Eritrean authorities urged to release 11 Members of Parliament

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The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is calling on Eritrean authorities to release 11 Members of Parliament who have been detained without charges since September 2001.

The IPU, which has been meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, says it deplores the Eritrean authorities' contempt for the most basic human rights of the MPs.

It adds that it is appalled by the continued silence on their fate which is particularly difficult for their families to bear and is deeply concerned about allegations that only two of the 11 MPs are still alive.

Ann Clwyd is a British MP and member of the IPU's committee on the human rights of parliamentarians.

"Twelve years ago 11 Eritrean MPs were arrested without charge for having written an open letter calling for democratic reform in their country. They have been held incommunicado since then and their fate is unknown. I personally have met the Eritrean ambassador in London and asked about them because there are many rumours. We have also asked if we can visit them but no result." (26")

The IPU is asking all its members to put pressure on Eritrea to release the 11 MPs and for the global community to no longer remain silent in the face of such violations.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’32″

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