US Commission Targets President Isayas and Yoftahe for Sanctions Print
Thursday, 13 October 2011 20:10

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has just issued its latest report on Eritrea. ICFC is pleased that the Commission''s latest recommendations to the US State Department, the President and Congress is much more robust than it has ever been. In addition to economic sanctions against the Eritrean government, it specifically targets the President, Yoftahe Dimetros and others who are responsible for religious persecution in Eritrea. This is what the report says:


"...impose targeted sanctions, such as asset freezes and travel bans, against individuals and institutions identified as responsible for, or complicit in, serious human rights abuses, including, as appropriate, the President, the government-appointed administrator of the Orthodox Church of Eritrea, the security forces and their officers, and the ruling party and ruling party officials;

"...prohibit any foreign company’s raising capital or listing its securities in U.S. markets if it is engaged in the development of Eritrea’s mineral resources or involved with ventures with the government or government-controlled entities.

This is a breakthrough on many levels. This recommendation goes much farther than the recent UN sanctions against Eritrea in that the basis for the recommendations are not the regime''s policies vis-a-vis its neighbors, but the gross human rights violations within Eritrea. For this reason, this development is a major breakthrough.


ICFC is pleased that the USCIRF has taken such a bold stance in targeting individuals such as Yoftahe Dimetros, the notorious "government-appointed administrator of the Orthodox Church of Eritrea" as well as "the security forces and their officers, and the ruling party officials".


ICFC is working on compiling a dossier on the crimes of Yoftahe Dimetros as well as all past and present members of the Religious Affairs Department of the ruling regime who have had direct involvement in religious persecution in Eritrea. This dossier will be made available to the Commission, the State Department, and Congress.


The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and the Congress.


For the Commission''s full report on Eritrea read: