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Danish Fact Finding Mission Finds Significant Human Rights Improvement in ‪‎Eritrea


Military Parade during Independence Day 


Fact Finding Mission from ‪Denmark Finds Significant Human Rights Improvement in ‪‎Eritrea

After experiencing a spike in Eritrean asylum claims in the Summer of 2014, Danish Immigration Service (DIS) did what any sensible government would do: They sent a fact finding mission to investigate.

DIS says the mission to Eritrea was to reach two objectives. First, to gather information about Eritrea and daily life in the country in order to assist the DIS caseworkers in verifying the nationality of persons claiming to be from Eritrea. Second, to explore the topics of the National Service in Eritrea, the reasons why some Eritreans are leaving the country and the possibility for Eritreans to return if they have left the country illegally.

With open-ended National Service being the main excuse used by Eritrean migrants to claim asylum in Western countries, DIS investigated the length of military services in the country and whether or not Eritrean deserters would be imprisoned if returned.

The 79-page report finds that "indefinite" National Service in Eritrea wasn't as lengthy as some human rights agencies in the West have claimed. They found the average duration of service usually lasts between "three to five years." The report also states there are "rumors" that the Government is in talks to cap National Service to its legally sanctioned 18 months limit.

Moreover, DIS was informed by Western Embassy sources in the country that "the government’s attitude towards deserters and evaders in Eritrea has changed for the better. As such, evaders and deserters are not subjected to protracted imprisonment, not exposed to physical harm and finally, not considered as political opponents. The source further stated that this change has not yet been reflected in any of the available human rights reports on Eritrea."

An unnamed International organisation in Eritrea informed DIS that "Eritreans abroad, including those who have left the country illegally, are able to obtain Eritrean passports at Eritrean embassies if they sign an apology letter and pay the two percent income tax levied on all Eritreans living abroad."

The International organisation stated that there were no known examples of systematic prosecution of people that had left Eritrea illegally. This claim was corroborated by other sources, including a Western embassy in the country that stated,  "presently, there are no reports on returning deserters being imprisoned or otherwise severely punished." Additionally, a UN-agency in Eritrea "doubted" that evaders or deserters were actually imprisoned.

Regarding the shoot-and-kill policy allegedly practiced at the border to Ethiopia it was stated that information on this might have been partly true in the past, but that people are no longer being shot at for crossing the border into Ethiopia, which do to its proximity, is used as a transit point by Eritrean migrants to get to their final destination of wealthy countries in the West.

In regards to the Human Rights situation in the country, DIS found "There are no mass violations of human rights in Eritrea", and compared the human rights situation and poverty levels in the country as being "no worse than in most other African countries".


The following were quotes taken from the report:


During the stay in Asmara, the delegation was able to watch CNN and BBC at the hotel and at restaurants. The delegation observed many people using smart phones. Internet was available at the delegations hotel, including in the lobby, where many non-residing guests seemed to be using it. It was possible to visit Western internet addresses, although occasional internet-black outs were experienced by the delegation.

The delegation observed many people at restaurants and cafés in Asmara, also in the evening.

Food and goods were available in the shops and markets that the delegation visited in Asmara, as well as shops on the route to Adi Kuala and Adi Keih. Page 6.

A Western embassy (D) in Eritrea stated that “most people who leave Eritrea do so for economic reasons and because of lack of livelihood opportunities and not because of political repression”. P. 7

A UN agency in Eritrea confirmed that hardly anyone leaves Eritrea for political reasons. P. 7

Furthermore, a UN agency in Eritrea and a Western embassy (D) in Eritrea stated that the alternative to the National Service for many Eritreans would be unemployment due to a poor economy, lack of investments and a limited private sector. P. 8

A regional NGO based in Asmara emphasised that “Sawa is not a military camp but is basically the final two years of high school. There are academic classes, some physical training, marching but no weapons training
as such.”  P. 9

A Western embassy (C) in Eritrea stated that the National Service “is not really indefinite, but when it ends is arbitrary”. P. 10

