Be Careful What You Wish For: COI’s Unintended Consequences

COI Eritrea - crimes against humanity
UN inquiry finds the “Eritrean government” has committed crimes against humanity and other inhumane acts such as torture, rape and murder since 1991. Legally speaking, the accusations are so expansive that anyone who was or is part of the “government” should be held to account for the crime.

By Aghade,

On June 8, 2016, the three-member Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (COI) released its second and final report that suggested Eritrea, essentially, is not and never was a legitimate nation. This conclusion is a full-frontal assault on the nation of Eritrea and its people, to say the least.

We know a number subversive Eritrean groups, closely tied with the US and Ethiopian governments, have contributed to the report, which includes certain former top Eritrean disgruntled officials who now lead “opposition groups” based in Europe. We have seen their meeting schedules and photos, heard their testimonies, and noticed a great deal of similarities as it relates to their talking points.

As strange as it sounds, the COI report stated, in an unmistakable manner, that acts of crimes against humanity in Eritrea began from the day Eritrea was liberated. The report essentially states that Eritrea has been a lawless state since May 1991, where rape and murder has been occurring with impunity (p.46).

The three-person panel doubled down on this by stating that Eritrean institutions such as the military, National Service, Judiciary, Banking, etc… are fraudulent schemes to enslave the entire population.

Legally speaking, these accusations or conclusions are so expansive that anyone who is and was ever part of the Eritrean government could be referred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, for Crimes Against Humanity.

It’s likely the UN Human Rights Council will not accept the report “as is” because the arguments presented by the Commission are not only baseless, but also contain poorly thought-out procedures which pose huge risks to the Council and the Court. But, if the UN Human Rights Council accepts the report, in whole or in part, any Eritrean asylum seeker in Europe would be able to initiate a case in any European court by naming former government officials residing within the European Union (EU).

Why former government officials?

Asylum seekers and their lawyers are known for going after low-hanging fruit to make their case. All former government officials who now live in the EU are going to be “sitting ducks,” easy prey for the thousands of lawyers whose asylum cases are going to be heard in EU courts. It’s a lot easier for European courts to depose EU residents to obtain their sworn testimony. This could literally occur right away according to some lawyers I spoke with in Spain and Portugal, in which an asylum seeker could file a case in any EU court by presenting the COI report as proof, and name former government officials residing anywhere in the EU as a defendant.

Clearly, human rights abuse is a serious charge in the EU and the COI report ought to be concerning for these former government officials residing in Europe without diplomatic protections, especially those who are visibly operating as “scholars”, “activists”, “opposition leaders”, etc.

Of course, human rights accusations and cases are no slam dunk, but they drag on for years. Again, asylum seekers don’t have anything to lose and can afford to ride out the ups and downs of their case for years as they continue to remain in Europe.

On the other hand, defendants without diplomatic protections can’t afford to have a criminal case hanging on their necks for years, denying in open court all alleged claims of “rape and murder” they are accused of being complicit in.

We are not going to know the full effects of the COI until things “hit the fan,” as they say. We just know that in the first few years, the unintended consequences of the COI will be far worse than those intended.

49 thoughts on “Be Careful What You Wish For: COI’s Unintended Consequences

  1. False accusations never hit the mark but can leave unindelible scars on the falsely accused. Eritrea, will weather this storm as well!

    1. By “unindelible scars”, I think you meant “indelible scars”, meaning scars that are impossible to remove or erase.

  2. In 1991, the EPLF liberated the Eritrean land against the wishes of the European countries, the United States, the Soviet Union and most of African countries — and most definitely against the wishes of DERG-led Ethiopia and Israel. And the military leadership of the EPLF has been ruling Eritrea FIRMLY ever since — AGAINST ALL ODDS.

    Now, did Eritrea ever declare that it is a democratic country as defined by the Western world? Of course not. Eritrea never obfuscated on the fact that the country is ruled by the people’s army of the EPLF. But, in preparation for a future democratic Eritrea, the EPLF adopted a new political party name, People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) to reflect its future responsibilities and a constitution for the country was drafted. And for many reasons, chief among them being the hostile actions by the TPLF-ruled Ethiopia and its US handlers and adverse economic situations, the transition to a democratic government had to be delayed as survival of Eritrea as an independent country became a priority and took center stage. This is where we are.

