Dictator tax illegal – Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges: Report
The tax that the regime in Eritrea collects among refugees in Norway must be reported, says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But the Oslo police dropped the report.
Source: Vårt Land
Published July 26, 2020
Eritreans are among the largest refugee groups in Norway, numbering around 28,000 people. The first came during the war of liberation against Ethiopia, and since the country became independent in 1993, many have fled the nation that human rights organizations describe as “Africa’s last dictatorship.”
President Isaias Afwerki has ruled Eritrea as a dictator for 27 years, and every month large groups of Eritreans flee the country to escape the very brutal civil service that can last for many years, according to the UN and Human Rights Watch. The UN says the service is of a slave-like nature .
Afwerki’s isolated regime needs money – and the authorities’ captive arms reach Eritreans in the diaspora in Norway. Earlier this month, Vårt Land released a recent report in which Proba social analysis points out that they do not know of “any other group that is expected, pressured or forced to pay a tax to the authorities in the country of origin”.
The open, Norwegian society gives tax collectors a useful tool in publicly available tax lists, according to Proba.
Until 2016, an information office in Oslo “functioned as the extended arm for the Eritrean authorities to collect the tax from Eritreans living in Norway”, writes Proba. In September 2016, Finansavisen revealed that the Eritrean Information Association acted as a consulate and embassy. The then Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende (H) called in Eritrea’s ambassador to Sweden, who is also responsible for Norway, on the carpet. The office cannot “perform government tasks on behalf of the Eritrean state in Norway”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed Finansavisen.
But the tax is still collected from exiled Eritreans in Norway.