, thus avoiding an unnecessary delay of one year.

Affiliations: 1: Eritrean Law Society (ELS)


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