Report on the Deportation of Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin from Ethiopia, June – August, 1998 By Natalie S. Klein NOTE:
This report is being reproduced, with the author's permission, by the Embassy of Eritrea, Washington DC, USA. The text is identical to the original. It has been reformatted and therefore pagination is not the same. During June, July, and August of 1998 more than twenty thousand individuals of Eritrean national origin have been deported from Ethiopia by that country's government in a deliberate program of mass expulsion. Most of these individuals are Ethiopian citizens and the remainder are Eritrean citizens temporarily but legally present in Ethiopia. Those expelled were never charged with any crime. They were held for up to three months in prison, then put on buses, driven to the border, and told to walk across. Farmers in northern Ethiopia have been forced from their traditional lands on a few hours notice and ordered to leave for Eritrea on foot. Unknown numbers remain in Ethiopian detention camps, and those who still temporarily retain their freedom in Ethiopia have been required to register as "Eritrean " with the Ethiopian government. Massive violations of human rights have taken place in the course of this program of mass deportation. In addition to the fact that the deportees were never afforded due process before their expulsion, all of their property has been effectively confiscated. While in prison, they have had to provide their own food and water, and some have been held, manacled, in solitary confinement or in overheated shipping containers. Families have been torn apart, with those children who accompany parents into exile suffering the same conditions of confinement and with those remaining behind left to fend for themselves. This report details sixty five personal interviews and a variety of background materials collected during a two week visit to Eritrea in August of 1998. Read more