Enforced Disappearance Legal Database

Liesbeth Zegveld & Mussie Ephrem v. Eritrea

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Refusal to Disclose Fate | Right to Know the Truth | Effective Remedy | Admissibility | Interim/Urgent Measures | Deprivation of Liberty | Judicial Protection

The Commission applied the principle that prolonged incommunicado detention and/or solitary confinement could in itself be held to be a form of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment in the context of a case where the state recognised the detention of the disappeared victims and noted that they were being held in appropriate detention facilities and would be brought before an appropriate court.

Judgment Date

November 20, 2003

Country

Eritrea

Judicial Body

African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Articles violated

Article 2 [ACHPR], Article 6 [ACHPR], Article 7(1) [ACHPR], Article 9(2) [ACHPR]

Facts of the Case

The complainants alleged that 11 former Eritrean government officials, part of a group of 15 senior officials of the ruling Peoples’ Front for Democracy and Justice party, who had been openly critical of the Eritrean government policies, were illegally arrested in Asmara, Eritrea, on 18 and 19 September 2001. The government subsequently announced that the former officials concerned had been detained “because of crimes against the nation’s security and sovereignty”. However, as of the date of the submission, they had not been brought before any court of law, and their whereabouts were unknown.

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