This month Release Eritrea has learned about the release of 22 members of the Faith Missions Church in Eritrea’s second-largest city, Keren. The Christians had been held at Hashferay Prison since their arrest in 2019. The photo shows the closed Faith Missions church building in the capital Asmara.
Release Eritrea’s sources also reported that a further 30 Christians, who are believed to have been arrested in Asmara in May 2020, have been freed. Release Eritrea has welcomed the latest release of these 52 Eritrean Christians, while continuing to call for the release of all prisoners of conscience who are still being detained in various prisons across the country.
UN re-appoints Special Rapporteur
On 16 July the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) passed the resolution to extend for another year the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea. The resolution calls on Eritrea “to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur, including by granting access to the country and committing to making progress” on five human rights benchmarks both articulated in the Special Rapporteur’s 2019 report and in last year’s resolution. Eritrea is one of the most repressive countries in the world and in 2016 a Commission of Inquiry mandated by the HRC found that crimes against humanity have been occurring in the country in a ‘widespread and systematic manner’ since 1991. So far Eritrea has refused to cooperate with successive mandate holders.