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Human rights in Eritrea are viewed as poor.[1] Eritrea is a one-party state in which national legislative elections have been repeatedly postponed,[2] the judiciary is weak, and constitutional provisions protecting individual freedom have yet to be fully implemented. Security forces are responsible for unlawful killings. Observers in the West accuse the Government of Eritrea of arbitrary arrest and detentions and of detaining an unknown number of people without charge for their political activism. Freedom of speech and the press are severely constrained while freedom of assembly, association, movement, and religion also are restricted.

Eritrean government officials and NGO representatives have participated in numerous public meetings and dialogues. In these sessions they have answered questions as fundamental as, "What are human rights?", "Who determines what are human rights?", and "What should take precedence, human or communal rights?"[3]

In Regional Assemblies and religious circles, Eritreans themselves speak out continuously against the use of female circumcision. They cite health concerns and individual freedom as being of primary concern when they say this. Furthermore they implore rural peoples to cast away this ancient cultural practice.[4][5]

A new movement called Citizens for Democratic Rights in Eritrea aimed at bringing about dialogue between the government and opposition was formed in early 2009. The group consists of ordinary citizens and some people close to the government. The movement was launched at a two day conference in London, after previous attempts at dialogue failed.[6]

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