Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 28th Regular Session

Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea

Australian statement

16 March 2015

Australia thanks the Special Rapporteur for her second report and shares her disappointment that she still has not been permitted to visit Eritrea. We welcome the update provided by the Commission of Inquiry to the Council.

We encourage Eritrea to implement fully the 1997 Constitution and the rights that it enshrines, including allowing independent political parties and non-government organisations to function freely and to allow citizens to choose their government at the ballot box.

Australia remains deeply concerned by the systematic human rights violations raised in the SR’s report including extrajudicial killing and torture. We are concerned by compulsory military service and the reported use of conscripts for forced labour; and by reports of reprisals against family members of people who evade military service.

The Australian Government condemns efforts by Eritrea to impose a tax on the Eritrean diaspora, particularly measures to collect such a tax by way of extortion, threats of violence, fraud and other illicit means.

We urge Eritrea to engage with the Commission of Inquiry chaired by Mr Mike Smith, and allow it access to Eritrea in order to fulfill the mandate given by the Human Rights Council. Australia urges Eritrea to comply with Resolution 26/24 in order to arrive at long-lasting human rights solutions that are compliant with international standards.