    So, what is this HATEW-KETEW of this Commission of Inquiry — the “let’s make 1000 accusations with the hope one might stick” commission (ፈራሕ ዓሰርተ በትሩ)? What did Stalin say (or is rumored to have said) to such a toothless accusation: “How many divisions does the Pope have”? Eritrea will continue to be ruled by the military of the EPLF even if this Commission publishes a million pages of accusations from enemies of the EPLF, bribed refuge seekers, former criminals or, simply, spies of the CIA. Eritrea survives AGAINST ALL ODDS. NIKID TIRAY!!

    1. I agree 100% with you .We shook the global i was there in Geneva 13,000 people that no one asked us to go .Every body went to STOP the lie of the false accusation of COI,s and their followers reports fall in the ground like hot potatoes .Geneva is the eye witlessness .

      1. Are you forgetting the other 15,000 who supported the report? By your own remarks, Geneva is the witness for that too, so? As for the imbecile who keeps reciting the liberation struggle, its 2016, wake up and smell the coffee, this is not the 1970s anymore and the junta running the country are certainly not freedom fighters anymore, they are a freaking governmental party. Stop with this we are still in ‘Meda’ jargon. Yes, we liberated ourselves from Ethiopia and then we asked Ethiopians to speak in geneva, what does that say about your so called History. If it wasn’t for imbeciles like you who refuse to be critical of the government, we won’t be in this situation in the first place. DENAQUR

        1. Yes, we have heard “15,000” losers demonstrated in support of the report in ALBANIA but not in Geneva. Even one of the organizers, Martin Plaut, posted the following picture. Congratulations for sucking it up.

          1. Defending the indefensible is futile! Separate a country from the gangsters that are leading you to destruction. PIA and his cronies can go to hell.

        2. You sound as if you are one of those losers who were visiting Addis Ababa every year for a handout from the Weyane until the Weyane kicked you out because they were not getting anything in return for their investment. Now, you are reduced to shouting “denaqur” like a crazy dog at every post. You are making a fool of yourself.

        3. what an absolute idiot you are….you are the denqoro! denqoro and a half!!!! you think the westerners care about you? you allowed yourself to be used against your own people. when are you going to fucking wake up? If you have a problem with your government, go and sort it out yourself instead of calling the white man who will wipe out your entire people and handover your country to ISIS. If you have balls, take your kalashnikov and fight like Isaias did…spineless fucking git!!!!!

        4. If it was exactly like the Eritreans with Eritrean’s flag I personally would have agreed with your comment but believe me the supporters were not Eritreans at all! We r not denaquar the aim and the agreement with TPLF was to free Ethiopia from Mengistu regime and to go ahead with Eritreans independence. Eritrea got its independence but TPLF repeated the same old story. After the Ethiopians knew the difference they came to us and we r doing the same to get read of TPLF because they are the enemies of all of us. Good for nothing, bunch of idiots, blinded by others money only thinking having power could be everything. Forget everything and let me ask you these questions. How do we forgot how our people were deported without any proper and legal procedure? Loothing both their money and their soul!

    1. It is time for the leaders to accept the reality, otherwise if things goes like it did in the past…..anyone can guess what will be the consequence blindfold

  3. TN, forgive me if I sounded ignorant, but how does the picture of same of the G15 members relate to the article..
    Does it mean G15 will find themselves accused by GOE as well as COI?

    1. How on earth can you accuse people who might be dead aldreay? There is small chance that those old guys will survive 15 years of in communicado inprisoment.

      1. Bini, keep you hair on! Why are you stating the obvious!! I am asking TN, if that picture suggests that, as I am straggling to link the picture with the article..

    2. I’m equally baffled by the entire COI drama as you do now. As much as I gather, it alleges “crimes” has been committed SINCE 1991, the day Eritrea was liberated, meaning that the present and past members of the Eritrean government are equally guilty, with out distinction. The G15 were part of this government since 2000, remember?

