Norway: How the Eritrean government extracts funds and intimidates the Eritrean diaspora

2023-05-13 10:02:28 Written by  Martin Plaut Published in English Articles Read 428 times


Martin Plaut

May 10

Here are two reports which provide chapter and verse about how the Eritrean government puts pressure on Eritreans in the diaspora to extract funds from them, and attempts to intimidate the Eritrean community. They were prepared for the Norwegian government's Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion.

These are some extracts:

·        "A minority organisation which appears to be characterised by conflict, rivalry and factionalism, or which is funded by forces in the country of origin, may in fact be infiltrated or may have originally been established by a foreign power. Eritrean diaspora organisations in particular are subject to this problem."

·        "3.1.2 Among other things, we describe how the Eritrean authorities threaten families with sanctions if persons... engage in opposition activity or do not pay the so-called two per cent tax."

·        "3.2 ...among other things, from Norwegian-Eritrean informations who told of death threats, often made face-to face in various contexts. Several of these cases have been reported to the police, and several victims have been assigned a violence alarm....we also reports more indirect threats, by being told that 'we know where you are and where you live.' Both Ethiopians and Eritreans have reported such threats."

·        "3.3.2...describes acts where discrediting content is spread in social media, through derogatory comments, including toward the Eritrean diaspora."

·        3.4.1...reported from Eritrean informants that pro-regime circles and individuals engage in power struggles in Eritrean diaspora organisations, and can also 'coup' governing bodies."

·        3.4.1 We were further told that to the extent that organised communities survive, it is reportedly because pro-regime individuals have taken control, and excluded Eritreans who do not support the regime. It is also reportedly common to exclude, ostracise or ban Norwegian-Eritreans who are not pro-regime or fail to pay the two per cent tax for meetings, church services or cultural events."

·        3.5 "For Eritreans, the embassy requires the payment of the Eritrean two per cent tax in order to receive a passport, but also public documents, such as diplomas, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc."

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Last modified on Saturday, 13 May 2023 12:08