One Western embassy (D) stated that “a broadly shared perception is that the government has eased its approach to National Service. Today it is easier to be released from service and for young people today, National Service seems to be limited to a couple of years.” P. 10


A regional NGO based in Asmara stated that “the information in human rights reports about ill-treatment in the National Service are more often than not exaggerated.” The same source stated that contrary to existing reports, “people in the National Service are not overworked or working under slave like conditions, not beaten, subjected to torture or suffering from malnutrition”. P. 10

Another Western embassy (C) stated that “it had heard of people in their forties who were still in the National Service, but in general, three to four years seemed to be the norm”. p. 11

Likewise, a Western embassy (B) stated that “there are indications that persons enrolled in the National Service serve for a shorter period of time than was the case some years ago”. p. 11

Finally, a well-known Eritrean intellectual in Eritrea stated that previously, the National Service could last for over ten years. However, currently the duration of service is usually between three to five years. p. 11

Several sources (a regional NGO based in Asmara; Western embassies C and E in Eritrea; Kibreab, London) stated that the monthly salary during the first 18 months of National Service is ranging from approximately 80 Nakfa up to 600 Nakfa. After 18 months it could increase to a maximum of 1500 Nakfa. p. 11
.
A Western embassy (C) in Eritrea stated that in comparison, a gardener working at an embassy received 3,500 Nakfa per month. An employee at a private hotel would get 3,000 Nakfa per month and a Minister receives approximately 4,000 Nakfa per month. P. 11

A regional NGO based in Asmara stated that approximately “five or six years ago, there was a much stricter recruitment procedure to the National Service. At that time, people of the National Service age were being stopped in police ID checks in the streets or collected by soldiers if they did not show up when called in. However, during the last five to six years, there has been a relaxation in recruitment procedures and one does not see soldiers undertaking round-ups of people into National Service any longer“. p. 12

Several sources in Eritrea (a regional NGO based in Asmara; Western embassies A, B and D) stated that penalties for evading and/or deserting National Service were not systematic but would most likely include detention ranging from a few days to a maximum of six months.

A UN-agency in Eritrea doubted that evaders or deserters were actually imprisoned. p. 13

A regional NGO based in Asmara stated that “there had been reports by international NGOs on relatives of National Service deserters or evaders having been forced to undertake National Service on behalf of their relatives”. The same source emphasized that “such incidents are not documented and that it is definitely not government policy to retaliate against relatives of National Service evaders or deserters. If such treatment occurred relatives would tell about it”. p. 14

A Western embassy (D) stated that in some cases, National Service evaders and deserters have restored their relationship to the authorities prior to their return to Eritrea by paying the two percent tax. P. 15

An International organisation (B) in Eritrea concurred that there is information to suggest that Eritreans abroad, including those who have left the country illegally, are able to obtain Eritrean passports at Eritrean embassies if they sign an apology letter and pay the two percent income tax levied on all Eritreans living abroad. P. 15

A Western embassy (D) stated that presently, there are no reports on returning deserters being imprisoned or otherwise severely punished. P. 16

An International organisation (B) in Eritrea stated that there were no known examples of systematic prosecution of people that had left Eritrea illegally. P. 16


A UN agency in Eritrea stated that while National Service evaders and deserters may be apprehended, the source doubted that they were actually imprisoned. P. 16

Several sources in Eritrea (A well-known Eritrean intellectual; Western embassies A, C and E) stated that once a person had restored his or their relationship by paying the tax and signing an apology letter, there would be no consequences upon return, regardless of evasion or desertion from National Service by leaving the country. A well-known Eritrean intellectual added that such a person would not be recruited or reenlisted in the National Service. P. 16


A UN agency and Western embassies (A) and (D) in Eritrea concurred and emphasised that the Eritrean government does not consider evaders and deserters as traitors or political opponents to the government.

A Western embassy based in Khartoum (met in Asmara) referred to a public statement made by the Head of the Political Office of the PFDJ, that those who have left Eritrea to avoid National Service are considered economic refugees and not political opponents.

