Petition to highlight the human rights situation in Eritrea sign now

Josй Manuel Barroso
President of the European Commission
Brussels


Dear Sir,

We believe that human beings are born free and that governments should promote, protect and respect the basic freedoms of their citizens. It was in order to set a global standard that governments agreed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights all those years ago.

Injustice somewhere is a risk to justice everywhere, and hence human rights abuse should be an issue of concern to every human being. It is therefore in this light that we seek to highlight the plight of Eritreans, whose human rights are continuously being trampled upon by a regime that lacked legitimacy when it denied peoples participation in their political life after the liberation of Eritrea and it is today following a brutally dictatorial course upon which it openly embarked in 2001, heralded by the arrest of 11 top party and government officials and the shutting down of all privately owned newspapers.

In Eritrea today thousands of people find themselves in prisons and detention centres throughout the country without due process. They are neither formally charged nor given the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law. All basic and fundamental freedoms; freedom of thought, expression, association and worship are severely curbed. People are arbitrarily snatched from the streets, their work place, their homes and their place of worship for unknown reasons and detained incommunicado for unspecified lengths of time.

Todays Eritrea is the scene of gross human and democratic rights abuse that spans across every aspect of Eritrean life. The African Commission for Human and People's Rights, the European Parliament, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the US State Department and a number of institutions and Human Rights Organisations (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters without Borders, Christian Solidarity Worldwide etc.) have all called for the respect of basic human Rights.

Furthermore, the current no-war and no-peace situation between Eritrea and Ethiopia is being used as an excuse to suspend and violate most of the basic rights. We would like to urge you to use your influence and broker a peaceful resolution to the impasse and do your utmost to avert another war between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

It is with all this in mind that we, the undersigned, ask your good offices to bear the maximum pressure on the Eritrean Authorities to release all illegally detained Eritreans and to set up a mechanism that would inspect and investigate the well-being of all prisoners who are detained in inhospitable conditions and incommunicado, on this very important occation commemorating International Human Rights day (December 10, 2005).

Thank you.

The undersigned




cc. Franco Frattini
Vice President
Justice, Freedom and Security

Javier Solana
High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy,
Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union

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Abigail WoodardBy:
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