How are transgender people treated in Eritrea



I. Procedure:

1. On August 18, 2008, the complainant applied for international protection and stated that she was born on XXXX in Addis Ababa and was an Eritrean citizen. She has never had a passport, she only has an identity card that she left at home. She left her country because of her religion (Pentecostal Church = Pentecostal Church) and was therefore already in prison, she said in the first questionnaire on August 18, 2008 to the public security service. She explained to her family that her father had died, that her mother, like herself, lived in Eritrea, XXXX, XXXX Street and that her brother's whereabouts were unknown. She herself attended elementary school in Addis Ababa from 1992 to 2000.

2. During the interrogation by the Federal Asylum Office on August 25, 2008, the complainant stated that her mother tongue was Amharic and that she could only understand Tigrinya. She repeated that she left Eritrea because of religious problems; her family belongs to the Penticostal Church. Wherever she lived there were Muslims and Orthodox. In 2002 the government banned the public practice of their religion. Since then, people have met secretly in houses. She was arrested about a month and a half ago. She had just been to a house in Assab, it was a Sunday. There were seven supporters of the Penticostalen Church in the house, all of whom were arrested. She was held in the police station in XXXX 15 days. She was not given anything to eat and did not know why she was released. Her cousin was waiting outside; She stayed with a friend of her uncle's for a week, then went to Sudan. She also fled because she had to do military service after her father's death. In the event of a return, she faces imprisonment; She also wanted to freely practice her religion, to which she had belonged since 2001, and did not want her to join the military.

3. Another interview took place on September 18, 2008 at the Federal Asylum Office, Linz branch. The complainant stated that she had no health problems; she was born and raised in Addis Ababa; In 2000 she moved to XXXX, Eritrea with her parents and brother. Before that, she had an Ethiopian ID card, but it was noted that she came from Eritrea. When asked, she revised that she had not had such an ID herself, that her name had been noted on the list of the relevant XXXX; In Ethiopia you only got an ID at the age of 18. But your parents would have had such an ID.

Her family was forced to move to Eritrea. Her father had received a letter from XXXX in 2000 that he had to leave Ethiopia within 3 days because he had supported Eritrea and that he should contact XXXX. The complainant's father then first went to XXXX, which was responsible for her living area, from where the family was then officially escorted to XXXX, where many other Eritreans were also gathered. It then went quickly, they hardly had any luggage with them and then took a bus to XXXX, from where they had to continue to Eritrea themselves.

The complainant belongs to the Tigrinya ethnic group, but her parents spoke to her in Amharic, since she had also learned this at school in Ethiopia.

When asked about the reason for her flight, the applicant repeated that her religion had been banned since 2002 and that she had to practice her religion underground. She was arrested at the house of another believer, named XXXX, and then held for seven days; they were all, two men and five girls, held in a dark room and had irregular and bad food. They were interrogated once on the second day. She was then released after seven days, she knew nothing about the others. A police officer came into her cell and said that she was wanted. She went with the policeman to an office where her aunt's husband was waiting, with whom she then left prison and went to a friend's house, where she stayed for a week until she left the country. At the time of her departure, her mother, her aunt and their husband and children lived in XXXX; her brother was in the military at the time. The whole family, with the exception of her brother, are followers of the Pentecostal Church. Her family always practiced their religion in secret and therefore had no problems beforehand.

In addition, she had received a draft notice for the first time at the age of 15; At that time, both parents were seriously ill, which is why she did not have to call in. Her father died then, the mother continued to suffer from heart problems. Your aunt presented this to XXXX, this was then checked and the objection to the draft notice was accepted. She received the second draft notice in the second month of 2008; she should have reported in September 2008.

The complainant was asked about her belief and stated that the belief arose 50 years after the birth of Christ. In their religion there is no other god besides Jesus. Adult baptism is common.

4. During another questioning on April 28, 2009, she gave "City XXXX" as the last address. Her aunt lived nearby and she never met an uncle who lived in XXXX. She spoke Amharic with her aunt. She has lived in ASAB since 2000; her aunt had a restaurant and worked there. When asked why she said she had been detained for 15 days at the first interrogation, she said that she had never said this, that she had been detained for one week and that there was no trial. At the time, the interpreter also incorrectly translated that her cousin was waiting for her, but it was her aunt's husband who waited for her after her release. Her father adopted the neighbors' new religion in 2001; her belief is called "XXXX"; since she has lived in XXXX, she has been visiting XXXX every Saturday, two stops after the train station in the direction of Auwiesen; a man and a woman are pastors there, she does not know their name.

5. The Federal Asylum Office sent a personal request to the state documentation.

6. As part of a further written questioning by the Federal Asylum Office on May 11, 2009, the complainant was asked for the exact address at which she had lived in Addis Ababa; she declared "XXXX". Her father was called XXXX, her grandfather


When asked about Assab, the complainant was able to state that there would be schools and an oil refinery there, that it bordered on the Red Sea and that outside the city there were very high mountains. When asked about sights, she said there were churches. The complainant was unable to name where the post office or the airport was located, who was mayor of XXXX or what the name of the most famous market was. It could describe the Eritrean currency, but not what an Eritrean postage stamp looks like. White taxis in Asab would belong to ex-war veterans, blue private individuals. She couldn't remember the license plates. She spoke Amharic with her friends and there were many people in Assab who spoke Amharic. As a public holiday, there is Independence Day in Eritrea, but the date of which she cannot remember, as well as public holidays for Muslims and Christians.

7. On 07.07.2009 the complainant was asked by the Federal Asylum Office in the course of an interrogation about the part of town in which she had lived, since the lawyer of trust of the ÖB Addis Ababa had declared that he needed this information for further inquiries; XXXX there were several. The complainant stated that it was XXXX.

8. In a letter dated November 18, 2009, the complainant was sent country determinations on Ethiopia, an inquiry response on Ethiopia of November 17, 2009 and one on Eritrea of ​​June 9, 2009 for comment. The attorney of trust of ÖB Addis Ababa stated in the response to the inquiry that it was not possible to provide specific information about the complainant, especially since no house number was known. However, it was confirmed that there would be a XXXX of the specified number in XXXX. The ÖB Cairo declared that there would be neither an Austrian representation in Asmara nor a person of trust. Inquiries about Eritrea could therefore only be dealt with to a very limited extent. Regarding the question of how credible it is that the complainant could only speak Amharic, although she had lived in Eritrea for a few years, the ÖB Addis Ababa stated that Amharic and Tigrinya are similar, but that it is not easy to get by in the area of ​​the other language could. The ÖB Cairo declared that Amharic was also one of the official languages ​​until Eritrea became independent; it is not impossible to imagine that the applicant had not learned Tigrinya. The message also confirmed that the Eritrean government would take active action against supporters of the Pentecostal Church. The personal questions could not be answered as this would not have been possible without the complainant's personal data being passed on to the Eritrean authorities. Regarding XXXX it was informed: "XXXX is located on the Red Sea with approx. 90,000 inhabitants the second largest city and with XXXX Eritrea, in which one of the most important, but no longer functional refineries of the country is located. [...] Since XXXX the main port for the supply of XXXX, the city feels more Ethiopian. The city is divided into XXXX. XXXX XXXX. XXXX is the rather dilapidated part of the city. The Ethiopian immigrants used to live here. "

9. In a statement dated December 1, 2009, the complainant stated that the information provided by the embassies in Addis Ababa and Cairo would confirm their information or that this made them seem likely or impossible to imagine. On the question of language, she stated that there would be radio and TV in Amharic in Eritrea and that there was a large commune made up of refugees from Ethiopia in XXXX. It is easy to live in Eritrea without knowing the Tigrinya language. For a corresponding review, apply for an expert review. To the extent that the Federal Asylum Office regards Ethiopia as the country of origin, it found that this statement was incorrect and therefore did not comment on the submitted state statements on Ethiopia. You request the telephone interview of your uncle XXXX, who lives in XXXX, under the number XXXX.