A Western embassy (D) in Eritrea stated that a broadly shared perception is that the government has eased its approach to National Service and that it is now easier to be released from National Service, which today seems to be limited to a couple of years for most young people. P. 19

A Western embassy (A) in Eritrea emphasized that the government’s attitude towards deserters and evaders in Eritrea has changed for the better. As such, evaders and deserters are not subjected to protracted imprisonment, not exposed to physical harm and finally, not considered as political opponents. The source further stated that this change has not yet been reflected in any of the available human rights reports on Eritrea. P. 19

According to a Western embassy (B), 99.9% of all Eritrean asylum seekers in Europe are economic refugees. The extended families, which may comprise 50 persons, merge their savings in order for them to send a bright young relative, usually a man, to Europe. It is an investment and it is expected that the young man will send remittances back to his family in Eritrea. As long as the family knows that he will be granted asylum, they will not hesitate to send him off. But if the outcome was not given, the family would think twice before they send the young man to Europe. It was emphasized that the human rights situation in Eritrea is no worse than in most other African countries and poverty in Eritrea is not worse than in other African countries. There are no mass violations of human rights in Eritrea, and European countries do not grant protection to everyone from Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic or Egypt. In this respect, it could be argued that the Eritrean government has a point when it states that Eritrean asylum applicants received preferential treatment in Europe. P. 44


The embassy (B) emphasized that Eritrea has fallen victim to a massive propaganda campaign from other countries, especially Ethiopia and its allies, as well as from the Diaspora and Eritrean asylum seekers. Human rights reports from international NGOs either lack knowledge of Eritrea or they are part of the propaganda against the country. The human rights situation in Eritrea is not as bad as it has been described. It was added that reports from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are mostly based on sources outside of Eritrea, especially parts of the Diaspora including asylum seekers and refugees. It was reiterated by the Western embassy (B) that only very few Eritreans have genuine reasons for claiming political asylum abroad. If the Western European countries do not halt its policies of granting asylum automatically to more or less all Eritrean asylum seekers they will see a steady increase in the number of Eritreans coming to Europe. When Eritreans hear that their sisters and brothers are being granted asylum in Europe they will soon decide to go as well, and Europe will see a huge increase of Eritrean asylum seekers in the time to come. P. 42

Regarding reports that approximately 10,000 persons are imprisoned in Eritrea for various reasons the Western embassy (B) stated that this figure is grossly exaggerated. Eritrea is not worse than most other African countries. It is the same story everywhere, and no-one can tell what happens in any place and any country in Africa. Concerning the reports on the 10,000 prisoners in Eritrea, the Western embassy stated that all the international reports published by various international NGOs quote or copy each other and they are mainly based on statements from Eritrean refugees who are not the best sources of reliable information. P. 42

It is a fact that Eritrea has no capacity to take care of 10,000 prisoners irrespective of whether they are imprisoned for political or criminal reasons, not to mention draft evaders and deserters. Eritrea is victim of a huge propaganda war. P. 42

Related reading: http://www.madote.com/2014/11/999-of-eritreans-who-leave-their.html

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Danish Fact Finding Mission Finds Significant Human Rights Improvement in ‪‎Eritrea Reviewed by Admin on 3:14 PM Rating: 5

35 comments:

  1. " Eritrean society can best be described as a ‘class-less society’, and this is also how the Eritrean government would like to present it. As such, there is no upper-class in Eritrea, and there are no slum areas. Even the President lives in a moderate environment and his children study in Sawa and not in some high-end school in the USA or Canada. If one should identify some privileged groups, it would be the veterans who fought in the liberation war and the Eritrean Diaspora who are welcome to return to/invest in Eritrea."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Over all the report shames those who try discredit Eritrean leadership and make Eritrea a laughing stock but it back fired on them horribly it is time they lick their wound, come on Elsa Cheram, the two daughters of dergue colonels' the fearless(lol) but full of 5h1t Awtistas, the Agminos in Asmarino what can you say now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. How Ironic, the countries that kept mum or looked the other way for decades (1950-1991) during Eritrea’s struggle for nationhood have the audacity to accuse of human rights abuses to the very organization (EPLF/PFDJ) that they neglected and/or tried in vain to destroy it by supporting Ethiopia. I say Get Lost, to any country who tries to preach us human rights.

