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There are gross, widespread, and systemic violations of human rights in Eritrea. The OMCT has related the commission of crimes against humanity since 1991 by Eritrean government officials who are responsible for enslavement, imprisonment, enforced disappearance, torture, persecution, rape, and murder. The government continues to force students to join the mandatory national service programme in their final year of high school and doesn’t release them after they have served the legal 18 months. Thousands remain in open-ended conscription, sometimes for as long as 10 years or more, which amounts to slavery. Hundreds of prisoners of conscience and other prisoners including journalists, former politicians and practitioners of unauthorized religions continue to be arbitrarily detained without charges or access to lawyers or family members. Many of them have been held for nearly two decades. Others are victims of enforced disappearances.
Thousands of Eritreans flee the country every month as a result of the dire human rights situation and face serious human rights abuses while in transit: many are subjected to detention, abduction, sexual abuse, torture and other ill-treatment in transit countries, particularly in Libya.