10. The Federal Asylum Office asked the embassy to contact the named person. On January 28, 2010, the state documentation submitted a response to an inquiry on "Language and conscription regarding Eritreans deported from Ethiopia". It essentially stated: "A large number of Eritreans who had previously lived in Ethiopia were deported to Eritrea between 1998 and 2001. In Ethiopia, most of these Eritreans spoke Amharic, only a minority in the family spoke Tigrinya. Consequently, one speaks Large majority of people deported to Eritrea better Amharic than Tigrinya. In Eritrea, too, the newcomers continued to speak Amharic, but usually had to learn Tigrinya in order to cope with daily life. Today, eight to ten years after the deportation, most of them can at least speak Tigrinya When they speak Tigrinya, they do so with a strong Amharic accent, as they are unable to pronounce some Tigrinya phonemes which do not exist in the Amharic language. The deportees run and attend their own clubs and associations When they meet, they still speak Amharic. [...] Meanwhile, the dominates Conscription is the life of practically all Eritreans between the ages of 18 and 50. [...] There are also no rules that regulate leaving the service and demobilization. Overall, decisions in this regard are only made arbitrarily. [...] The only group currently exempt from conscription are veterans and members of the militias from the wars of liberation. Persons who have been declared physically or mentally unfit by medical professionals are excluded from military training, but this does not mean that they are unfit for the "National Service" as a whole. Depending on the degree of disability, these people are called upon for activities within the scope of their possibilities. Recruits who become blind or insane while on duty are usually sent back to their families. There are no exception rules for married or pregnant women. However, pregnant women are not sent to military training. Conscription should contribute to the growth and development of the country, promote national unity, create a new society, transform the country into a nation in the long term. Conscription can be described as the "school of the nation". Steadfastness and devotion to the nation are values ​​to be promoted. The youth should internalize these values. This is also the main reason for the persecution of the Pentecostal Church. This church, which is particularly popular with young Eritreans, brings young people closer to their own values, which are seen as competition to the values ​​of the government. The Christian religion in and of itself is not a problem for the government. "

11. On February 4th, 2010 another written questioning took place at the Federal Asylum Office. When asked, the complainant stated that different residents of the city had visited her aunt's pub and that she had spent a lot of time in Eritrea with her mother or at church events. Amharic was primarily spoken within the religious community. Her aunt and her husband were born in Eritrea and would have always lived there; they would have spoken both languages. The people who were arrested together with the applicant also spoke Amharic and Tigrinya. She had the telephone number of her uncle, who lived in XXXX, from the beginning; she had never been asked about it before; she never saw him, but phoned him about two months ago to find out about the family. But he said he had no contact with her. Your aunt doesn't have a phone. When asked about military service, the applicant stated that she did not know how long it lasted in Eritrea; The disabled and the sick are excluded; she should have done the service in XXXX. When asked about her religious community, she said she was going to a church near the Federal Asylum Office.

12. In a letter dated February 5, 2010, the complainant made it clear that her religious community was the "XXXX", which was part of the "XXXX". This does not have its own church building, but meets to practice faith in the XXXX.

13. In a written interview on March 16, 2010, the complainant was asked again about details about Eritrea. When asked about the sights in Assab, she stated, according to the transcript: "The Red Sea. There are many areas in XXXX. XXXX was my quarter, there are other quarters, XXXX and XXXX. In XXXX there is a quarter where people trade." When asked, she explained that there was a beach in XXXX, it was called XXXX and was not in the middle of the city. She couldn't say more about it. When asked how she would get from her home address to the beach, she said: "By taxi, they are minibuses". She knew that Asmara was the capital of Eritrea, which gained independence in 2000. She could not name parties, but stated that "EDRIS AWEKE" was the most famous freedom fighter and "ISAYAS AFORKI" was the head of state. She named coins and banknotes and their structure.

14. According to the file note from the Federal Asylum Office of March 16, 2010, the complainant's uncle in XXXX was contacted by telephone on the same day in the presence of an interpreter. He confirmed that he was the applicant's uncle and that he had had contact with her for the first time about two months ago. When questioned, he submitted that she came to Eritrea in around 2000 and lived in XXXX until she left the country. When asked, he also stated that he suspected that she had left Eritrea because of her membership of the Pentekostal denomination.

15. On March 31, 2010, the complainant was again subjected to an interrogation by the Federal Asylum Office and asked again about various facts about Eritrea. The complainant was alleged that she had little knowledge of XXXX and Eritrea and that she did not speak Tigrinya either, which is why it was assumed that she came from Ethiopia. The complainant insisted that she came from Eritrea.

16. On 07/07/2010, a voice recording was carried out and a language report to determine the country of origin was commissioned. The expert opinion of Skandinavisk Aprakanalys AB (Sprakab) dated August 27, 2010, signed on September 2, 2010, stated: "The woman speaks Amharic on a mother tongue level. She speaks a variant of Amharic that obviously cannot be assigned to Eritrea.She speaks a variant of Amharic, which is obviously to be assigned to Ethiopia. The person also says a few words in Tigrinya, but they do not speak the language well. "They speak a variant of Amharic that is typical for the central parts of the country, e.g. Addis Ababa.

17. In a further written examination on October 11, 2010, the complainant essentially repeated her statements; Confronted with language analysis, she declared that she grew up in Addis Ababa and learned Amharic there; she also spoke Amharic in XXXX.

18. On 07/07/2011, various German certificates and a letter from XXXX were presented to the Federal Asylum Office as evidence of the complainant's integration in Austria.

19. Country findings on Ethiopia were sent to the complainant on August 17, 2011 and given an opportunity to comment.

20. On September 2, 2011, a corresponding statement was submitted to the Federal Asylum Office. It referred to the poor security situation in Ethiopia, the drought and ongoing human rights violations in Ethiopia. The complainant has no connection points in Ethiopia, since her whole family is in Eritrea. You have no place to live or work. You would be in a hopeless position. Because of her ethnicity, she and her family emigrated to Eritrea, and there are still ethnic tensions in Ethiopia. In addition, numerous declarations of support, the Amnesty Report 2011 Eritrea and the report of the Swiss refugee aid Eritrea (February 2010) were submitted.

21. In addition, on September 8, 2011, the complainant submitted further declarations of support and confirmation of her voluntary work.

22. In a letter dated November 25, 2011, the complainant was given the opportunity by the Federal Asylum Office to comment again on her personal situation in Austria and to announce any changes. In a letter dated December 2nd, 2011, she declared that she was healthy and had been working voluntarily in a retirement home since October 2011. She is currently preparing for her secondary school leaving certificate and enclosed further declarations of support.

23. With the contested decision of the Federal Asylum Office dated June 27, 2012, the complainant's application for international protection with regard to the granting of the status of a person entitled to asylum pursuant to Section 3 (1) was rejected (point I), as well as pursuant to Section 8 (1) with regard to the granting of subsidiary status Persons entitled to protection in relation to their country of origin Ethiopia (point II) and the complainant were expelled to Ethiopia in accordance with Section 10 (1) (2) of the Asylum Act. It was found that the applicant, whose identity had not been conclusively established, was a citizen of Ethiopia and had not put forward any reasons for fleeing in this regard. The reasons for fleeing with regard to Eritrea could not have been established as facts relevant to the decision. In Ethiopia she should not expect any persecution; she is a young, able-bodied woman who can earn a living on her return to Ethiopia. She has friends in Austria, but no family; she entered Austria illegally, and there is nothing to prevent her from being expelled.

