Tigrai Online, August 14, 2012
The Eritrean Consulate in The Hague has been extorting money from Eritreans in the Netherlands for almost twenty years. A report in Dutch daily De Volkskant claims people are being forced to hand over two percent of their monthly income to support the regime of President Issayas Afewerki.
According to the Dutch newspaper, those who refuse to pay are subject to threats and intimidation and are denied consular services. An Eritrean entrepreneur told the paper that he was only given permission to visit his mother in Eritrea when he agreed to pay “tax arrears” amounting to more than 600 euros.
The man then made monthly payments, but when he wanted to travel to Eritrea a second time to visit a seriously ill brother he was again confronted with a demand for “arrears” of almost 800 euros.
A report earlier this year from the United Nations suggested that the Eritrean regime was systematically extorting money from the global diaspora. President Afewerki’s regime insists this ‘tax’ is needed to wage jihad or ‘holy war’ in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea funds and arms the radical Islamic terrorist network al-Shabaab which is active in the region.
There are an estimated 14,000 Eritreans in the Netherlands. The Eritrean Consulate has not yet responded to the Dutch newspaper's report.
Source: De Volkskrant