A series of demonstrations are taking place over the past two weeks, organised by Eritrean diaspora grassroots movements throughout the world. The demonstrations aimed at expressing solidarity with the unprecedented civilian protest of 31 October 2017 that took place in the heart of Asmara, on which ELS has already issued a statement on the 2nd of November 2017. As part of this on-going action, Eritrean pro-democracy activists in Switzerland also staged a well-attended demonstration on 10 November 2017. The demonstration was staged at the Broken Chair monumental sculpture, in front of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).
In all of these demonstrations, Eritreans of all walks of life and their supporters were seen marching in unison, with the aim of raising the alarms in relation to the worsening situation of the human rights crisis in Eritrea. With regard to the civilian protest of 31 October, the demonstrations also aimed at calling on the international community to do proper investigation about the events that have led to the said civilian protest and the violent suppression that followed it, including continued instances of persecution.
The demonstration in Geneva was organised by a coordinating committee that was established by a Swiss-wide umbrella initiative of Eritrean diaspora grassroots movements. ELS collaborated with the coordinating committee, among other things, by drafting a letter that was submitted to the Office of the President of the UN Human Rights Council, Ambassador Joaquín Alexander MAZA MARTELLI (Permanent Representative of El Salvador to UNOG). The letter made a call on the international community and the relevant UN organs to exert adequate pressure on the Eritrean government to: ensure the release of all political prisoners in Eritrea, including those who were detained in connection with the protest of 31 October, and facilitate a full return to a system of governance based on constitutional democratic order.