24. With the procedural order of the Federal Asylum Office dated June 27, 2012, the complainant was officially assigned the Human Rights Association Austria as legal advisor.

25. The notification and procedural order were delivered to the complainant on June 28, 2012 by deposit.

26. On the other hand, a complaint was filed in due time on July 3, 2012 and an application was made that the Asylum Court should grant the complainant asylum, grant her the status of beneficiary of subsidiary protection in relation to the country of origin Eritrea in the event that this application is rejected and determine that the expulsion from the Austrian federal territory is inadmissible and an oral hearing is able to convince himself of the reasons for fleeing and the complainant's credibility. The interviews that had already been carried out were included as part of the submission of complaints. The complainant repeated that she was persecuted by the Eritrean state as practicing believers in the Pentecostal community. Because of her belief, she is also unwilling and unable to perform military service, which is why she is threatened with persecution because of (assumed) political views. The authority in question had not carried out any investigations into the applicant's Eritrean citizenship and had wrongly found that she came from Ethiopia and was a citizen there. This statement is inconclusive; In addition, the party would have had to confront these facts and provide the relevant evidence. However, she was not given a deadline for commenting on the language report, she was only informed of the result in the course of an interrogation. Your submission is consistent with the country findings on Eritrea; In this regard, various reports (e.g. Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Asylum and Migration Information Center, situation of religious communities in selected non-Islamic countries, August 2011) were referred to and cited. The complainant further stated that a returnee to Eritrea would face punishments. In any case, their departure without permission and illegally should be seen as a political act and would result in persecution relevant to asylum law. In any case, she was supposed to have been granted refugee status on the basis of the GFK “political convictions”. The persecution originates from the state of Eritrea and is directed against them personally. There would also be no domestic alternative to flight, she would find no protection anywhere. In any case, subsidiary protection had to be granted. In addition, reference was made to the successful integration, which in any case makes expulsion inadmissible in the long term. Further documents confirming the integration were also sent.

27. The complaint and administrative act were submitted to the Asylum Court on July 13, 2012.

28. In a statement dated July 18, 2012, the complainant stated that she had lived in Ethiopia for a long time and spoke and learned Amharic there. Amharic and Tigrinya would be very similar. She was also able to communicate with the people in XXXX in Amharic because she herself understood Tigrinya passively and they conversely understood their language. She was always afraid of being laughed at and therefore didn't speak Tigrinya. She lived in XXXX and didn't get to know anything else in Eritrea and didn't go to school there either, so she had little knowledge of the country. The fact that she did not know anything about the license plates in XXXX is explained by her lack of interest in cars. Her name and the name of her brother were in Ethiopia in the identity card of the parents, which had identified them as Eritreans. This is what she meant by "my ID".

29. Further documents were submitted to the Asylum Court on December 27, 2013, including an external exam certificate from the secondary school, a certificate of attendance for a first aid course, etc.

30. As provided for in Section 75 (19) AsylG 2005, as amended, all appeal proceedings pending at the Asylum Court after December 31, 2013 must be completed by the Federal Administrative Court from January 1, 2014.

31. In a letter dated February 19, 2014, the complainant asked for an oral hearing and decision-making to be arranged as soon as possible, since she wanted to complete an apprenticeship and maintain herself independently.

32. Further declarations of support were received by the Federal Administrative Court on March 31, 2014.

33. On August 18, 2014, an inquiry was made by the Ombudsman regarding the status of the proceedings.

34. As a result of a decision by the business allocation committee of the Federal Administrative Court, the case in question was assigned to the judge who made the decision on August 25, 2014.

34. In a letter dated November 28, 2014, the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum had stated that the participation of an informed representative was not possible for official and personal reasons and requested that the complaint in question be rejected. In addition, in the event that the sources used by the Federal Asylum Office were considered to be no longer up-to-date, an application was made to obtain a current statement from the state documentation. An oral hearing took place on January 19, 2015 at the Federal Administrative Court, Innsbruck branch. During the negotiation, a period of three weeks was agreed for the submission of a further written statement.

35. On February 10, 2015, the Federal Administrative Court received a statement from the complainant in which she stated: "I have Eritrean citizenship and left Eritrea in 2008 due to my religious affiliation to the Pentacostal Church. As can also be seen in the country reports in Eritrea only the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Evangelical Church and the Islamic denomination are legal. All other churches are strictly prohibited from operating. Because of my faith I was threatened and imprisoned in Eritrea. I was born in Ethiopia and went to school After the outbreak of the Eritrean-Ethiopian war, people of Eritrean origin were deported to Eritrea. Over 75,000 people were expelled from Ethiopia, not just people who were considered a security risk, all of them were affected (see SFH January 22, 2014, Ethiopia / Eritrea: Controversial origin, p page 2). In Eritrea we lived in XXXX, and I worked in my aunt's restaurant and looked after the family. Because of all the work in the restaurant, taking care of my parents and especially the life situation as a woman in Africa, I didn't leave the area often. The country reports used by the BVwG also show that Eritrea has "an understanding of the role of women shaped by traditional values" (BFA, Country Information Sheet of State Documentation, Eritrea dated November 24, 2014)

I only left the area I was familiar with when I attended house services, but I didn't pay attention to what the other residential areas look like and therefore I can't tell you much about XXXX and Eritrea. Military service is compulsory for both women and men in Eritrea. The offenses committed against deserters and conscientious objectors included torture and other ill-treatment. Military service refugees and deserters face up to five years imprisonment. There have been reports of sexual assault and violence, including rape of sexual recruits. (BFA Landesunformationsblatt der Staatendocumentation, Eritrea dated November 24, 2014) Due to my religious beliefs and associated values, I am unwilling and unable to perform military service in Eritrea. For this I am threatened with state persecution based on my (subordinate) political views. Reference is made to the Federal Administrative Court of 04/07/2014 on BVwG, W153 1419517-1. "

II. The Federal Administrative Court has considered:

1. Findings:

1.1. Findings on the origin and person of the complainant:

1.1. The complainant is a citizen of Eritrea and thus a third-country citizen within the meaning of Section 2, Paragraph 4, Item 10 of the FPG.

1.2. The identity of the complainant has not been established in the absence of relevant documents.

1.3. The complainant entered the federal territory illegally and submitted an application for international protection on August 18, 2008, on which a negative decision was made by the Federal Asylum Office dated June 27, 2012, as stated above under I. Point 23.

1.4. The complainant is a supporter of the Pentecostal Church and as such is also involved in the parish in Austria.

1.5. The complainant is criminally innocent.

1.6. In the event of a return to Eritrea, the complainant would be threatened with acts of persecution of a high and asylum-relevant intensity for reasons of religion and an alleged political conviction.

