Furious at challenges to its control over the diaspora, the Eritrean regime threatens families back home

President Isaias and the ruling party have been humiliated by challenges to their hold over Eritreans living abroad. Members of the diaspora who have joined the opposition are having threats and insults hurled at their families back home.

The message has been repeated in a series of Tweets

It has been repeated across social media

“Anyone who knows where this thief is please let us know immediately as he has moved away from his home for his crimes.”

The Eritrean regime and its supporters are clearly unsettled. From the Netherlands to Germany, Switzerland and Norway, their hold over the Eritrean diaspora is being challenged.


Past regime successes

Ever since 1974 the EPLF – and its successor, the PFDJ – had the field to themselves. They held celebrations in Bologna and then spread the festivities across the world. From the USA to Australia, Eritreans in the diaspora came together.

It was an opportunity for the exiled community to come together and have a good time: to dance, eat and drink. There were football matches with teams representing the many countries in which they lived: Italy, Germany and Sweden, or else the cities they were resident in: Milan, Florence and Bologna.

Eritreans held the Bologna festival in great affection. “All Eritreans scattered in the entire world, we all met there once a year. This is why it was different for us, Bologna was a miracle, something longed for which fell from the sky,” a woman told an interviewer.

More than having fun

But there was a more sinister motive behind the celebrations.

In 2014, on the fortieth anniversary of the first Bologna festival, the PFDJ held a three day festival in the same city. Key figures from the government were invited including Yemane Gebreab, political director of the ruling regime; Yemane Gebremeskel, the director of the Office of the President; Osman Saleh, Foreign Minister; Hagos “Kisha”, finance director of the ruling party and Woldenkiel Abraha, Minister of Local Government.

Their hardline, pro-government message, was pumped out, even after the notorious 2001 crackdown, when the media were closed down and opponents of Isaias (the G13) arrested. And it was not just about politics. Taxes on the diaspora: always the 2% tax but frequently other levies, had to be maintained to provide the resources the Eritrean regime needed to fight its many foreign wars.

In 2014 the opposition got their act together and directly challenged the Bologna festival. Pro-government organisers responded with violence. “Security guards” – Eri blood – were called in to attack their opponents.

Opposition members were left wounded and bloodies.

Fast forward to the present

The Eritrean youth of 2022 are not prepared to allow themselves to be attacked or exploited any longer. Many risked their lives crossing the Eritrean border. They saw their friends dying in the wastelands of the Sahara, or drowning in the Mediterranean.

They have sweated blood to escape Isaias and his cronies. They are not prepared to put up with the regime threatening them in the lands they have finally made a new life in.

And so they fought back. Sometimes with protests and petitions. Sometimes with legal challenges. Sometimes with force.

But Eritrean youth will be silent no longer. President Isaias and the PFDJ fear that the diaspora is slipping from their iron grip. The danger to the regime is real.



  1. The Eritrean community in the west should continue to pressure the authoritarian dictator isaias and PFDG. Why not make research on his supporters in the west and disclose their motives for getting asylum in the west? How can it be so easy for many of his agents to get refugee status to finance Isais campaign in the modern world, it is extremely disturbing. These elements should be disclosed and sent back to where they came from, they are not refugees.

  2. Those band whom came from eritrea their duty is to do propoganda, hate and war propoganda in the sake of the dictator regime of isayas afewerki.
    The regime is making abig pressure on his people back home. Un limited nationa service, kidnapping people, putting people in prison ect
    This band came to collecte money for this dictator regime also to do hate propoganda between our people.
    Not to show festival.
    So i advise to stop this dictator’s band.

  3. If Europe and the West want to repatriate thousands of Eritrean refugees back to Eritrea, the PFDJ festivals should provide a fertile ground. That’s where these fake refugees who obtained their residence status by deception come to celebrate.

    To track these PFDJ thugs require no efforts and the Eritrean democratic forces are ready to help identify these fraudsters and get them sent back.

    No genuine person flees their homeland claiming persecution and then dances on the host countries streets praising and collecting money for the very regime they claimed persecuted them.

    There is something clearly wrong here. Europe needs and must wake up and realise that these refugees are scams who do not need protection from anyone. Rather, peace loving people should be protected from them. They should be sent back to Eritrea immediately.

    There are millions and millions of other deserving refugees around the world that need protection.

    The PFDJ thugs should have their festivals in Asmara where they will not be able to get a roll of bread let alone burgers and that may make them appreciate the regime they dearly love.

  4. The criminal dictator has an absolute control over the people living inside the country using vicious measures. He had enjoyed relative control over the diaspora for some time. Now the situation is changing fast to the dictators disadvantage. The youth who were forced to leave their country due to the dictator’s atrocities are on the forefront now to challenge the dictator’s control in the diaspora. It is promising to see the youth is starting to take care of its destiny.

  5. This festival wasn’t cultural festival. Endorsement of violence, war, hate, aggression, invasion, a language of dehumanization etc are the hallmarks of the festival and this is against Germany’s law. this illegal festival called “cultural” means insult to our Eritrean.

  6. This festival wasn’t cultural festival. Endorsement of violence, war, hate, aggression, invasion, a language of dehumanization etc are the hallmarks of the festival and this is against Germany’s law. this illegal festival called “cultural” means insult to our Eritrean

  7. The pfdj support and collect money for the criminal are dictators Eritrea 🇪🇷 government which is eseyas afewerki

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