State repression and indefinite conscription in Eritrea (HRW report)
Human Rights Watch (HRW) publicou hoxe un informe dunhas noventa páxinas sobre as violacións dos Direitos Humanos cometidas polas autoridades de Eritrea. Destacan os encarceramentos por motivos políticos e relixiosos, as “execucións extraxudiciais” e outras mortes baixo custodia, a tortura, os traballos forzados, a extrema dureza das prisións e da conscripción (servizo militar obrigatorio), as restriccións á poboación que quere emigrar e a falta dunha auténtica liberdade de expresión. Constitúe capítulo aparte a reiterada violación do embargo de armas con destino á guerra de Somalia. Todo isto nun país que non chega ós cinco millóns de habitantes…
O informe leva por título “Service for Life: State Repression and Indefinite Conscription in Eritrea”. Copio un extracto da súa introducción:
There was jubilation among Eritreans when Eritrea formally gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a bloody 30-year war. Sixteen years later the dreams that the independent state would be democratic and rights-adhering lie in tatters. Eritrea has become one of the most closed and repressive states in the world. Thousands of political prisoners are detained in prisons and underground cells; there is no independent civil society; all independent media outlets have been shut down; the head of the Eritrean Orthodox Church is in incommunicado detention; and evangelical Christians are rounded up and tortured on a regular basis.
President Isayas Afewerki, who led Eritrea through much of its extraordinary struggle for independence, now uses an unresolved border dispute with Ethiopia to keep Eritrea on a permanent war footing. For much of the adult male and female population, the mandatory 18-month period of national service extends for years, with a large proportion involuntarily serving in the Eritrean army. People under the age of 50 can rarely obtain exit visas to leave the country. Those who try and flee without documentation run the risk of imprisonment and torture—or being shot at the border. The Eritrean government collectively punishes the families of those who desert from national service with exorbitant fines or imprisonment. Despite these risks, Eritrea is now among the highest refugee producing nations in the world.
This report documents the Eritrean government’s responsibility for patterns of serious human rights violations: arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, forced labor, and inhuman conditions in detention; rigid restrictions on freedom of movement and expression; and religious persecution. It also analyzes abuses related to the practice of indefinite conscription into national and military service, the lack of any provision for conscientious objection, and the risks facing refugees even after they flee. […]
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