1.2. Findings on the situation in Eritrea:

1.2.1 Country information sheet of the state documentation from November 24, 2014

Political situation

Eritrea is the second youngest and one of the poorest countries in Africa after South Sudan. After it was annexed by Ethiopia under Emperor Haile Selassie in 1962, a 30-year struggle for independence broke out, which on May 24, 1993 resulted in the formal independence recognized under international law. Since the border war with Ethiopia (May 1998 to June 2000), the democratic process in Eritrea has come to a standstill. President Isaias Afewerki rules the country with reference to the unresolved border conflict without democratic control, supported by the security authorities and the apparatus of the only authorized party PFDJ (People's Front for Democracy and Justice). The constitution, based on the western model, was adopted by the provisional national assembly on May 23, 1997 (AA 1.7.2013). This calls for a "conditional" political pluralism and an elected national assembly with 150 seats, which should elect the president from among its own ranks. But this system was never implemented because the national elections planned for 2001 were postponed indefinitely (FH 23.1.2014; see UKFCO 10.4.2014). The 1997 constitution did not come into force (AA 10.2013a). Regional elections were held in 2004, but these were orchestrated by the PFDJ and did not offer voters a real choice. The PFDJ and the military, both strictly subordinate to President Isaiah, are in practice the only institutions with political significance (FH 23.1.2014; see UKFCO 10.4.2014). Neither presidential nor parliamentary elections have been held since independence in 1993 (AA 1.7.2013). All major decisions are made by the President. There is no separation of powers. The transitional parliament consists of 150 members, 75 of whom belong to the only authorized state party PFDJ (People's Front for Democracy and Justice). It only meets at the request of the President (most recently in 2001) and is therefore de facto inactive. The domestic, economic and social situation in Eritrea has been determined for years primarily by the unresolved border conflict with Ethiopia. The consequences are, among other things, the extensive militarization of society and a pushing back of the private sector by state-controlled commercial enterprises (AA 10.2013a). Eritrea is not an electoral democracy. The Popular Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) was created in 1994 as the successor to the EPLF and is the only legal political party. Instead of moving in the direction of a democratic system, the PFDJ government has become strongly authoritarian since the end of the war with Ethiopia (FH January 23, 2014; cf. UKFCO April 10, 2014).


AA - Federal Foreign Office (July 1, 2013): Ad hoc report on the asylum and deportation-relevant situation in Eritrea

AA - Foreign Office (10.2013a): Eritrea - Innenpolitik,, accessed on November 14, 2014

Freedom House (January 23, 2014): Freedom in the World 2014 - Eritrea,, accessed on November 14, 2014

UKFCO - UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (April 10, 2014): Human Rights and Democracy Report 2013 - Section XI: Human Rights in Countries of Concern - Eritrea,, accessed on November 14, 2014

Security situation

The domestic political situation is relatively calm, but there are certain tensions. Relations with Ethiopia remain tense despite the peace agreement of December 12, 2000. The United Nations Peacekeeping Mission (UNMEE) has temporarily withdrawn from Eritrea. The development is uncertain (EDA November 17, 2014). The Ethiopian army advanced twice into Eritrea in March 2012 and announced successful attacks against camps in which the army claims Ethiopian armed opposition groups were training. Ethiopia accused Eritrea of ​​supporting rebels who attacked a group of European tourists in Ethiopia in January. The gunmen who assumed responsibility for the incident said they had no camps in Eritrea. In July, the UN Monitoring Group for Somalia and Eritrea reported that Eritrea's support for al Shabaab in Somalia had declined, but that Eritrea was still welcoming armed opposition groups from neighboring countries, particularly from Ethiopia. The report said that Eritrean officials were involved in the arms and human trafficking. Around the middle of 2012 there were reports suggesting that the government was handing over weapons to the civilian population for unknown reasons (AI 23.5.2013).


AI - Amnesty International (May 23, 2013): Amnesty International Report 2013 - On the global situation of human rights - Eritrea,, accessed on November 17, 2014

FDFA - Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (November 17, 2014): Travel Advice Eritrea,, accessed November 17, 2014

Legal protection / judicial system

The law and the unenforced constitution provide for an independent judiciary, but in practice the judiciary is not impartial and independent. The executive's control over the judiciary remains in place. Corruption within the judiciary is a problem.The President's Office often acts as an arbitrator or mediator for the courts in civil matters. The judiciary suffers from a lack of trained staff, inadequate funding and poor infrastructure (USDOS 02/27/2014). The establishment of the judiciary is being delayed. In addition to the ordinary jurisdiction, there are military and special courts that are also responsible for prosecuting corruption cases and capital offenses. In proceedings before these courts there is no public hearing, no legal assistance and no opportunity to appeal. The Ethiopian Penal Code and the Ethiopian Code of Criminal Procedure are still in force. There is no Eritrean penal code; For a long time nothing has been known about the work of a commission which is supposed to be entrusted with the drafting of an Eritrean penal code. In addition to general jurisdiction, there are special courts controlled by the executive that are responsible for criminal matters (capital crimes, theft, embezzlement and corruption). The judges of the special courts are senior military officers. Lawyers are not admitted before the special courts. An appeal against their judgments is not possible. There is no limit to the sentence, although in fact the death penalty does not appear to be imposed, or at least it does not appear to be carried out. Prosecution for political reasons cannot be ruled out. No information is available on criminal prosecution practice (facts, sentences). Arrests without an arrest warrant and without giving reasons are common. Conversely, prisoners are released without giving a reason (AA 1.7.2013).


AA - Federal Foreign Office (July 1, 2013): Ad hoc report on the asylum and deportation-relevant situation in Eritrea

USDOS - U.S. Department of State (February 27, 2014): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2013 - Eritrea,, accessed November 18, 2014

Security agencies

The police are responsible for maintaining internal security and the army for external security. But the government sometimes uses the armed forces, the reserve, demobilized soldiers, or newly drafted civilians to meet internal and external security requirements. Agents from the National Security Bureau, which reports to the Presidential Office, are responsible for arresting people suspected of threatening national security. The armed forces have the authority to stop and arrest civilians. In general, the police do not play a role in national security cases (USDOS 02/27/2014).

The military, police and security services exercise almost complete control over political and social life. You have extensive powers of attorney, which, however, do not always have a legal basis. House searches, arrests, raids and checkpoints on the main arterial roads and important intersections are common (AA 1.7.2013).


AA - Federal Foreign Office (July 1, 2013): Ad hoc report on the asylum and deportation-relevant situation in Eritrea

USDOS - U.S. Department of State (February 27, 2014): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2013 - Eritrea,, accessed November 18, 2014

Torture and Inhuman Treatment

The law and the unenforced constitution prohibit torture. However, torture and beatings are institutionalized in prisons and detention centers. The lack of access to the detention centers makes it impossible to determine the number of people killed by torture and poor detention conditions (USDOS 02/27/2014). Prisoners are beaten, handcuffed in painful positions, exposed to extreme weather conditions and kept in solitary confinement for long periods of time (AI 23.5.2013)


AI - Amnesty International (May 23, 2013): Amnesty International Report 2013 - On the global situation of human rights - Eritrea,, accessed November 18, 2014

USDOS - U.S. Department of State (February 27, 2014): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2013 - Eritrea,, accessed November 18, 2014


Corruption remains a major problem. Government control over foreign exchange effectively gives it sole control over imports. At the same time, those favored by the regime are allowed to benefit from the smuggling and sale of scarce goods such as building materials, food and alcohol. According to the International Crisis Group, senior military officers are the main culprits in this trade. They were also accused of getting rich by charging the approximately 900 people who want to leave Eritrea each month, and by using conscripts for private construction projects (FH 23/01/2014). In 2013, Eritrea ranks 160th out of 177 places on Transparency International's corruption perception index (TI 2014).


