Human Rights Council
21 June–9 July 2021
Agenda item 2
Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the
High Commissioner and the Secretary-General
The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 44/1, in which the Council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea and requested the mandate holder to present a report on the implementation of the mandate to the Council at its forty-seventh session.
The report is based upon the observations of the Special Rapporteur and information gathered from a variety of other sources. In the report, the Special Rapporteur provides an overview of the human rights concerns in Eritrea, and outlines recent developments and some of the human rights challenges in the country, including incommunicado detention, arbitrary arrest and detention, inhumane prison conditions, indefinite national/military service, lack of freedom of expression, opinion, association, religious belief and movement, lack of the rule of law and the serious human rights violations in the Tigray region of Ethiopia committed by Eritrean troops. In the light of the five benchmarks for progress set out in the report of his predecessor, the Special Rapporteur addresses a number of recommendations to the Government of Eritrea and to the international community with a view to improving the situation of human rights in the country.
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 44/1, in which the Council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea for one year and requested the mandate holder to present a report on the implementation of the mandate to the Council at its forty-seventh session.
2. The report covers the period from 5 May 2020 to 28 April 2021. Owing to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the related restrictions of movement, and to the lack of cooperation of the Government of Eritrea, the Special Rapporteur was unable to conduct a field visit to Eritrea during the period under review.
3. The report is based on information gathered by the Special Rapporteur by monitoring the human rights situation remotely and on information provided by other sources, including civil society organizations, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, and the donor community. In compliance with the Code of Conduct for Special Procedure Mandate Holders of the Human Rights Council, a draft report was shared with the Government of Eritrea in order to provide it with an opportunity to comment on the observations and findings of the Special Rapporteur.
4. The Special Rapporteur wishes to thank the previous mandate holder, Daniela Kravetz, for her invaluable support and the exchanges held with her on the implementation of the mandate.