Eritrea accused of gross human rights violations

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Human Rights Council

Nearly 10,000 political prisoners are behind bars in Eritrea, according to the UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay.

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council, Ms Pillay said the fate of the prisoners remains unknown as Eritrea has declined to cooperate with her office and other international and regional human rights mechanisms.

The High Commissioner said credible sources had documented serious human rights violations in Eritrea including arbitrary detention, torture, summary executions, forced labour, forced conscriptions, and restrictions to freedoms of movement, expression, assembly and religion.

The high commissioner also expressed concern over the deteriorating human rights situation in Mali following the recent military coup.

"Since the military coup in Mali, the security and human rights situation have significantly deteriorated in the whole Sahel region. Human rights abuses and the disruption of basic services in the North of Mali have led to massive displacement towards the south and neighbouring countries, exacerbating the severe humanitarian crisis in Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger. The insecurity and difficulties in accessing affected populations severely hamper efforts to address the humanitarian and human rights situation."

Duration 43"

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