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Eritrea: Press Freedom

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Eritrean Government on media freedom in Eritrea. (171013)

We monitor the human rights situation, including media freedom, in Eritrea closely.

There is no free press in Eritrea with no independent local journalists and only two international ones. The detention without charge by the Eritrean Government of journalists is unacceptable and contravenes international human rights agreements to which Eritrea is party. Our ambassador in Asmara raises these issues with the Eritrean Government at every suitable opportunity. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials do likewise with the Eritrean embassy here in the UK.

We also raise our concerns on human rights through the EU. For example the EU lobbied Eritrea on the sixth anniversary of the detention in September 2001 of the G11, 11 members of the Eritrean political party who protested at the Government’s direction in a letter to President Isaias, together with a number of journalists who were also detained at that time.

We will continue to monitor media freedom in Eritrea including the human rights situation more generally, raising our concerns with the Eritrean Government whenever possible.