Interim Report of the UN ‘Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea’: A Report with Malicious Intent

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BIASED. Random sampling Vs. Convenience Selection. All to fit in to the intended generalization that Eritrea is a country with no ‘Rule of Law’

By Amdetsion Kidane,

THE preliminary report of the UN “Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea” alleges that there is no “rule of law” in Eritrea.

To begin with, the way the inquiry is conducted is laughable or amusing to any person or persons of conscience. Let me at this juncture quote the renowned Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1868, and 1874-1880), Benjamin Disraeli, who is quoted as saying “there are three types of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” 

Well, there is no more fitting contemporary scenario that the type of lies that Disraeli identifies apply to than the recent report of the Commission of Inquiry of the UN on Human Rights in Eritrea.

In listing the types of lies as he did, Disraeli suggests the degree of damage that the type of lies, especially – damned lie and statistics can inflict on the intended target. The sole purpose of “damned lie” is to portray in any imaginable way the intended target, in this case Eritrea, as nothing else but an evil nation that lacks even an iota of care and human right consideration to its people.

Contrary to the conclusion of the preliminary report, UN-affiliated organization operating in Eritrea are astonished with the success stories that Eritrea is registering with the limited resources that it has in the areas of social and economic programs.

In identifying statistics as a type of lie, I believe that Disraeli would lament as I am lamenting or many people of conscience are for stripping statistics off the two qualities that make it the noble and scientific field that it is – randomness of samples and ethical consideration in administering it.

Conclusion arrived at regarding an assumption or hypothesis would not be valid unless the sample is good representative of the population of cases to which the sample result would be inferred.

Going to Djibouti and interviewing “500 refugees” does not make the method of sampling random but a method of “convenience selection”. As a result, it renders the conclusion arrived at as “biased” fulfilling the intended purpose of labeling Eritrea as a country lacking “rule of law”.

In my opinion, the report deserves nothing else but an “F” as it violates the fundamental principle of selecting samples and ethical standard of administering it to arrive at valid conclusion.