FH - Freedom House (23.1.2014): Freedom in the World 2014 - Eritrea,, accessed on November 18, 2014

TI - Transparency International (2014): Corruption Perceptions Index 2013,, accessed on November 18, 2014

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

The government's attitude towards civil society is hostile. Independent NGOs will not be tolerated. A 2005 law obliges NGOs to pay taxes on imported materials, submit project reports every three months, renew their licenses annually, and meet government-set financial targets. The six remaining international NGOs that were still active in Eritrea were forced to leave the country in 2011 (FH 23.1.2014). The establishment of NGOs is prohibited (HRW January 21, 2014).


FH - Freedom House (23.1.2014): Freedom in the World 2014 - Eritrea,, accessed on November 18, 2014

HRW - Human Rights Watch (January 21, 2014): World Report 2014 - Eritrea,, accessed November 18, 2014

Military service / National Service

The Eritrean National Service differs from the armies of other states in that the primary goal is not just to defend the country, but to rebuild Eritrea after the War of Independence and to convey the national ideology. National service consists of two components: active national service (military service) and a civilian component, which officially includes development projects. In fact, the civil component includes work in ministries, schools, courts, hospitals, local administrations and companies that belong to the PFDJ. This work is often criticized as forced labor.

According to human rights reports, some of the work is done for the private gain of the commanders. In practice, therefore, men are currently required to do national service up to the age of 50 or 57, and women up to the age of 47 (BFM 9/10/2013).

One of the most frequently cited reasons for fleeing is military service in Eritrea, which is officially limited to 18 months. In fact, it can last a decade without the recruit being given reasons. The country has been in a permanent state of general mobilization since its border war with Ethiopia, which ended in 2000. Even 50-year-old men are regularly drafted into the military, whose officers are notorious for their arbitrariness (FAZ 04/14/2014). There is no right to conscientious objection to military service and no alternative service; Conscientious objection is punished with re-education camps or imprisonment. The number of conscientious objectors and deserters is increasing. The regime tries to counteract this with frequent raids in the nightclubs in Asmara, Keren, Dekemhare and Massawa. Relatives of conscientious objectors or deserters must also expect punishment if they helped to escape (AA 1.7.2013).

In its 2009 Guide to Asylum Issues Concerning Eritrea, UNHCR states that a "shoot to kill" directive has been issued against deserters. The government denies this. There have been reports of sexual assault and violence, including rape, against female recruits. According to those affected, female recruits were forced to have sexual intercourse with their superiors under threat of increased military service or the suspension of journeys home. In some cases, refusal led to internment, ill-treatment and torture, such as deprivation of food or exposure to extreme heat (AA 1.7.2013). Those doing national service are paid low wages that are insufficient to cover the basic needs of their families (AI 23.5.2013). The salary for the first year of national service is 145 Nakfa per month and is then gradually increased to 500 Nakfa. This amount is only "pocket money" in Eritrea and does not offer relatives any prospect of being able to start a family or become independent (BFM 9/10/2013). The majority of the recruits in the national service are assigned to the army; others come into units engaged in productive activities such as building houses, dams, roads, bridges, hospitals, health centers, schools, etc. Others work in state or party-owned banks, on farms, private construction sites, etc. Regardless of According to the individual assignment, all recruits are part of the national service. The Department of Defense also leases recruits to private companies. The salaries are not paid to the national service workers but to the ministry. All in all, the recruits - regardless of where they were assigned - receive uniform pocket money (Prof. Gaim Kibreab 10.2014).

People from Eritrea have good reasons to fear that they will be persecuted and punished if they circumvent the indefinite national service. Because of this and other human rights violations, according to the UN Refugee Commissioner, 83 percent of all asylum seekers from Eritrea worldwide received some form of protection in 2013 (HRW November 9, 2014). The government punishes families of deserters with collective punishment by forcing them to pay high fines or by imprisoning them (FH 23.1.2014).

Young people who try to evade military service are arrested in large numbers. If the parents of the adolescents or other persons helped with the withdrawal from military service, they too are threatened with criminal prosecution (AA 1.7.2013). The Warsai Yikealo campaign was launched in May 2002. With this campaign, the national service became indefinite. The government extended secondary education for one year in 2003 and moved the final year of education to Sawa. There, military training is combined with schooling, with the former having priority. Nobody can get the Matura without having completed the 12th school year in Sawa. Today most of the recruiting is done through the Warsai School in Sawa, where all high school students take their place

Must spend 12th school year. Before the national service in Eritrea was extended indefinitely, according to a survey, 38% came to Sawa after receiving their draft notice; 20% came to Sawa after being recruited by the Warsai School immediately after the end of the 11th grade; another 16% were "collected" or forcibly transferred to Sawa. After the introduction of the indefinite length of national service, the number of the latter increased. After the end of the 11th school year, the students are automatically transferred to Sawa, where they spend the 12th school year under military discipline and in combination with military training (Prof. Gaim Kibreab 10.2014).


AA - Federal Foreign Office (July 1, 2013): Ad hoc report on the asylum and deportation-relevant situation in Eritrea

AI - Amnesty International (23.5.2013): Amnesty International Report 2013 - On the global situation of human rights - Eritrea,, accessed 4.9.2013

FOM - Federal Office for Migration (Switzerland) (10.9.2013): Information from the FOM, email

FAZ - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (April 14, 2014): Eritrea, The African North Korea,äne-nordkorea-12895245.html, accessed on November 20, 2014

FH - Freedom House (23.1.2014): Freedom in the World 2014 - Eritrea,, accessed on November 18, 2014

HRW - Human Rights Watch (November 9, 2014): "Make Their Lives Miserable"; Israel's Coercion of Eritrean and Sudanese Asylum Seekers to Leave Israel,, November 17, 2014

Prof. Gaim Kibreab (10.2014): The Open-Ended Eritrean National Service: The Driver of Forced Migration. Paper for the European Asylum Support Office Practical Cooperation Meeting on Eritrea, 15-16 October 2014, Valleta, Malta

General human rights situation

The exercise of basic rights, such as freedom of speech and expression, freedom of assembly and religion, is not possible or is only possible to a very limited extent. A free press does not exist; Radio and television are subject to state control. As part of the Ministry of Justice, the judiciary is dependent on it, and there are special courts. There is no organized political opposition within Eritrea. Numerous critics of the regime have been arrested without the rule of law since 2001 and have been detained in secret locations for years without any contact with the outside world (AA 10.2013a).

There are massive violations of human rights in Eritrea. According to human rights organizations and the US State Department, thousands of political prisoners are being held in inhumane conditions in unknown locations, without charge or contact with the outside world. Democracy and the rule of law are not guaranteed in Eritrea. Citing the still smoldering border conflict with Ethiopia and the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council since December 2009, the Eritrean government refuses to carry out political, legal and economic reforms. According to a prison guard who fled to Ethiopia, more than half of the high-ranking members of the ruling party who were arrested in 2001 and have since been detained without a trial have died. Human rights organizations cannot operate in Eritrea. There is no free press. It is therefore very difficult to obtain information relevant to human rights and to check whether it is truthful. Foreign correspondents are not allowed in Eritrea (AA 1.7.2013). In July 2012, the UN Human Rights Council appointed a special rapporteur for Eritrea in response to "the ongoing, widespread and systematic human rights violations by the Eritrean authorities". The Eritrean government rejected the appointment as politically motivated (AI 23.5.2013)

The UN Human Rights Council has decided to set up a commission of inquiry for Eritrea. After Syria and North Korea, it is the third conflict region for which the UN body has set up a commission. The commission of inquiry is to prepare its first report by March 2015. In a statement, the UN Human Rights Council condemned the persistent and systematic violations of human rights by the Eritrean authorities. There are arbitrary and extrajudicial executions, torture and unsustainable prison conditions. The Council also called for an end to the practice of unlimited military service and orders to fire at national borders, which are intended to deter Eritreans from leaving the country. According to the UN, almost 4,000 people have been fleeing every month since the beginning of the year. They wanted to escape brutal oppression and forced labor, it said (BAMF July 28, 2014).


