Asmarino Fundraising: Because There Is So Much More to Be Done!

The 23 June Geneva historic demonstration part 2: The Truth must not only be the truth but it must be told



The 23 June Geneva historic protesters in front of the UNHCR  head quarter in such big number (more than 16,000) is in response to a deep yearning of the people of Eritrea for freedom. For the people of Eritrea freedom is everything. It is to have the freedom to exploit their potential to study, work, build a family and live a happy and creative life denied to them by the brutal repression of PFDJ. 

The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a ground-breaking resolution that calls upon the Government of Eritrea to honour and implement them “without delay”. Some of the resolutions are, to release all prisoners of conscience,   to stop indefinite national service, arbitrary detention, shoot to kill policy and other forms of human rights violations such as to ban freedom of expression, worship and association. 

However, the repressive regime rejected the recommendations outright because they were afraid that it would empower the people to assert their long time denied rights.

Statement of Eritrea’s Delegation at the UNHRC - 32nd Session begins with

“Today in this Human Rights Council, a grave injustice, yet another in a long train of injustices is being committed against the human rights of the people of Eritrea. “

For the repressive regime, the brutal human rights violations perpetrated to the people of ~Eritrea, the degrading and inhuman treatment of the prisoners and the slaved labour that gave rise to the exodus of huge number of refugees into exile do not constitute a gross violation of human rights.  That is why the delegate of the regime want the human rights council   to legitimize oppression and not to condemn it.  Their pathetic response to the commission’s recommendations exposes their moral bankruptcy

In addition the repressive regime’s delegates in Geneva made sure that they don’t talk about the huge number of prisoners kept illegally in their dungeons. The only one who admitted that they have prisons is the Foreign Minister – Osman Saleh. He said the political prisons are alive and well.    I give credit to Osman to even to acknowledge the existence of these innocent prisoners.

In conclusion, the council requests the General Assembly “to submit the report and the oral updates of the commission of inquiry to all relevant organs of the UN for consideration and appropriate action”.

The United Nations' is expected to open the way for the findings to be presented to the International Criminal Court.

The Council “strongly encourages” the African Union to follow up on the report “by establishing an investigation, supported by the international community. This statement has played into the hands of PFDJ to misinform Eritreans and the international community that it is being referred to African countries.

For the justice seekers what matters is  not only that  Isaias Afeworki  and his henchmen be brought to the court of law,   but  it is a lesson that the people of Eritrea should  never ever get into this tragic, tragic mess again with such loss of Eritrean life.  We have in our hands a tragic history that resonates through many generations to come.  If fact, “stop the war campaign” must be one of the top priorities of justice seekers in the Diaspora. It is the excuse of war that enabled the regime to hold hostage and control the people of Eritrea.  (More on Part 3).  Elsa Chyrum – director of Eritrea concern – who played a pivotal role in Geneva-, has adopted the slogan of “WAR Kills -   A state of War only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny”. In her face book.  The beauty of this slogan is that it captures the mood of the Eritrean nation and its’ urgency.

The report of the UN inquiry Commission   and the successful demonstration of more than 16,000 people is the most significant outcome of the campaign and activism for justice.  It managed to establish the identity of the Eritrean government as the perpetrator of crime against humanity. 

As a result, Parliaments of many countries have started to debate and pass resolutions in support of the resolution.    

The most devastating blow to the repressive regime is that of Holland: The Dutch Government not only supported the resolution but decided to stop the 2% tax. Many of the contributors are on welfare and they are paying 2% from the tax payer’s money which is scandalous.  They also opposed the EU 200 million aids to Eritrea instead they recommended it to be used to help the refugees in Europe.  The United States Department expressed that the report is a confirmation of what they were saying all along. Furthermore it registered the complicity of the Eritrean Government in human trafficking.

In the United Kingdom “Eritrea Focus” is lobbying the parliament to support the report of the Inquiry commission.  The APPG (All party parliamentarian Group on Eritrea) has tabled EDM 211 (Early Day Motion to that end) to be signed by MPs to be debated in Parliament. Liam Fox – former cabinet minister of Cameroon’s Government wrote Sunday time on 03/07/2016.  It says “Taxpayer’s money should not go to Governments with poor human rights records, particularly those without religious tolerance”. At last the truth does not remain as truth only, it is being told to the international community and action is being taken accordingly.

The UK Justice seekers met on Sunday 10 June 2016 to evaluate the Geneva demo – asses its shortcomings and plan the way forward.  The key speaker who briefed the house was Selam Kidane one of the organisers of the Demonstration. She has answered adequately some of the criticism from the floor, such as luck of information and communication. She accepted the shortcomings and said they were overwhelmed by the huge number of demonstrators and were not prepared for that. 

Selam concluded that there is yet a formidable challenge to the people of Eritrea and particularly those in the Diaspora.  She said, “We must seize the momentum to get united and draw an action plan  for more lobby activities.”    

The End:  to continue in Part 3