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Danish Authorities Tweak Eritrea Human Rights Report To Avoid Refugee Responsibilities-UK Refugee Expert

December 3, 2014

A UK based researcher has criticized a situational report on Eritrea commissioned by Denmark’s Immigration Service as “flimsy and harmful” because the report portrayed Eritrea’s rights environment as ‘stable’.


Gaim Kibreab, a researcher professor and Course Director of the Refugee Studies at London South Bank University in the UK contributed to the Danish Immigration Service’s report, but has faulted the report’s authors for ignoring his concerns despite his attempts to make corrections before the report was concluded.

“I feel betrayed and demand my name be taken off the report. They have basically ignored a lot of facts and hand-picked a few that fit the conclusion." Kibreab told Politiken.

Until recently, Denmark like many other European countries had favorable immigration policies towards Eritrean refugees due to serious human rights violations perpetrated by the authoritarian Eritrean regime under President Isias Afwerke.

But analysts believe that spikes in recent asylum applications from Eritrean refugees was behind Denmark’s decision to halt asylum applications this summer pending a report by the Danish Immigration Service. Denmark averaged around 10 Eritrean refugees per month in the first quarter of 2014 but, in July, the monthly average rose to 514.

Last week the Danish Immigration Service announced much tougher immigration processes for Eritrean refugees citing a more stable rights environment and based on the controversial report faulted by observers including an Amnesty International (AI).

“The report seems to be a stunning piece of deliberate politics, concluding one thing but containing the opposite. It concludes that the situation in Eritrea is now stable enough to abandon the automatic asylum right to citizens from Eritrea, but in the Appendix there is substantial evidence to the contrary."-AI spokesman Ole Hoff-Lund told the Anadolu Agency.

Eritrea has been singled out by numerous human rights organizations as having one of the most repressive governments in the world.

The country’s notorious policy of forcibly instituting open-ended and poorly-paid mandatory military conscription has resulted in hundreds of thousands of refugees around the world as young Eritreans risk their lives to escape indefinite military service.


Human Rights