AA - Foreign Office (10.2013a): Eritrea - Innenpolitik,, accessed November 18, 2014

AA - Federal Foreign Office (July 1, 2013): Ad hoc report on the asylum and deportation-relevant situation in Eritrea

AI - Amnesty International (23.5.2013): Amnesty International Report 2013 - On the global situation of human rights - Eritrea,, accessed 4.9.2013

BAMF - Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (July 28, 2014): Briefing Notes from July 28, 2014,, November 17, 2014

Freedom of expression and freedom of the press

Laws and the non-implemented constitution provide for freedom of expression and freedom of the press. However, the government severely restricts these rights in practice. The private press remains banned. The government controls all print and radio media in the country - including a newspaper, three radio stations and a television station. Journalists require a license. Most of the independent journalists are in custody or live abroad. Journalists self-censure out of fear of the government (USDOS 02/27/2014). All Internet service providers must use state-controlled Internet infrastructure. Many websites operated by Eritreans in exile are blocked, as is the video platform YouTube. It is assumed that the authorities are monitoring email communications. In 2013 only 0.9 percent of the population had access to the Internet (FH May 1, 2014).


FH - Freedom House (1.5.2014): Freedom of the Press 2014 - Eritrea,, accessed on November 18, 2014

USDOS - U.S. Department of State (February 27, 2014): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2013 - Eritrea,, accessed November 18, 2014

Freedom of assembly and association / opposition

The law and the unenforced constitution provide for freedom of assembly and association; however, the government does not allow either. The government forbids the establishment of political parties other than the PFDJ and the establishment of associations, with the exception of those with official approval (USDOS 02/27/2014). Eritrea is a one-party state. There is no organized political opposition within Eritrea. Numerous critics of the regime have been arrested without the rule of law since 2001 and have been detained in secret locations for years without any contact with the outside world (AA 10.2013a).


AA - Foreign Office (10.2013a): Eritrea - Innenpolitik,, accessed November 18, 2014

USDOS - U.S. Department of State (February 27, 2014): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2013 - Eritrea,, accessed November 18, 2014

Conditions of detention

The conditions of detention amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. A large number of prisoners are locked in shipping containers or housed in underground cells, many of which are located in desert regions, where they are exposed to extreme heat and cold (AI 23.5.2013; cf. HRW 21.1.2014; cf. FH 23.1.2014) . The prisoners are not given adequate food or clean drinking water. Medical care is often inadequate or the prisoners are completely denied. Thousands of prisoners of conscience and other political prisoners remain in appalling conditions. Among them are politicians, journalists and people who practiced their beliefs. This also includes people who evade military service, want to leave the country or move freely around the country without permission. Some prisoners of conscience have been detained without charge for over a decade. Publicly known prisoners are not allowed to receive visits and in most cases their families do not know where they are or their health. The government continues to refuse to confirm or deny reports that a number of prisoners have died in custody (AI 23.5.2013). Medical treatment is often denied to prisoners. The government operates a network of secret detention facilities (FH 23.1.2014).


AI - Amnesty International (May 23, 2013): Amnesty International Report 2013 - On the global situation of human rights - Eritrea,, accessed November 18, 2014

FH - Freedom House (23.1.2014): Freedom in the World 2014 - Eritrea,, accessed on November 18, 2014

HRW - Human Rights Watch (January 21, 2014): World Report 2014 - Eritrea,, accessed on November 19, 2014

death penalty

In Eritrea there are special courts and the death penalty, e.g. for treason or espionage (AA 4.9.2013). There were no reports that the death penalty was used in 2013 (UKFCO 4.2014).


AA - Federal Foreign Office (November 19, 2014): Travel and safety information - Eritrea,, accessed on November 19, 2014

UKFCO - UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (April 10, 2014): Human Rights and Democracy Report 2013 - Section XI: Human Rights in Countries of Concern - Eritrea,, accessed on November 19, 2014

Religious freedom

The non-implemented constitution and other laws guarantee freedom of religion, but this right is only partially implemented by the four officially registered faith groups. These four faith groups are the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Sunni Islam, the Roman Catholic Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church. The government’s overall record on religious freedom in Eritrea is poor. The government continues to detain members of faith groups who are not registered and maintains influence with the four registered groups (USDOS 7/28/2014). Members of banned faiths continue to face arrests, arbitrary detentions and abuse (AI 23.5.2013).


AI - Amnesty International (May 23, 2013): Amnesty International Report 2013 - On the global situation of human rights - Eritrea,, accessed November 19, 2014

USDOS - U.S. Department of State (July 28, 2014): 2013 International Religious Freedom Report - Eritrea,, accessed November 19, 2014

Ethnic minorities

Eritrea is a multi-ethnic state (nine ethnic groups). Nothing is known about ethnic or religious tensions between the individual ethnic groups. It is in line with government policy not to let this arise and to prevent the formation of parties along ethnic and religious lines. This is also expressed in the draft law on political parties of January 2001, which does not allow parties that want to align themselves with ethnic groups. In the course of the armed conflict in 2000, Ethiopians were interned or expelled, partly for reasons of national security and partly as retaliation for the expulsion of Eritreans from Ethiopia. Since the ceasefire came into force, nothing has been known about the forced deportation of Ethiopian nationals. The repatriations of Ethiopian and Eritrean citizens carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been suspended since the end of 2009 because both Ethiopia and Eritrea have refused to cooperate. The Ethiopians living in Eritrea are not actively persecuted, but sometimes face discrimination and difficulties in everyday life (work permits, allocation of subsidized food, short-term arrest during the Eritrean national holiday) (AA 1.7.2013). There are reports of state and social discrimination against ethnic minorities, especially the Kunama, who mainly live in the north-west of the country and are one of the nine ethnic groups in Eritrea (USDOS February 27, 2014; cf. FH January 23, 2014). Residents in rural areas (where ethnic minorities are concentrated) receive fewer public services than those in Asmara (USDOS 02/27/2014).


AA - Federal Foreign Office (July 1, 2013): Ad hoc report on the asylum and deportation-relevant situation in Eritrea

FH - Freedom House (23.1.2014): Freedom in the World 2014 - Eritrea,, accessed on November 18, 2014

USDOS - U.S. Department of State (February 27, 2014): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2013 - Eritrea,, accessed November 18, 2014

Women / children

The law and the unimplemented constitution prohibit discrimination against women and persons with disabilities and discrimination based on race, language and social status, but the government does not enforce these provisions. Rape is a crime and can be punished with up to 10 years in prison. Marital rape is not specifically prohibited. The authorities or families often respond to reports of rape by encouraging the perpetrator to marry the victim. There are frequent reports of rape in military training camps and during interrogation. Violence against women occurs and is particularly widespread in rural areas. Domestic violence is a crime, but domestic violence cases are rarely brought to justice. Women rarely openly discuss domestic violence due to social pressure. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is prohibited by law. According to reliable sources, FGM has been largely eliminated in urban areas through government education campaigns, but FGM continues to be practiced in the majority of the rural population. Infibulation, the most serious form of FGM, is used in the lowlands. The government and other organizations are running educational programs to reduce the practice of FGM. The government and other organizations, including the "NUEW" and the "National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students", continue to support numerous programs to stop FGM (USDOS April 19, 2013, see UKFCO April 10, 2014)

In the predominantly rural population, an understanding of the role of women is dominated by traditional values ​​(raising children, housework and light field work, no sexual self-determination). Many unmarried mothers are affected by social ostracism, often also in their own families, even if the pregnancy can be traced back to sexual violence. This applies to both the Islamic and the Christian sections of the population. During the struggle for independence, men and women fought together against the Ethiopian army (AA 1.7.2013).

