Compare and contrast: Find which one is Hell on Earth.EritreaEXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Government of Eritrea is an authoritarian regime under the control of President Isaias Afwerki. The People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), headed by President Afwerki, is the sole political party. The PFDJ has controlled the country since 1991. Elections have not taken place since the country’s independence from Ethiopia in 1993. Elements of the security forces frequently and with impunity acted independently of civilian control.
There were consistent and persistent reports of serious human rights violations. These abuses included, but were not limited to, harsh and life-threatening prison conditions that included torture and incommunicado detention, which sometimes resulted in death; forced labor of indefinite duration through the mandatory national service program; and the severe restriction of civil liberties including freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, and religion.
Other abuses included the following: unlawful killings by security forces; politically motivated disappearances; arbitrary arrest and detention, including of national service evaders and their family members; executive interference in the judiciary and the use of a special court system to limit due process; the detention of political prisoners and detainees; and infringement of privacy rights. They also included a lack of due process and excessive pretrial detention, and severe limits on freedom of movement and travel for all citizens, residents, and humanitarian agencies. All remaining international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were forced to close during the year, and the activities of the UN were severely restricted. Societal abuse and discrimination against women, the Kunama ethnic group, [deleted] men and lesbians, members of certain religious groups, and persons with disabilities occurred. Female genital mutilation (FGM) was prevalent in rural areas. The government limited worker rights. Child abuse and forced child labor were problems.
The government did not take steps to prosecute or punish officials who committed abuses, whether in the security services or elsewhere in the government. Impunity was the norm.
Persons detained for evading national service reportedly died from harsh treatment, and young men and women reportedly were severely beaten and killed during round-ups for national service. Widespread mistreating and hazing of conscripts sometimes resulted in deaths and suicides of national service members. The government continued summary executions and shooting of individuals on sight near mining camps and border regions for allegedly attempting to flee military service, interfering with mining activities, or attempting to leave the country without an exit visa.
In May and June the government rounded up approximately 3,000 religious workers from the government-approved Eritrean Orthodox, Evangelical (Lutheran), and Islamic faiths and sent them to the Wi’a military camp for national service. There were reports that lack of food and sanitary facilities at Wi’a resulted in illness among these religious workers. In previous years persons detained at Wi’a died from poor conditions. Reports continued that persons detained in Wi’a were tortured. Previously, religious workers from government-approved faiths were often not required to perform military service.
During the year a Jehovah’s Witness member died while in detention. The government did not investigate or prosecute any reports of security force abuse. Disappearance
An unknown number of persons disappeared during the year; they were assumed to be in government detention or to have died while in detention. The government does not regularly notify family members or respond to information requests regarding the status of detainees. This included persons detained based on their political and religious beliefs, journalists, and those who were thought to have evaded national service.
Approximately 30 journalists in prison were considered to have disappeared (see section 2.a.). The government also held local staff employed by foreign diplomatic missions in incommunicado detention and did not provide information regarding their location.
Round-ups in Asmara preceding the annual May 24 Independence Day celebrations were more coordinated than in previous years. Authorities detained an estimated several thousand persons in the capital region; some were held temporarily, while an unknown number reportedly disappeared.
There was no additional information regarding the February 2010 report of 12 Eritreans deported from Libya who disappeared.
c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The law and unimplemented constitution prohibit torture. However, torture and beatings are institutionalized within prison and detention centers. Reports of prisoners’ deaths due to torture, poor sanitation, and inadequate medical treatment were common, although secrecy and lack of access make it impossible to determine the number of deaths.
Security forces tortured and beat army deserters, draft evaders, persons living near mining camps, persons attempting to flee the country without travel documents, and members of certain religious groups. Torture or mistreatment included prolonged sun exposure in temperatures of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit; the binding of hands, elbows, and feet in contorted positions for extended periods of time; forcing inmates to walk barefoot on sharp objects; overcrowded conditions; exposure to extreme heat from confinement in crowded and unventilated metal shipping containers or in crowded cement-lined underground pits without ventilation or sanitation; suspension from trees with arms tied behind the back, a technique known as “almaz” (diamond); and being placed face down with hands tied to feet outside in the desert, a technique known as the “helicopter,” while pouring sugar on detainees to attract biting insects. The government sanctioned these torture and abuse methods, and no known action was taken during the year to punish the perpetrators.Read more: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/hu ... _id=186194
revolutions wrote:Ethiopia: U.S. State Department Human Rights Report
Thursday, June 7th, 2012EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Ethiopia is a federal republic led by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). In national parliamentary elections in May 2010, the EPRDF and affiliated parties won 545 of 547 seats to remain in power for a fourth consecutive five-year term. The EPRDF is made up of four ethnically based political organizations: the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, Amhara National Democratic Movement, Oromo People’s Democratic Organization, and Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement. Although the relatively few international officials allowed to observe the elections concluded that technical aspects of the vote were handled competently, some also noted that an environment conducive to free and fair elections was not in place prior to election day. Several laws, regulations, and procedures implemented since the 2005 national elections created a clear advantage for the EPRDF throughout the electoral process. Security forces generally reported to civilian authorities; however, there were instances in which special police and local militias acted independently of civilian control.
The most significant human rights problems included the government’s arrest of more than 100 opposition political figures, activists, journalists, and bloggers. The government charged 14 of those arrested under the antiterrorism proclamation. In addition it charged another 17 persons outside the country in absentia under this proclamation. The government restricted freedom of the press, and fear of harassment and arrest led journalists to practice self-censorship. The Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO law) continued to impose severe restrictions on civil society and nongovernmental organization (NGO) activities.
Other human rights problems included torture, beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees by security forces; harsh and at times life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; detention without charge and lengthy pretrial detention; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights, including illegal searches; allegations of abuses in connection with the continued low-level conflict in parts of the Somali region; restrictions on freedom of assembly, association, and movement; police, administrative, and judicial corruption; violence and societal discrimination against women and abuse of children; female genital mutilation (FGM); exploitation of children for economic and sexual purposes; trafficking in persons; societal discrimination against persons with disabilities; clashes between ethnic minorities; discrimination against persons based on their sexual orientation and against persons with HIV/AIDS; limits on worker rights; forced labor; and child labor, including forced child labor.
Impunity was a problem. The government did not take steps to prosecute or otherwise punish officials who committed abuses other than corruption.
The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), an ethnically based, violent, and increasingly fragmented separatist group operating in the Somali region, was responsible for abuses. Read full report… http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/hu ... _id=186196