An employee of the embassy of Eritrea has to stop his work from Minister Blok of Foreign Affairs. The man, posing as consul, put Eritreans in the Netherlands under pressure to give money.
Radio program Argos reported on Saturday that the Eritrean representation raised money from fellow countrymen to help the East African country through the corona crisis. People stated that they were being intimidated, including with the threat that family in Eritrea would not receive food coupons if they did not pay.
The ambassador of Eritrea has been summoned to the Foreign Office today to provide clarification. There he was informed that the local employee has been declared “unacceptable”, which means that he is no longer allowed to work for the embassy. According to the ministry, the employee was more often involved in forcibly raising money.
From a list that Argos it appears that this time at least 155,000 euros has been raised. Some come from supporters of the military regime or organizations associated with the regime. But the list also includes people who have fled that regime.
Two years ago, the highest Eritrean diplomat, the Netherlands, was expelled because the regime forced Eritreans in the Netherlands to hand over taxes to Eritrea. Intimidation was not shunned, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Zijlstra wrote to the Lower House.
Eritrea is asking for money from fellow countrymen all over the world. This diaspora tax is not prohibited, provided it is collected without coercion.
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