AS DELIVERED by Peter Mulrean, Deputy Permanent Representative, U.S. Mission to the UN in Geneva
The United States welcomes the Eritrean delegation.
We are committed to the people of Eritrea, and continue to urge the government to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The citizens of Eritrea deserve a government elected in a free, fair and transparent manner, one which respects human rights, including freedom of opinion. We note with concern that the government did not include improving respect for political and civil rights as one of its key national priorities, despite related recommendations in the last UPR. It still has not accounted for the disappearance of political prisoners, including journalists and members of the G-15. Its widespread violation of human rights and the lack of prospects for participatory democracy contribute to large numbers of Eritreans fleeing the country.
We urge Eritrea to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights to the country.
We recommend Eritrea:
- Implement constitutional provisions and international obligations that support the rights to freedom of expression, assembly, association, and religion, and provide an opportunity to participate in free, fair, and transparent elections;
- Immediately cooperate to facilitate the release of political prisoners, improve prison conditions, and account for those prisoners who have disappeared;
- End conscription of persons for indefinite periods into national service and cease forced participation of persons in the citizen militia and other national projects.