There is no information that child soldiers were used during the War of Independence or the 1998-2000 Border War. There are also no concrete indications that children are currently being used as soldiers or drafted into military service. However, paramilitary training begins at the age of 16. There is no evidence of child trafficking. Child prostitution, child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children are prohibited by law. Child labor is prohibited by law. The legal minimum age for taking up employment is 18 years; however, an apprenticeship can begin at the age of 14. It is also forbidden by law to allow children, young people and apprentices to carry out dangerous or unhealthy work; this includes work in the transport industry; Working with hazardous chemicals or on hazardous machinery; Working underground or in the sewer system. The reality is often different: In rural areas, children have to work in the house and in the farm. In Asmara, children appear as street vendors. Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs inspectors to enforce child labor laws; as there are only a few of them, such controls are only carried out irregularly and inadequately (AA 1.7.2013).


AA - Federal Foreign Office (July 1, 2013): Ad hoc report on the asylum and deportation-relevant situation in Eritrea

UKFCO - UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (April 10, 2014): Human Rights and Democracy Report 2013 - Section XI: Human Rights in Countries of Concern - Eritrea,, accessed on November 20, 2014

USDOS - U.S. Department of State (February 27, 2014): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2013 - Eritrea,, accessed November 18, 2014


Homosexual acts are punishable by law. Violations can lead to criminal proceedings, imprisonment or a fine (AA 11/19/2014, see EDA 11/19/2014). There are no laws that prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people. There are no known LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) organizations (USDOS 02/27/2014).


AA - Federal Foreign Office (November 19, 2014): Travel and safety information - Eritrea,, accessed on November 19, 2014

FDFA - Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (November 19, 2014): Travel Advice Eritrea,, accessed September 4, 2013

USDOS - U.S. Department of State (February 27, 2014): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2013 - Eritrea,, accessed November 18, 2014

Freedom of movement

The law and the unenforced constitution provide for freedom of movement, travel abroad, emigration and repatriation; however, the government restricts all of these rights in practice. For example, men under 54 and women under 47 are almost always denied an exit visa. Foreign travel is severely restricted by the government, the requirements for obtaining passports and exit visas are inconsistent and not transparent. Nonetheless, a growing number of people are legally traveling to Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar (USDOS 02/27/2014). There is no region within Eritrea in which one could evade government control (AA 1.7.2013).


AA - Federal Foreign Office (July 1, 2013): Ad hoc report on the asylum and deportation-relevant situation in Eritrea

USDOS - U.S. Department of State (February 27, 2014): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2013 - Eritrea,, accessed November 18, 2014

Basic service / economy

The extensive war economy that has actually existed since the border war with Ethiopia (1998-2000) and the planned economic policy have caused serious damage to the Eritrean economy. With a gross domestic product of 550 US dollars per capita (IMF 2012 estimate), Eritrea is one of the poorest countries in the world. It ranks 181st out of 187 countries in the UNDP's 2013 Human Development Index. A considerable part of the population has been under arms for many years or remains in national service after military service, so that these people are only available to a limited extent for productive work. Around 80 percent of the population are mainly employed in small farms. The yields fluctuate due to the climate. Even in its prime, Eritrea was unable to produce more than 60 percent of the food it needs to feed its population. Large parts of the Eritrean population are at least partially dependent on transfers from foreign citizens for their daily survival (AA 10.2013b). The humanitarian situation in the country was reportedly grave and the economy remained stagnant. Mining performed well as the significant gold, potash and copper deposits attracted foreign governments and private companies. This interest persisted despite the risk of complicity in human rights violations through the use of forced labor in the mines (AI 23.5.2013). The supply situation is still poor. Large parts of the population suffer from undernourishment or malnutrition (pregnant women, nursing mothers, children). Food prices, especially staple foods, have risen massively since 2008. The government is working to ensure food supplies through rationing. The supply situation has deteriorated in the face of rising global staple food prices and the failure of Libyan and Sudanese oil supplies. International organizations like FAO do not have access to rural areas because they do not receive travel permits. Exact information about the food supply of the population is therefore not available, but there are indications of food shortages. Equally problematic is the obstacle to the access of independent humanitarian aid and aid organizations by the Eritrean government. Precise numbers of those affected and nutritional indicators can therefore only be guessed at (AA 1.7.2013).


AA - Federal Foreign Office (July 1, 2013): Ad hoc report on the asylum and deportation-relevant situation in Eritrea

AA - Federal Foreign Office (10.2013b): Afghanistan, economic and environmental policy,, accessed November 20, 2014

AI - Amnesty International (May 23, 2013): Amnesty International Report 2013 - On the global situation of human rights - Eritrea,, accessed November 20, 2014

Medical supplies

Due to the hygienic conditions and the inadequate supply of medication as well as the lack of appropriate specialist staff, the situation in the hospitals does not correspond to the European standard (BMEIA November 19, 2014). Basic medical care is not always guaranteed. The care in the cities, especially in Asmara, is better than in the country and in the state institutions to a large extent free of charge. However, medication and food are to be procured and paid for by the patients or their families; however, they are often unable to do so. Due to a lack of foreign currency reserves, the availability of drugs is also very limited (AA 1.7.2013). Medical care is minimal even in the capital Asmara. Only in the Orota Referral Hospital there are 9 intensive care beds, in the Halibet Hospital there is a small burn unit. All private medical activity is forbidden, there are no more than 40 specialists in the whole country. Medicines are only available in a very limited selection (AA 11/19/2014).


AA - Federal Foreign Office (November 19, 2014): Travel and safety information - Eritrea,, accessed on November 19, 2014

AA - Federal Foreign Office (July 1, 2013): Ad hoc report on the asylum and deportation-relevant situation in Eritrea

BMEIA - Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (November 19, 2014): Travel advice - Eritrea,, accessed November 19. 2014

Treatment upon return

National service conscripts who leave Eritrea illegally and return at a later point in time will most likely sooner or later be recognized by the authorities as having withdrawn from national service. Eritreans of compulsory age may be required to provide documents on their service as well as domestic travel permits. According to a conversation partner whom Landinfo met in Asmara in 2011, the absence of such documents usually leads to transfer to a prison or a police station for further clarification (Landinfo July 28, 2011). Attempts to cross the border into Ethiopia continue to fire at the fugitives. People caught fleeing to Sudan were arbitrarily detained and severely beaten. Family members of those who have fled have to pay fines or are imprisoned. For asylum seekers from Eritrea who are deported to their home country, there is an acute risk of arbitrary detention and torture (AI 23.5.2013; cf. FH 23.1.2014). In general, citizens have the right to return. However, citizens living abroad must show that they have paid the 2 percent tax on income earned abroad in order to be able to use some government services, such as passport renewals. If a person has violated the law abroad, has contracted a serious contagious disease, or has been denied political asylum by another government, the application for an entry visa will be examined more closely (USDOS 02/27/2014).

