Refugees: Ask the EU to stop funding the Eritrean dictatorship!


Refugees: Ask the EU to stop funding the Eritrean dictatorship!

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Paolo Gentiloni (Deputato della Camera) e

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Lanciata da Vittorio Longhi


Refugees who arrive on Italy's Southern shores are in large part Eritreans. Every month about 5,000 people, mostly young, flee a regime that denies any freedom and form of democracy.

These days the European Commission is negotiating with Eritrea a new development aid package, worth over €300m. 

If the EU was serious about improving the situation in Eritrea and prevent the exodus, it would make the aid package conditional to respecting fundamental human rights and to engaging real democratic reforms.

I'm an Italian journalist of Eritrean origin. I share this petition with Nobel Peace prize candidate Father Mussie Zerai and human rights lawyer Anton Giulio Lana.

We call on the European Commission and on EU governments to Stop the EU Development Aid Package, or any other form of financial support to Eritrea, until the Eritrean government formally commits itself to ensuring: 

  1. Freedom for all those arbitrary detained, like dissidents and journalists;
  2. Freedom of expression and freedom of association;
  3. Free and democratic, multi-party political elections;
  4. End of the compulsory open-ended national service;
  5. End of any form of forced labour and abusive treatment, first of all torture;

Until the rule of law will be restored, we reiterate the UN Commission of Inquiry's recommendations, to make sure that those fleeing Eritrea are granted asylum or any form of international protection.

To prevent the exodus from Eritrea and further deaths at sea, Eritreans don't need just more money but freedom and democracy.

 Vittorio Longhi, Mussie Zerai, Anton Giulio Lana


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