      1. TN: you are confusing people. We don’t know where to place you: you are not nationalist, because you do not advocate for the well being of your people and your country; I am not sure if you care about Eritrea, since your site is full of Ethiopian story, that many Eritreans don’t care. Eritrean would like to know more about our country, even if it is a propaganda of the dictatorship.
        I am not pro COI or any other none Eritrean establishments that want to interfere in our countries affair; nonetheless, I care about Eritrean people and the country, I do want to see justice in Eritrea, end to the suffering of the people, I also wish to see Eritrea placed in the fore front the world. We have the potential and resource to be one of the best in this world. Known, this I am against any hindrance that we are facing right now; including your site, which confuses our people providing unnecessary and unwarranted information. At some point you had become a tool of dividing the Eritrean in Canada by publishing on your site accusations of unidentified individual whose evil motive was to divide and create conflict among Eritrean living in Canada. You have taken the responsibility by not identifying this individual, as you tried to connect the Eritrean hero’s that relinquishing in jail of the dictatorship to the crime committed by the dictator and his associates; by your own rule, this will associate you with this evil person who has evil motives, and you are guilty by association.
        I am one of the frequent visitors to your site from it’s inception; and my observation is your site loosing it’s moral compass, you are drifting, on hegemony of confusion.
        Please asses yourself by revisiting your mission statement of your website.

    1. Those three “ugly souls” as you call them may never be alive to be taken anywhere at all. Do you know why? Because they were murdered by the people who should be going to ICC, why is that hard to understand Donkoro hawna? It amazes me how you read and understood the article when your English is that of a second grader?

  4. Woyane Fired by U.S. last week · Edit

    Deputy US Asst Sec of State reportedly told the Government of Erirea last week that the US will not press for an ICC referral in exchange for certain things (security and governance related). Mostly security related. That’s why the resolution is being watered down. Therefore, there is no concern of criminality on the part of former or current EPLF members. Interestingly, Woyane was reportedly fired last week by the US also. The US now realizes the various Ethiopian oppositions (12 or 13 of them stationed in Eritrea) have a stake in the future of Ethiopia and need political space to operate. Therefore, President Isaias’ role is going to be critical going forward when it comes to the security of the Red Sea and Horn of Africa, including what happens in Ethiopia.

    1. Any evidence to substantiate this claim or are we simply going off what an Ethiopian blogger wrote? Let’s do better people. I swear some of you in the support and oppose platforms are incredibly naive.

  5. The COi accusation is an insult to Africa’s intelligence, like th ICC never had credence in its one sided, biased politically moitvated and,dehumanizing tactics by solely targeting the African continent, The African Union was a tad late , but finally came to its sense and booted this pseudo-human rights defender (ICC)back where it belongs.Next should be the UN’s turn, its feudal system has become archaic and desperately needs a serious overhaul. It’s a complete sham, the “Superpowers” have the “Voice and Veto” , the rest remain voiceless and yet we call it the”United Nations”, we’ve come a long way from 1945 AD, change is overdue.

    1. እዛ ምዱንጓይ ገለ ነገር ኣለዋ
      ኣዘዝቶም ጌሮምሎም ኣለው ጽልዋ
      ደቂ ኤረ ሓቂ ሓቂዩ ክትወጽእያ ኣኺሉዋ

      1. Courtesy of Sirak Bahlbi

        Word from Human Rights Council ‪is – the intentions of COI report has been quashed and the resolutions that will be presented tomorrow is very different and edited version not to include the original evil paragraphs and wicked intentions, even the AU has castigated the representatives of Djibouti and Somalia to tame their accusations. Eritrea’s delegation have put a diplomatic fight that confronted the impregnable UNHRC.

        1. TN:

          Well,let us see; and as long as the GoE complies with its expectations to DECLARE Amnesty and National Reconciliation and implements the newly ratified Inclusive Constitutions so that NO Eritrean shall be left behind, including the : ‘Traitors”, I am ok with the modified Resolution…

          1. So you expect positive Changes in Eritrea to come from outside of Eritrea? You better Think again and stop dreaming. Only mayhem can come from outside.

