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Eritrea: Human Rights

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 18 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Eritrean Government on allegations of human rights abuses in that country. (279603)

The UK raises human rights issues with the Eritrean Government both in Asmara and with the Eritrean ambassador to London on a regular basis, highlighting the amount of public and parliamentary interest we receive. My noble Friend, the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, raised human rights with the Eritrean ambassador at the end of last year.

We also discuss human rights as part of the EU via the Article 8 Political Dialogue, with EU Heads of Mission producing a human rights report at the end of January to discuss with the Government of Eritrea. Unfortunately, since initial discussions earlier this year the Government of Eritrea have twice refused to have human rights included on the Article 8 Dialogue agenda for discussion.

We will continue to press to get human rights discussions back on the Article 8 Dialogue agenda.