Norway prepares to prevent “Transnational Repression” by foreign powers against diaspora communities

2023-10-24 18:27:49 Written by  Martin Plaut Published in English Articles Read 681 times

 

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Martin Plaut posted: " The Eritrean diaspora is mobilising to get the Norwegian government to act on an official report calling for protection of refugee communities. Protests were held on Friday in Oslo ahead of key discussions in the Norwegian Parliament next week. " Martin Plaut

 

Martin Plaut

Oct 22

The Eritrean diaspora is mobilising to get the Norwegian government to act on an official report calling for protection of refugee communities.

Protests were held on Friday in Oslo ahead of key discussions in the Norwegian Parliament next week.

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A report commissioned for the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion laid out in detail the attacks on many expatriate communities, including the Eritreans.

The report, user_email=This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Transnational repression conceptual clarification and sectoral responsibilities, provides detailed evidence of the measures that repressive foreign governments use against diasporic communities living in Norway.

As the report states:

The purpose has been to strengthen the conceptual understanding of what has been referred to as economic, ideological or religious "pressure and control" against diaspora groups by the authorities of the country of origin or persons who can act on their behalf. In this report, we propose the term transnational repression and a new definition.

The report explains that:

Acts covered by the concept of transnational repression can be grouped into the following main categories:
1) Violence and other attacks against the physical safety of persons
2) Threats
3) Harassment and discrediting
4) Infiltration
5) Restriction or conditional consular services
6) Monitoring
7) Weakening and abuse of international frameworks
Transnational oppression can thus be expressed in many different ways and in different arenas of society. A wide range of different acts and means are used, and these can be subject to a number of different criminal offences.

The report gives details of all of these forms of violence and intimidation before stating that:

It seems that the Norwegian authorities' reaction and response to transnational oppression is currently somewhat characterised by a failure to interpret or frame the problem in a way that adequately reflects the seriousness of the problem.

Time for action

A user_email=This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">similar report was produced by the government of the Netherlands in 2016, and led to official attempts to halt the harassment of Eritrean refugee community.

The Norwegian report has been with the Norwegian government since the end of 2022, but little, if any action appears to have been taken to act on its recommendations.

In May a Member of Parliament, user_email=This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Ola Elvestuen, asked what the government was going to do to give force to the report's recommendations. He received no satisfactory answer.

Mr Elvestuen is a long-time supporter of Eritrean freedom, who met 300 young Eritrean protesters in September 2022.

In a passionate speech to the Eritreans he explained that he had sent written questions to Minister of Justice. Emilie Enger Mehl.

The answer he received was that the Minister of Justice could do no more than ask Eritreans who had problems to request the police for help.  Mr Elvestuen described this as "weak" and he promised to follow up the matter in the Storting (Parliament).

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It was to get the Norwegian authorities to take action on the recommendations that Eritreans of the "Blue Revolution" gathered outside Parliament this Saturday.

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Next week a proposed 'plan of action' will be put before the Parliament's Justice Committee.

With sufficient backing, their recommendations can be brought to the wider Parliament so that the report can be given teeth, and action taken to halt "transnational repression" against members of many diasporic groups who have made Norway their homes.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 October 2023 20:30