    ReplyDelete
  4. They probably will still bark with their tails firmly tucked in between their roaming legs!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wedinakfa, you are really class-less mumbo jumbo and dumbo person. How can you say there is no upper class in eritrea.? How can ya say there are no slums ( wat the hell is aba shawul and geza berhanu?) You must be from keren or some god-forsaken village. You dont kno eritrea. If you did, you would have come up with some senseful ideas of your own. I know where exactly the president lives and i can tell you it is not humbel. Wake up and smell the cofee instead of writing mumbo jumbo and dumbo.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dumbo, ya it's not jumbo, so you wanna live where the prez lives? I think wedinakfa is right there is no class system in Eritrea! Enjoy where you live as a second, third or even insignificant citizen. Shamefull ethiop.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This report is significant. It will be difficult for the enemies to refute this.
    The methodology is sound and the eye witness account made by DIS is a vindication of Eritrea. Sawa comes off really well.

    And yes the National Service is going back to 18 months.
    Actually this will happen soon and probably gradual demobilization. However, personally I expect major political changes over the next 4-5 years, but patience is of the essence.

    My fellow Eritreans please take the time to read the DIS report. It will be worth your time and you might learn a few facts. God bless Eritrea.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The PC is actually good because it is hiding your F88ed up ugly face, regardless if you have any common sense you would not have written such a garbage comment, but true to form, I can see from your comment, you are a garbage, subhuman Woyane slut. Now go and educate your self to decipher why I am calling you garbage and Woyane slut!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Zafuuuuu....mumbo jumbo and dumbo thats it....c'man Zafuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu....

    ReplyDelete
  10. When ur said with the truth u will not lose ur way, maybe u can have some obstacles on the way but if u have the determination to hold on to the truth and shine it worth the journey. the obstacles are just a reminder that ur doing whats good for u and bad for them (enemies).

    Long live Shaebia!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you dear TGY, i did and i'm happy for how things are turning back to normality as usual "the stick of the truth never breaks" Long live Eritrea & Eritreans..

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ma àre hebreteseb sele zebele ko iyu hager, merihnet beza hassawit alem zegudaeh zello..kemti ab gorebabetena nereyo, unsocial, unethic, ente negeber, prone only to boost foreign investors and a group of thieves..they might accept us..Aynedelen..ayfalen, nain

    ReplyDelete
  13. See these:

    A Western embassy (C) in Eritrea stated that the National Service “is not really indefinite, but when it ends is arbitrary”. P. 10

    Another Western embassy (C) stated that “it had heard of people in their forties who were still in the National Service, but in general, three to four years seemed to be the norm”. p. 11

    The same embassy first pretending to be ignorant of the 'norm' and then being an expert of the 'norm'. Clearly this shows this report, if at all it is truly prepared by Danish delegation, is bogus to say the least and is designed in order to refuse Eritreans entry to Denmark. What a rubbish!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Good news for Eritreans! The Danish fact finding has stated that all web sites are accessible in Eritrea. that is not the case in Ethiopia. All web sites that oppose the governemnt are blocked. We have to use proxy sites to access those web sites.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lucky Im not born Ethiopian
    to call myself "ERITREAN" abroad for handouts LOL

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yeah Mengistu did the same, until he was seen in Mozambique next day LOL

