Eritrean regime has organised a series of ‘festivals’ and ‘seminars’ promoted as cultural events. On the basis of previous events that have been organised many perceive that the events promote hate speech and incite violence. They have fuelled pushback in the form of protests, legal action and letters from Eritreans in the diaspora and allies opposing the violent message of the Eritrean regime. A new festival was organised in secrecy in Switzerland last weekend, 27 August 2022, and another event was announced in Germany on 3 September – of which the cancellation was announced yesterday, 31 August.
In 2015, Dutch Professor Mirjam van Reisen (Tilburg University, Leiden University) was interviewed by Dutch radio station BNR nieuwsradio about the news that people with ties to the Eritrean regime were employed as interpreters at the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). In response to her statements in this interview, the (by now former) chair of the YPFDJ in the Netherlands, the youth department of the Eritrean regime in the Netherlands, started a court case (interim injunction proceedings) against Van Reisen. She won the proceedings, upon which an appeal was started. The court has decided this week to dismiss the case and has ruled that the judge of the interim injuction proceedings had correctly dismissed all claims against Van Reisen.
Less than one month after the outbreak of protests that led to the ban of the annual Eritrean youth party congress in the Netherlands, the Eritrean community is again protesting the Eritrean regime. The German section of PFDJ organised a series of seminars which will be held in May in several German cities: Mannheim, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Köln and Kassel. On the 7th of May the seminar was held in Frankfurt. Specifically, it was the Hizbawi Mekete Seminar – the campaign of “national rebuff” of the International Community’s accuses – run by Eritrean government through the diaspora groups.