The US State Department Has Just Released Its Annual report on Eritrea

Concise Summary of the report

The government of Eritrea is a highly centralized, authoritarian regime under the control of President Isaias Afwerki. The People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), headed by President Isaias, is the sole political party. There have been no elections since the country’s independence from Ethiopia in 1993. Authorities generally maintained effective control over most security forces.

Citizens did not have the ability to change the government through free and fair elections. Incommunicado detention continued under life-threatening conditions, which sometimes resulted in death. The government forced persons to participate in its national service program, routinely for periods of indefinite duration beyond the 18-month obligation.

Other abuses included killings; disappearances, torture and other cruel treatment; arbitrary arrest; executive interference in the judiciary; lack of due process and excessively long pre-trial detention; politically motivated detentions; infringement of privacy rights; restrictions on freedom of speech and press; restrictions on academic freedom and cultural events; restrictions on internet freedom; restrictions on freedom of assembly, association, and religion; limits on freedom of movement and travel; corruption and lack of transparency; domestic violence against women; and alleged discrimination against ethnic minorities. The law criminalizes consensual same-sex activity. Female genital mutilation/cutting, human trafficking, and forced child labor occurred. Government policies limited worker rights.

The government did not generally prosecute or punish officials who committed abuses, whether in the security services or elsewhere in the government. Impunity was the norm.

 

For those who are interested to read the entire US State department report on Eritrea for the year 2014, here is the link: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/236568.pdf