February 15, 2016
Eritreans from across the world have submitted more than 20,000 pieces of protest messages rejecting the politically driven agenda of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea.
The messages, sent in the form of letters and video testimonials, were in response to a call made by the Commission in the fall for submissions hoping to receive more information demonizing the young African nation, its culture and traditions, as well as its leaders, in support of its regime change agenda, with its ultimate target being Eritrea’s sovereignty.
However, judging by the electronic copies of the messages submitted to the Eritrean Global Action for Justice, a world-‐wide coalition of diaspora Eritrean communities, the flood of letters written in four languages were definitely not what the Commission was hoping for. They all debunk the grotesque image the three-‐person Commission tried to portray of their young nation in its June 2015 report. They categorically contradict the agenda-‐driven “findings” in its 484-‐page report. For example, many of the women who submitted letters writing about their own experiences in Eritrea's National Service totally dismiss the COI's finding of systemic and widespread practice of rape in the service as complete fabrication. Other writers with extensive experience in the National Service also rejected the notion of slave-‐like labor in the National Service and that they found the analogy of serving one's country to slavery extremely offensive.
The submissions were from all the major regions of the world, including North American, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and of course Africa. The messages from Africa came from Eritreans in Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, South Africa, South Sudan, Angola, and Zimbabwe. From the Middle East, they came from Bahrain, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, as well as Israel. Similar messages were sent from all Western European nations, except Spain and Portugal. Other key nations represented in this global protest are the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Some of the letters were submitted individually while others were sent through organizations involved to facilitate, not influence, the process.
The letters and other protest messages to the Commission are in English, Tigrigna, Arabic and there were even some submissions in Amharic from people of Eritrean origin that witnessed horrors under the current Ethiopian regime.
The question now is whether this Commission with its regime-‐change agenda will hear the voices of the Eritrean communities from across the globe. Whether it will give the 99% of the global community a fair hearing. Or, whether it will choose to continue on the smear and tear path set for it by its enablers.