Past eventResearch Event

'Service for Life': State Repression and Indefinite Conscription in Eritrea - Human Rights Watch Report Launch

30 April 2009 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Chatham House, London


Ben Rawlence, Human Rights Watch



This report argues that Eritrea has become one of the most closed and repressive states in the world in less than 20 years since independence. Furthermore, the report says that President Isayas Afewerki, who led Eritrea through much of its extraordinary struggle for independence, now uses an unresolved border dispute with Ethiopia to keep Eritrea on a permanent war footing.

This Human Rights Watch report, based on extensive interviews with Eritreans outside the country, diplomats inside Eritrea and experts, calls on the Eritrean government to end its systematic and widespread repressions of human rights.

Ben Rawlence has been a researcher with Human Rights Watch since 2005 and has worked on Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya and Eritrea. Prior to that he was foreign affairs adviser to the Liberal Democrats, and Program Coordinator at the Global Security and Cooperation Program of the Social Science Research Council in the United States.

The report can be read on the Human Rights Watch website.