Belgian media showed images of Sudanese refugees held captive and tortured in Libya, showing the reality of torture for ransom in the country. These articles explain how migrants and refugees in North Africa are promised safe passage to Europe by smugglers, but often their journey ends in the hands of human traffickers in Libya. Here they are imprisoned and tortured while their families back home receive the images, together with ransom demands. Research has indicated the involvement of the Eritrean and Sudanese regime in human trafficking.
In this week’s news highlights: Horn of Africa tension update; Sudanese officials have deep-rooted collusion with human traffickers, says Sudanese media organisation; Protests in Sudan met with police violence; Ethiopian opposition leader freed after one year; African high level panel focuses on migration; Dutch government declares head of Eritrean embassy office ‘persona non grata’; ECHR accepts appeals from Sudanese people against Italian police for possibily illegal returns; Hungary proposes taxes over NGOs dealing with migration; 1400 people saved in Mediterranean Sea by Italian coast guard, at least 2 die.
17 January 2018 – The Dutch Government has declared the head of the Eritrean embassy office in The Hague ‘persona non grata’ and has demanded his immediate departure. The decision followed a motion issued by the Dutch parliament to close the Eritrean embassy. The decision for dismissal was made after reports of the intimidation and coercion, especially connected to the collection of the 2% Eritrean diaspora tax, stirred political and societal unrest in the Netherlands. In addition, the Dutch government was shocked by evidence of coercion to pay the tax and to sign a ‘regret form’ recorded by Dutch radio programme Argos.