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Parliamentary questions
14 July 2011
Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on behalf of the Commission

The European Union is deeply concerned with the poor human rights record of Eritrea, especially the fate of detained persons, among them prisoners of conscience, dissidents and journalists. Despite repeated appeals raised by the EU at various levels and at every possible occasion these prisoners remain in detention. None of them has ever been formally charged in court and their fate remains unknown.

The EU Delegation in Asmara has been unable to confirm reports about the death of Ms Aster Fissehatsion. The Eritrean authorities refuse to reveal any information on whereabouts and health conditions of their prisoners. Families, legal representatives and medical doctors have been denied access to the prisoners. This conduct is in clear violation of international obligations binding on Eritrea.

The European Union has continuously called on the Eritrean authorities to unconditionally release all political prisoners, including members of G15 Group and Ms Aster Fissehatsion. The EU raises the matter of political prisoners in the framework of the political dialogue with the Eritrean government. The Eritrean side is fully aware of its international obligations, of the EU’s expectations as well as of the European citizens’ concerns over respect of human rights in Eritrea.

The EU will continue to appeal to the Eritrean authorities to abide by their commitments to respect and enforce human rights and fundamental freedoms.

OJ C 128 E, 03/05/2012
Last updated: 18 July 2011Legal notice