A report condemning the government of Eritrea for domestic human rights abuses charges that between 30,000 and 40,000 Eritreans are being held in prisons in this nation of about 5 million people.
The report was released by the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights.The center’s president and a former Norwegian prime minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, called the results of the study evidence of “overwhelming human rights abuses” and urges the United Nations to investigate.
Bondevik told VOA`s Tigrigna reporter Tewelde Weldghebriel, "The core message of the report is to help increase the attention of the international community about the seriousness of human rights situation in Eritrea."He added that Ethiopia should be pressed to accept the UN’s proposed border settlement and Eritrea should be engaged as an ally in the war on terror.
Bondevik, who has visited Eritrea three times, said he first met Isaias Afewerki, Eritrea’s president, when he was a guerilla leader.He now says "the leader who had great vision about democratic Eritrea has turned to autocrat after independence."
Listen to the Bondevilk interview on the Tigrigna broadcast aired on Tuesday.