    ReplyDelete
  17. Zimbawe indeed KirKir kikiki

    ReplyDelete
  18. የሕዋት እስከ ብንጹህ ልቢ ንዘራረብ፡ ንምንታይ ኢና ናይ ደገ መሰኻኽር እንደሊ እዚ ኣብ ኤርትራ ወሪዱ ዘሎ ጸገም ካብ ውሽጣውን ግዳማውን እዩ፡፡
    ውሽጣዊ እቲ ኣብ ዓዲ ዘሎ ጸገም እዩ፡ ንሱ ድማ ኩላትና ንፈልጦ እዩ፡ እቲ ናይ ደገ ድማ እቲ ን ኤርትራዊ ዝወሃብ ሓለፋ አዩ፡፡
    እቲ ሕቶ ነየናይ ክንቘጻጸሮ እዩ እቲ ዝቐለለ እቲ ናትና ጸገም እሞ ነዐሪ ፡እቲ ካልእ ጸገማት ባዕሉ ክፍወስ እዩ፡፡

    ReplyDelete
  19. ወዲ ዓዲ ዃላን ፡ ዓረዛን ሰላም ድዩ ኩሉ ኣብኩሉ እየዝርእየካ እሞ ካልእ ስራሕ የብሉን ድዩ ኢለ ይሓስብ፡ ትሰርሕ ዶ ዝሓወይ?

    ReplyDelete
  20. And thats the reason you call your Ethiopia "Democratic" LOL

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've been searching for a FAKE job that'll pay me FAKE money,to pay all my FAKE bills off,so when i retire,i can move to a FAKE retiree home. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Really ንምንታይ ኢና ናይ ደገ መሰኻኽር እንደሊ .hahahahahaha.....

    ReplyDelete
  23. Alec you
    fuck you..you think the misery of Eritrean youth is funy just becouse you your self gut lucky to asylum and welfare???

    ReplyDelete
  24. ወላ ሙዚቃ ክሰምዕ ናብ You Tube እንተቢለ ኣብኡ ምስ ገሊኦም ክትቓየቕ ይርእየካ እሞ፡ ካብ ድኻም ልብን ሽኮርያን ተጠንቀቕ ወዲ ዓዲ ዃላ ሓወይ።

    ReplyDelete
  25. Rora,
    Leave my friend Alec alone. I know you get mad at me but I have to tell you that he is already taken. He has no an inch extra space for your likes LOL

    ReplyDelete
  26. እዞም ሰብ ጸግዒስ ናዓኻትኩም ሓው ኪርኪር።
    ዳሕራይ ድማስ ብዙሕ ናይ ኤርትራዊ ደም ይርእየሉ የለኹን( ይቕረታ ሓው ኣሌክ ሓናፍጽ እንተዘይ ኮይኖም ከምዚ ናትካ ቂሒ ርእየ ስለ ዘይፈልጥ እየ)፡፡

    ReplyDelete
  27. keyehTn Tselemtee ke mashela, "if you dont know us aby now. you will never never know us!" it was a love song Rora, but do you really know love?
    leave Lingo alone and concentrate on your " i rather go blind than see you in her arms." typical deki mai telamit psch,

    ReplyDelete
  28. know before you spew, we are not wearing the same oakley as you, cause they gotcha you eating of their hand like a pigeon; does not necessarly means everyone else is doing the same. you lil buggar!

    ReplyDelete
  29. So, you're stalking me now. hahahaha....

    ReplyDelete
  30. Bro, let her bark..she just mad cuz am not in the dark said. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Really, so am ሓናፍጽ now...haha...oh u poor thing do u get ur period or something, cuz ur frustration is getting out of control. or maybe its b/c am prettier than u that ur calling me ሓናፍጽ? LOL.. anywho, so what ur little mind saying is, if someone has a lighter skin then he must be mix/ሓናፍጽ. hmmmmm...

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think i reminded her, her former BF that left her. and now she's confuse. :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. No offense but Denmark could have refused entry to Eritreans without the report. You must be mistaken if you think they owe Eritreans anything especially asylum. Stop with the entitlement.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Fuck you alec the mulatto dirty mouth.

    ReplyDelete
  35. You fucking mulatto trash mouth die unpleasant death.

    ReplyDelete

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