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UN expert: Rights abuses spur Eritreans to flee

UN investigator says human rights abuses in Eritrea spur up to 3,000 to flee every month

UN expert: Rights abuses spur Eritreans to flee

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- A U.N. investigator on human rights in Eritrea says "alarming" abuses in the east African nation are spurring between 2,000 and 3,000 people to flee the country every month, despite a "shoot-to-kill policy" targeting those attempting to leave.

Sheila Keetharuth told the General Assembly's human rights committee on Thursday that the U.N. refugee agency was concerned about 305,723 Eritreans who have fled over the past decade.

"The most serious human rights violations are being committed" in Eritrea, Keetharuth said, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, extended incommunicado detention, torture, indefinite national service, and lack of freedom of expression, assembly, religious belief and movement.

Eritrea's U.N. Ambassador Arya Desta rejected the special rapporteur's report, saying human rights issues are being used "as a tool of political pressure."

Updated : 2021-07-29 02:23 GMT+08:00