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Dutch Parliament adopts motions on Eritrea

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Parliamentarians petitionOn 5 July the Dutch Parliament adopted positions expressing concern about the actions of the Eritrean regimes activities in the Netherlands. These followed the debate on Eritrea and the influence of the Eritrean regime in the Netherlands. A total of eleven motions were adopted, while one was rejected. The adoptions confirm the strong stance of the Dutch Parliament on the situation in Eritrea.

In summary, the vote shows that the Dutch Parliament is concerned about the situation in Eritrea, especially in the light of the recent UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (COIE) report, which confirmed that crimes against humanity have been and are being committed in Eritrea by authorities. They are also concerned about the influence of the Eritrean regime in the Netherlands, particularly about the diaspora tax, intimidation and extortion and the role of the Eritrean embassy in the Netherlands.

What follows is an unofficial and abbreviated translation of the motions adopted.

The Dutch Parliament has requested the government to:

- Summon the relevant Eritrean delegate from the embassy to stop the taxation of Eritreans in the Netherlands and the malpractices surrounding this taxation, and to close the embassy if no improvements are made.

- Make proposals to ensure that Dutch community money is not paid to foreign powers

- Not to spend the 200 million euros in development aid in Eritrea, but for reception of refugees in the region.

- To plead with the responsible European Commissioner to freeze the EU contribution to Eritrea and make it available for UNHCR and/or other NGOs.

- To plead within the UN for a referral of the COIE report to the UN Security Council, with the goal to ensure measures to combat crimes against humanity

- To screen volunteers in the Dutch organisation for reception of asylum seekers, in order to ensure that they are at least not members of organisations allied to the Eritrean regime, such as YPFDJ Holland

- To start an investigation into involvement in criminal activities of the Eritrean consulate in The Hague

- To investigate the possibilities of outlawing the 2% diaspora tax in the Netherlands and to urge, within an EU context, for measures against the long arm of the Eritrean regime.

- To investigate the nature and scope of the diaspora tax in a European context.

- To map out the network of representatives of the Eritrean regime in the Netherlands and update the parliament on this as soon as possible.

- To put Al-Shabaab on the Dutch and European list of terrorist organisations

The original Dutch motions can be found here.

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