Earlier in march and appeared to eritrean government representatives before the UN human rights committee for the first time since 2002, but the committee was satisfied with the accounts. During the hearing sought, among other things, to know what happened with the 11 high-ranking opposition politicians and the 18 journalists – of which Dawit Isaak was a – arrested in 2001.
" We asked them in so many ways if these people are still alive. And they said, not on it, which of course is a worrisome sign, says the south Christof Heyns, professor of human rights and a member of the committee.
He said that the committee also wondered what happened to ex-minister of finance Berhane Abrehe – written critical books about president Isaias Afwerki has been in power since 1991 – and his wife, Almaz Habtemariam.
"They were arrested last year, and we also asked if they live and there came no answer to it," says Christof Heyns.
Tesfamicael Gerahtu from the eritrean ministry of foreign affairs stated to the committee that Eritrea never violated its obligations to protect citizens ' human rights.
to take into account the country's difficult years in the context of the struggle for independence and the "unfair sanctions" against Eritrea in 2009 which was lifted only in november of last year.
But the committee pointed to several cases of violence and abuse.
– There are many allegations of extrajudicial executions, torture and disappearances, " says Heyns.
Furthermore, the committee requests an end to the eritrean conscripts are forced to work in mines and on construction sites while they may ”have no or very small salary.”