The Erosion of the Rule of Law in Eritrea: Silencing Freedom of ExpressionPromoting Citizenship and Preventing Statelessness in South Africa: A Practitioner's Guide
Authors: Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and UN Mandated University for Peace, St Jose, Costa Rica
ISBN: 978-1-920538-37-8
Pages: 62
Print version: Available
Electronic version: Free PDF available

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About the publication

This report contains an in depth analysis of the muted right to freedom of expression in Eritrea. The number and forms of human rights violations related to the curtailing of free speech have been and continue to be well documented across the globe. This discourse identifies the right to free reception of information and expression as the bedrock to realising and maintaining the rule of law. Investigated herein is the historical background to the political evolution of the small African state and the social impact of the prevailing human rights violations.

This report contains a compilation of human rights violations as determined by international treaty bodies, interviews with Eritrean witnesses and diaspora in exile and civil society reports on the human rights situation. It is argued in the report that the absence of the rule of law in Eritrea is directly attributed to the collapse of free expression as political forces see this right as a threat to their power base – a form of suppression that has nullified all human rights and freedoms and might well damage its people beyond repair.

Table of Contents

List of abbreviations
List of Eritrean print and electronic media
Executive summary English
Executive summary French
Executive summary Tigrinya
Executive summary Arabic

  • Introduction
  • Contextualising the rule of law in Eritrea
  • Eritrea’s human rights obligations and rule of law
    Non-Implementation of the Eritrean Constitution
  • Suppression of free expression as an attack on the rule of law in Eritrea
    Prelude to dictatorship: Human rights before September 2001
    The Crackdown of September 2001
  • Free expression in Eritrea today: Effects of widespread reprisals
    Closure of non-state media houses
    Collapse of the journalistic profession in Eritrea
    Internet censorship
  • From arbitrary arrests to subtle control of the message
    Pervasive editorial spin
    The ‘03’ rumour system
    Suppression of foreign and diaspora media
    Reporting the work of the courts
    Eritrea’s international relations
    Awareness of the dangers of refugee flight
    Rebirth of independent journalism
  • Recommendations
  • Annex I: Compilation of recorded human rights violations related to free speech
    Arbitrary arrest and detention
    Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
    Death in custody
  • Annex II: Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Eritrea
    I. Recommendations accepted
    II. Recommendations that do not enjoy the support of Eritrea

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