A new report, commissioned by the Dutch government, has been published on the 2% tax that is paid by Eritreans in the diaspora. The study covered seven European countries, researching the legality, modalities and perception of the diaspora tax, as well as the role of the Eritrean government in its collection. The report shows that the legal basis for the diaspora tax, as well as the goals and the collection process, are unclear and inconsistent. In addition, the tax collection is perceived as mandatory by many Eritreans, and non-compliance with payments can lead to consequences such as denial of consular services, punishment of family members in Eritrea. The reported use of coercion and intimidation make the collection of the diaspora tax potentially illegal in its application. The Dutch government deems the ways in which the tax are collected ‘unacceptable’ and lists a range of steps it will take to challenge it.
In this week’s news highlights: Italian interior minister Marco Minniti defends his strategy of making deals in Libya to stop migration; the European Court of Justice throws out complaints of Hungary and Slovakia against mandatory relocation of refugees; Eritrean rebels fear the support of Gulf states to Afewerki’s regime; Ethiopia’s drought situation declared major issue by UN; warnings about Cholera in Sudan; Libya’s fragmentation and deals with EU member states are analysed; and Human Rights Watch report states United Nation should start an investigation on torture as possible Crime Against Humanity in Egypt.
In this week’s news highlights, the policy direction of the European Union becomes increasingly clear as several EU countries promise to held Chad, Niger and Libya increase their border protection; processes to return asylum seekers to Greece have started despite doubts over conditions of reception; the International Organization on Migration and Reporters Without Borders remind us of the damage of disappearances; and a prominent human rights activist is pardoned and freed in Sudan, but others are still being held.