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The Eritrean regime kills many Eritreans in the capital Asmara.

On 03 April 2016 about at least 11 Eritreans were massacred by the Eritrean regime in the capital Asmara. The Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (EMDHR) condemns this yet another heinous act against defenceless children and their mothers. These innocent Eritreans have lost the most sacred right- the right to life. Indeed, this vicious act confirms the findings of the UN Human Rights Inquiry Commission findings of crimes against humanity committed by the ruling regime.

The slaughter was committed in broad day light when truck loads of conscripts were being transported through the capital, Asmara, where some of them started to jump off their trucks when security forces began shooting live ammunition killing 11 people including women and children bystanders, and injuring over two dozens which may increase the death toll. The young conscripts were being taken from military training in the West of the country to forced labour camps in Eastern Eritrea. They were trying run away from the slavery like conditions which have become synonymous with Eritrea today.

The Eritrean regime routinely executes military conscripts who either abscond or attempt to flee the country with impunity. What is different this time is that it happened in the capital and in public before the eyes of their loved ones who were waiting to see a glimpse of them and waive hello on the side of the streets before their little hopes turned into a nightmare. It is time for the international community to act in defence of the fundamental values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and hold the Eritrean regime accountable for the crimes against humanity it continues to commit.

Eritrea is a country ruled by fear and not by law, and is often referred as the ‘African North Korea’. It has no constitution, no parliament, no judiciary, and all forms of freedoms and rights are banned and denied. Citizens are often arbitrarily arrested, disappeared, tortured, and even extrajudicially executed. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea confirmed in 2015 the “systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations” in the country. The Eritrean youth are at the receiving end of the regime’s ruthlessness and brutality. Today the youth are wasting their potential and talents in a forced and indefinite military conscription and doing forced labour under degrading conditions. Eritrea has become a country where even high school students are taken into a military training camp and forced labour programs. As a result these appalling conditions and denied of their rights in their own country, Eritrean youth are fleeing in mass risking their lives in search of refuge and hoping to reconstruct their lives in exile.

EMDHR 09 April 2016 Pretoria, South Africa

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