August 5, 2019
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Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN), along with 43 members of Congress, has written a letter to the Trump Administration and the Department of Homeland Security requesting information and transparency on the planned removal of hundreds of Eritreans living in the U.S. The letter requests specific data on how many Eritreans have been removed in these past years, and what steps the Administration is taking to ensure their safety.
The United Nations has thoroughly documented the crimes against humanity committed by the Eritrean government, including: the continued widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms committed by the Eritrean authorities, which include cases of arbitrary and extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, the use of torture, arbitrary and incommunicado detention without recourse to justice, and detention in inhumane and degrading conditions; the severe restrictions on fundamental freedoms; and, the forced conscription of citizens for indefinite periods of national service, which could amount to forced labor.
In 2017, USCRI, along with The America Team for Displaced Eritreans and 67 NGOs, issued an appeal on behalf of approximately 700 Eritreans who were set to be deported from the U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security. The letter reads in part, “We believe, and we can cite numerous authorities to confirm, that those removed to Eritrea would likely be tortured or killed by the Eritrean regime.”
Deporting Eritreans from the U.S. is a violation of the the United Nations Convention Against Torture and the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, to which the U.S. is a signatory.
USCRI commends Representative Ilhan Omar and her 43 collegues in the House of Representatives for advocating on behalf of Eritreans residing in the U.S.