A colony for 50 years, federated , Unified to Ethiopia , in 1991's seceded after three decades of rebellion. Since 1998 Eritrea is at War, harboring proxy warriors especially the notorious Al- Shabab. Torture ,imprisonment , thousands fleeing, no religious freedom , the only university is closed, everybody is in the army, No Parliament, No election, No functioning institution, No free press & all living journalists are in prison. Eritrea is called the North Korea of Africa.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Norway minister threatens to deport Eritrean migrants - World News Report
Deputy justice minister in Eritrea for talks over repatriation of 500 migrants amid fears Norway is a soft touch for asylum seekers
Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers in Tel Aviv protest against Israel's recent crackdown on immigration. The country's policy overhaul has driven increasing numbers of Eritreans to seek asylum in Europe. Photograph: AFP/Getty
A Norwegian politician has travelled to Eritrea for talks with the government about the planned repatriation of about 500 "exit mandatory" migrants.
In a move that could discourage refugees from choosing Norway as a final asylum destination, the country's deputy justice minister, Himanshu Gulati, spent two days in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, last week.
"We met with officials from various ministries to discuss sending some Eritreans home," he said. "These individuals are vetted by the immigration department and have been found not to have a need for asylum."
Eritreans comprised 27% of Norway's asylum applicants last year. The overall number from the country applying for asylum in the EU soared by 148% in 2013, according to the statistics watchdog Eurostat.
Daniel Mekonnen, an Eritrean doctor who lives in Oslo, Norway, says refugees are attracted to the country because of the speed at which it approves a high volume of asylum applications. Norway may now be trying to counter that reputation by initiating deportation talks with Eritrea.
"News like this spreads like fire through Eritrean communities," Mekonnen said, noting that migrants are in constant contact with refugee communities across Europe, who inform them of changes in legislation and social attitudes in host countries.
Eritrea continues to come under fire for its poor human rights record and its national service programme, which forces over-18s to spend most of their lives in military service or working for the government.
On Friday the UN Human Rights Council announced a one yearcommission of inquiry on Eritrea, citing "widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms" including torture. Eritrea rejected the resolution.
Amnesty International said: "Thousands of people are currently held incommunicado in arbitrary detention for questioning government policies, for their work as journalists, for practising a religion not recognised by the state, or for evading national service conscription."
Rights groups say because many Eritreans leave the country illegally, or without government consent, they can face imprisonment and harassment upon their return.
"Anyone of draft age leaving the country without permission is branded a deserter, risking five years in prison – often in inhumane conditions,"according to Human Rights Watch. "In 2012, 90% of all Eritreans claiming protection in other countries were recognised as refugees or given other forms of protection."
Felix Horne, Human Rights Watch's Eritrea researcher, said: "Torture is widespread in Eritrea and any dissenters are dealt with in the harshest of manners. Eritrea does not grant access to embassies or human rights organisations to the various prisons and detention facilities located throughout the country to monitor conditions. Given these concerns it is unlikely that Norway will be able to adequately monitor the conditions of returnees to ensure that they are not being mistreated by a government more intent on silencing dissenters than living up to its international obligations."
"The government of Eritrea looks unfavourably on those that flee the country, and family members of those that leave are often targeted. It is difficult to ascertain what fate awaits those who return, but given the extent of abuses against those are perceived to be against the regime there would be concern about how they would be treated upon their return," he said.
Meron Estefanos, an Eritrean activist based in Sweden, dismissed Gulati's trip to Africa as a scare tactic. "I don't think Norway will deport Eritreans who don't want to leave," she said. "These rumours scare refugees away from the country."
Norway receives about 12,000 applications for asylum every year. Of these, an estimated 65% are successful, Gulati says. Eritreans submitted 14,665 asylum applications to EU countries last year, Eurostat data shows.