Thursday, January 18, 2018

Eritrea's diaspora tax

The Netherlands have declared Eritrea's charge d'affaires "persona non grata." Eritrea has been enforcing a tax on expatriates amounting to 2 percent of their earnings, according to Dutch officials.

The Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra warned the African country's to end the practice of enforcing a so-called "diaspora tax" on Eritreans.

"In light of the continuous intimidation and force used in the collection of diaspora tax and its resulting social and political unrest, the cabinet is forced to give the Eritrean government a powerful signal."

Eritrean refugees make up one of the largest groups of foreign nationals in the country, second only to Syrians. Tens of thousands of Eritreans have fled their country since strongman Isaias Afwerki came into power following a decades-long war for independence from Ethiopia. Afwerki's rule has been characterized by severe human rights violations and suppression of dissent.

 According to a study published by the University of Tilburg last year "Those who are reluctant or refuse to pay… are ostracized as pariahs and consequently intimidated and harassed."

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