Lord David Alton, of the UK House of Lords, has released a detailed report evidencing the continued collection of a 2% Diaspora Tax by Eritrean consular staff in the United Kingdom. The report calls for an end to the Tax’s collection, especially where extortion and harassment are involved. It urges the UK Metropolitan Police, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, and other responsible bodies, to urgently launch full, formal, and funded inquiries into this topic, and take robust action to stop the practice.
The British government has repeatedly called for Eritrea to withdraw its forces from the war in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray. This report speculates that stopping the collection of this Tax will hamper Eritrea’s ability to wage war and act as a spoiler to peace regionally in the Horn of Africa.
Lord Alton of Liverpool, who also serves as the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eritrea, said: “Eritrea is cash poor, but despite this is calling up its citizens to fight in its neighbour’s costly, pitiless, brutal, and cruel war, which has been marked by mass atrocity crimes and accompanied by a scale of human suffering that is scarcely conceivable. Stopping the collection of this 2% Diaspora Tax would have a direct impact on Eritrea’s ability to wage war with neighbours – tragically all too evident in the horrific carnage of Tigray – and hamper its efforts to destabilise the Horn of Africa region. We will now be pushing our own government, as well as allies, to conduct their own investigations, and to take action to halt the collection of this Tax.”
The authors of this report have also collected evidence of the disproportionate impact of the Tax on more vulnerable groups deserving of protection and sanctuary in the United Kingdom. Authors show it operates as part of a network of surveillance and control over the diaspora, and curtails the political rights and freedoms of this group. The report highlights the steps other governments have taken to criticise, or halt, the collection of the Tax, making clear recommendations for further action that His Majesty’s Government could enact today.
Full Report: Eritrea’s 2% Diaspora Tax and its impact in the UK
- This report is not affiliated with the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eritrea.
- The report is not an official publication of the House of Commons nor the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. The views expressed in this report are those of the signatory.
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