"The Danish report seems more like a political effort to stem migration than an honest assessment of Eritrea's human rights situation," Leslie Lefkow, deputy director of the HRW's Africa Division was quoted as saying.
The report, issued by Danish authorities in November, stressed that Eritrean asylum seekers could safely return home, if the country implemented a comprehensive set of reforms. Denmark's immigration departments are instructed to grant asylum solely to those Eritrean refugees who can prove that their return would be dangerous.
In June, the UN Human Rights Council issued a resolution on the establishment of a commission to investigate human rights abuses in Eritrea.
Military conscription in Eritrea is one of the key reasons Eritreans leave their country. According to Eritrean law, citizens are to serve 18 months once they turn 18. However, the service often lasts for an indefinite period of time, according to rights groups. Also, there are reported cases of forced labor, arrests, detentions, torture, and other illegal treatment during army service.
The number of Eritrean refugees fleeing to the European Union has increased threefold in 2014. About 37,000 Eritreans applied for asylum in the first 10 months. From 80 to 90 percent of the applications were given a positive decision, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)'s statistics shows.