  6. In western countries the person who held a top position would resign and go with his/her life if the disagreement occurred with the government, but never tries to harm his/her country or people by collaborating with enemies. The Chinese has the biggest population in diaspora. The western tried so hard to manipulate and influence the Chinese migrants to rise up against the Chinese government, but the diaspora community were smart by refusing to let the west to harm their country and people which they have learnt during all the wars that China was involved and the western bad intentions to destroy their country. As far as i know the africans and middle eastern in diaspora who are against their government puts their time and energy to damage their own people and country which beyond my comprehend . This would be a good opportunity for graduate students especially in psychology, sociology, and anthropology programs to study and work on their thesis why these people act this way, hopefully the outcome would not be luck of smartness

    1. Exactly TN…. Our own educated losers who act like prostitutes with out any shame loss their sleep to accuse our leaders and to bring destruction to the very country they call home. The likes of Danial Mekonen & Meron Estifanos who take advantage of the new Eritrea now listed as a number one advocate of Eritrea’s destruction. The likes of Selam and Elsa who never live in Eritrea sell themselves for money. The likes of Mike Woldemariam, Salem Solomon, Rafeal Tekle show their ignorance by publishing a copy and paste piece about Eritrea and try to make a name for themselves. Regardless Eritrea will stay here against all odds.

    2. The history of China is replete with incidents when Chinese citizens or local lords collaborated with Western powers and Japan against the interests of the Chinese people. The western powers did all they could to defeat the communists first in Russia, China and Vietnam. But they were defeated.
      Rebelling against the one in power is simply a natural reaction. Who wants to be a second banana and be told what to do?

      1. Are you writing your own history now? “Defeat the communist”…You do know the USSR is gone right, the same communist bloke who wanted to obliterate Eritrea which now follows the same ideology as those who wanted to finish it off. Learn history first before you spew your jargon DonQoro

        1. Actually you are the one who exposed your ignorance and would call yourself — አነ አየ ናይ ብሓቂ ዶንቆሮ!! If you knew anything at all, you would have noticed that I said Russia and not the Soviet Union. And secondly, the issue being discussed was not communism. In case it was hard for you to follow, I was responding to a post that suggested that the Chinese in the diaspora stood by their government and were not traitors or agents of the Western powers.
          By the way, to teach you some history, I was referring to the White Russians, the Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang) of China and South Vietnam gov. who were lackeys of the western powers and ended up being defeated by the communists.
          Why is this in line with the subject of the previous post? Because I wanted to prove that the gov. of Chiang Kai-Check of the Nationalist party of China worked with the US and other Western powers against the interests of China. There were many Chinese that collaborated with the Western powers (mainly Britain) as well during the Opium war.

          [Now, you can go and hide. I bet you have nothing to say].

    3. The Chinese,….the West…….Diaspora, that’s a lot of stupid in one comment. The Eritrean diaspora are no damaging their country, they are against he government. However, for imbeciles like you, PFDJ and Eritrea are the same and their brainwashing propaganda machine has worked to a point where you DenaKur can’t separate the two.

  7. If he is truthful and confident of what he writes, why is this “Aghade” character not using his real name? I can understand why those opposed to the regime use pen names, what’s unclear is of the regime supporters.
    TN, can you tell me why they do that?
    By the way, does it occur to you they are using you? You should demand real and full name like all the other websites.

    1. I have never seen so much stupid in one site. This whole TesfaNews thing is just laughable, it serves the less critical, the blind and of course the older generation. They think we are ignorant.

      1. how do you know tesfanews and its rabid dogs such as Halhal,Forto Sawa,Wedi Erey,Ebay Asmara,Wedi Nakfa,B.Adal,Alek you…are Eritreans,and have you ever thought that these guys goal is to destroy the image of Eritrea ?that is the way I see it.

  8. You really have no clue what the ICC is or how it works do you?

    “in which an asylum seeker could file a case in any EU court by presenting the COI report as proof.”
    Who is writing this jargon? Its the blind leading the blind.
    I would have loved to write an extended response to your pseudo-journalism about International Law and what have you but it would fly right above your head.

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