Eritrea football
Ten members of the Eritrea football team asked for asylum in Botswana after refusing to board a plane back to their countrygetty images

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) has accused the Eritrean government of carrying out widespread and gross violations of human rights that may amount to crimes against humanity. The commission also claimed Eritrea was not in a position to provide accountability for such crimes which should then be investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"The commission has reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity, namely, enslavement, imprisonment, enforced disappearance, torture, other inhumane acts, persecution, rape and murder, have been committed in Eritrea since 1991," said the report.

The commission added it had not found any improvement since June 2015, when the UN released a report following a 12-month investigation accusing the government of the east African country of committing crimes against humanity. Among other things, investigators warned there was widespread torture, including electric shocks, near drowning, sexual abuse and forcing victims to stare at the burning sun for long periods.

Eritrea has one of the poorest human rights records and the country has been criticised by NGOs and the UN for alleged human rights abuses with many Eritreans attempting to flee the country every month. The UN also warned that the government deems people who try to leave as traitors, adopting a shoot-to-kill policy to stop them.

Eritrea has denied the allegations contained in the latest UN's report. The country's minister of information, Yemane G. Meskel, in a Twitter post accused the UN commission of inquiry of being biased.