There are currently very few deportations of Eritreans from the EU - Great Britain, France and Italy have stopped repatriations for several years. The US continues to deport convicted criminals to Eritrea. Between 2008 and 2011, 13 asylum seekers from Germany voluntarily returned to Eritrea. According to the little information about the fate of deported asylum seekers, they must expect to be detained by the Eritrean security authorities for an indefinite period and without due process if they have committed a criminal offense according to Eritrean regulations (in particular because of illegal departure, desertion or because they have evaded national military service and compulsory service). On the other hand, the mere submission of an asylum application does not trigger persecution measures if the applicants travel voluntarily to visit Eritrea. Overall, the attitude of the Eritrean government towards refugees seems to be ambivalent: On the one hand, it tries to prevent with draconian measures (alleged order to shoot when attempting to escape, unknown penalties after failed attempts to escape, punishment of close relatives in the event of a successful escape, refusal of passports and exit permits), that Eritreans evade national service. On the other hand, the government seems to be using the exodus, insofar as it cannot be prevented despite the drastic countermeasures, to get rid of potential opponents of the regime, to alleviate the prevailing unemployment in the country and to raise foreign exchange income by levying a 2% so-called construction tax on Eritreans living abroad achieve. As a rule, Eritrean refugees can easily get Eritrean passports abroad if they so wish. To the extent that - regardless of whether or not an asylum application has been made or an opposition organization has been working abroad - a returnees can be accused of (mere) illegal departure, evasion of national service or even desertion, it must be assumed that those affected are themselves responsible for these crimes when returning to Eritrea. The punishment can range from mere instruction to imprisonment (AA 1.7.2013).


AA - Federal Foreign Office (July 1, 2013): Ad hoc report on the asylum and deportation-relevant situation in Eritrea

AI - Amnesty International (May 23, 2013): Amnesty International Report 2013 - On the global situation of human rights - Eritrea,, accessed November 20, 2014

FH - Freedom House (23.1.2014): Freedom in the World 2014 - Eritrea,, accessed on November 18, 2014

Landinfo (July 28, 2011): Temanotat Eritrea: Nasjonaltjeneste,, accessed November 18, 2014

USDOS - U.S. Department of State (February 27, 2014): Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2013 - Eritrea,, accessed November 20, 2014

1.2.2. Situation of the Pentecostal Church in Eritrea

The Pentecostal movement emerged at the beginning of the 20th century and is considered part of the wider evangelical movement. It's a complex movement. Conversion and rebirth are important elements of faith. In addition to the fundamental teachings of redemption and the expectation of the imminent return of Christ, Pentecostal Christianity places the work of the Holy Spirit at the center of piety.

(Swiss Refugee Aid, Eritrea: Evangelical and Pentecostal Churches, February 9, 2011; available at;

Accessed on February 10, 2015).

Since 2002, only the Islamic community (Sunnis), the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Evangelical Church (Mekane Ye-sus Church) have been legal in Eritrea. All other religious communities and churches such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Adventists, Pentecostal and Evangelical churches, but also charismatically influenced reform movements within the legal churches, the Baha'i and fundamentalist and moderate Islamic reform movements are subject to an absolute prohibition of activity. The private practice of the faith is also persecuted (Swiss Refugee Aid, Eritrea: Evangelical and Pentecostal Churches, 02/09/2011).

In addition to the four officially recognized religions, the other major religious groups are the Pentecostal Churches, Evangelicals, and Jehovah's Witnesses. These were tolerated until 2002, when they were ordered by decree that their organizations had to submit applications for registration with detailed information about their responsible persons. They were warned that failure to comply would result in their activities being deemed illegal. Not one of them has received government approval so far. Few local authorities allow unregistered groups to practice their religion in private homes. Members of Pentecostal churches, evangelical groups, and Jehovah's Witnesses are arrested for performing their unauthorized religious activity, detained without trial, ill-treated and tortured.

The government continues to persecute, arrest and detain many Pentecostal and evangelicals without a formal charge or on charges of being a threat to national security. You are being held without trial or legal assistance. Her family members are not allowed to visit her. The believers in these communities are constantly monitored and spied on, arrested either in groups at prayer meetings in private homes, or individually. Some were discovered and arrested during their military service. According to NGOs, Christian interest groups and official US sources, there are currently an estimated 3,000 prisoners of religious conscience in Eritrea, the majority of whom are evangelical Christians and members of the Pentecostal movements. According to the Eritrea's Evangelical Alliance, 1,200 Christians are currently in custody in Eritrea.

(Church in Need, Religious Freedom Worldwide, Report 2014, available at;

Accessed on February 10, 2015).

Members of the unrecognized religious groups have experienced human rights violations such as torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and restrictions on freedom of movement. A follower of an illicit denomination likely has a well-founded fear of persecution in Eritrea. (UK Home Office, Country Information and Guidance, Eritrea: Religious Groups, October 20, 2014, available at;

Accessed on 02/10/2015)

As part of the government's campaign against the illegal religious groups, followers of these groups are arrested en masse. Security forces storm private meetings, weddings or prayer groups and take members into custody for an indefinite period of time. Detainees are not given trial or access to a lawyer or their families. Some are released after a few days, while others are detained for long periods of time. There are also reliable reports from 2009 that prisoners were tortured and that security forces forced them to renounce their belief by force. People died in the prisons because they refused to do so. There are drastic crackdowns on religious groups and religious activities within the military. Religious meetings are prohibited and possession of religious literature, including the Bible, is punishable. Human rights organizations estimate that between 2,000 and 3,000 people are detained because of their religious affiliation.9 Other organizations estimate that over 3,000 people are detained because of their religious affiliation. These include 40 church leaders and pastors from the Pentecostal churches, some of whom have been detained without trial for several years.10 The US Department of State refers to a report by an NGO that in 2008 3,225 Christians of unregistered religions were imprisoned were. Since 2004, the United States Commission on International Religious Free-dom has designated Eritrea as a "Country of Particular Concern (CPC)" with regard to religious freedom. In 2010, too, the commission stuck to this classification. (Swiss Refugee Aid, Eritrea: Evangelical and Pentecostal Churches, 09.02.2011).

Followers of the unregistered religious groups are arrested again and again, many also because of their refusal to do military service (United States Department, International Religious Freedom Report 2013 of July 28, 2014).

2. Evidence assessment:

The discriminating single judge of the Federal Administrative Court made the following considerations in accordance with the principle of free assessment of evidence about the complaint:

2.1. Regarding the course of the procedure:

The course of the procedure mentioned under point I. results from the undoubted and undisputed file content of the submitted administrative files of the Federal Asylum Office (now: Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum - BFA) and the present court file of the Federal Administrative Court. In addition, excerpts from the criminal record, the basic service and the central register of residents were obtained.

2.2. Regarding the origin of the complainant:

One of the central questions in the present proceedings was that of the applicant's citizenship, who had always declared that she came from Eritrea. However, the Federal Asylum Office had regarded Ethiopia as the country of origin and justified this in the contested decision as follows:

"The result of the analysis shows that you speak Amharic at the level of your mother tongue. You speak a variant of Amharic that obviously cannot be assigned to Eritrea. You speak a variant of Amharic that is obviously assigned to Ethiopia. There are also a few words in Tigrinya Said, however, you have not mastered the language very well. According to the language analysis, you speak Amharic with a pronunciation and intonation that is typical of the variant of Amharic spoken in Ethiopia, for example in the central parts of the country and in the capital Addis Ababa They speak grammatically correct Amharic. The word and sentence constructions used are typical of the Amharic spoken in Ethiopia. You have a good vocabulary in Amharic. You use words and expressions that are typical of the variant of Amharic spoken in Ethiopia. In summary, the result of the Sprac results Analysis that you speak Amharic on a native level. You speak a variant of Amharic, which obviously belongs to Ethiopia. You also said some words in Tigrinya, but you are not proficient in the language.