Blok takes steps against Eritrean embassy after forced fundraising | ...

Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs is taking steps against the diplomatic representation of Eritrea because it continues to collect money from fellow countrymen forcibly. An employee must stop working for the embassy office in The Hague.

The radio program Argos reported Saturday that the embassy office has collected money from fellow countrymen to help the East African country through the corona crisis. Coercion would have been used in the collection. Eritreans living here were asked to donate at least 100 euros.

The ambassador of Eritrea was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday to clarify the matter. There, the envoy has been informed that the local employee has been declared “unacceptable”, according to a spokesman for the ministry.

It means that the man has to stop working for Eritrea’s diplomatic representation. The man sometimes pretends to be a consul of Eritrea, but he is not a diplomat. According to the ministry, he has often been involved in forcibly raising money.

Eritrea is asking for money from fellow countrymen all over the world. This so-called diaspora tax is not prohibited, provided it is done without coercion. The cabinet would like to get rid of this diaspora tax, but sees no possibilities to do so. Two years ago a diplomat from Eritrea had to leave the Netherlands because the embassy office continued to collect money under duress.

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