May 8, 2016

“Commission of Inquiry” Oversteps its Remit

Eritrea has received credible information that the “Commission of Inquiry” (COI) intends to publicly release its forthcoming “report” in advance; well before it is duly submitted to the 32nd Session of the Human Rights Commission. The latter is scheduled to take place from 13 June to 1 July, 2016. This unlawful act is not, unfortunately, without precedent as far as this outfit is concerned.

Last year, the “COI” exceeded its legal remit to unleash an intensive media campaign against Eritrea and distribute its report to the press two weeks before the official opening of the UNHRC annual session. The “Special Rapporteur” also acted in the same fashion in the previous year to launch a vitriolic press campaign against Eritrea before submission of its report to the competent body.

These repeated and illicit practices clearly contravene fundamental rules of procedure of the UNHRC as well as established norms of fair play. But they were perpetrated in the past and seem to happen again in spite of Eritrea’s strong protests to the UNHRC for redress against this wayward conduct. In this respect, blame for these irresponsible acts does not lie in the “Commission” alone. It is indeed evident that the pampering and culture of impunity accorded to the “Commission of Inquiry” has encouraged it to persist in its irresponsible behavior.

Furthermore, it must be pointed out that the Commission’s blatant breach of normative procedures is symptomatic and constitutes only a tiny fraction of its overall misdemeanor. The sad fact is the Commission is essentially involved in a politically motivated witch-hunting campaign against Eritrea to literally regurgitate innuendos and unsubstantiated allegations that stem from certain quarters.

In the event, the Government of Eritrea urges, once again, the UNHRC to take requisite action to rectify the situation and instruct the “Commission of Inquiry” to strictly adhere to normative ground rules.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Asmara, 6 May 2016

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