n Journal for Juridical Science - The reply of the Eritrean government to ACHPR's landmark ruling on Eritrea : a critical appraisal

Volume 31, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-252X



This article assesses the official and most recent stance of the Eritrean government on the illegal detention of eleven prominent Eritrean political personalities who remain behind bars since September 2001. The objective is to evaluate the unlawful detention pursuant to relevant Eritrean laws, namely: the 1993 "Interim Constitution" of Eritrea; the transitional codes of Eritrea which include the Penal, Criminal Procedure, Civil and Civil Procedure Codes; and other laws that amended and supplemented some of the above acts. The article critically examines the grounds which have led to the detention of the victims and analyses the legality of such reasons according to operational Eritrean laws. The contribution will also assess the prolonged duration of detention (detention without trial) and the justifications of the government for such a prolonged detention. It is submitted that the grounds of detention and the justifications for the prolonged detention, as corroborated by the Eritrean government, are ill-founded and have no legal basis. The assessment is based on the latest official account given by the Eritrean government about the detention of the officials. This account was given in a letter sent to the African Commission on Human and People's Rights upon the Commission's landmark ruling against Eritrea in November 2003.

Hierdie artikel evalueer die amptelike en mees onlangse stand van die Eritrese regering oor die onwettige aanhouding van elf vooraanstaande Eritrese politieke persoonlikhede wat sedert September 2001 agter tralies gehou word. Die doel is om die onwettige aanhouding ingevolge relevante Eritrese wette te evalueer, te wete Eritrea se Tussentydse Grondwet van 1993; die oorgangswette van Eritrea wat insluit die Strafreg-, Strafprosesreg, Burgerlike en Burgerlike Proseswet; asook ander wette wat sommige van die wette hierbo wysig en aanvul. Die artikel ondersoek krities die gronde wat gelei het tot die aanhouding van die slagoffers en analiseer die wettigheid van sodanige redes volgens operasionele Eritrese wette. Die bydrae sal ook die verlengde duur van aanhouding (aanhouding sonder verhoor) en die regverdigings van die regering vir sodanige verlengde aanhouding, evalueer. Daar word betoog dat die gronde vir aanhouding en die regverdigings vir die verlengde aanhouding, soos bevestig deur die Eritrese regering, ongegrond is met geen regsbasis nie. Die evaluering word gebaseer op die nuutste amptelike weegawe oor die aanhouding van die amptenare, gegee deur die Eritrese regering. Hierdie verklaring is gegee aan die hand van 'n brief gestuur aan die Afrika-kommissie oor Mense- en Volkeregte (ACHPR) met die Kommissie se keerpunt-beslissing teen Eritrea in November 2003.

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