Eritrea: Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 23rd July 2020.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Labour, Hayes and Harlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the UN Security Council on the Eritrean Government's denial of access to the Red Sea for the Southern Red Sea people.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK has not been able to verify reports that the Government of Eritrea is targeting the Southern Red Sea Afar people and denying them access to the Red Sea. The UK is informed by reporting from the UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea, who regularly monitors the human rights situation in the country, but she has not been allowed to visit herself. We note that her latest report refers to the reported marginalization of the Afar people. We will maintain contact with her office as we seek to establish the facts. The UK strongly supports the important work that she does in challenging the Government of Eritrea to improve its human rights record. This was reiterated by the UK in our statement at the Human Rights Council (HRC) on 30 June. Eritrea remains a priority country for the FCO under our annual human rights reporting, and we will continue to monitor the situation there.

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