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Eritrean diplomat defects to Canada

An Eritrean posted to his country’s diplomatic mission in Canada has defected, saying he could no longer support his government after its crackdown on political dissent and failure to hold elections. Hagos Habteab Kflesus abandoned his

An Eritrean posted to his country’s diplomatic mission in Canada has defected, saying he could no longer support his government after its crackdown on political dissent and failure to hold elections.

Hagos Habteab Kflesus abandoned his post at the Eritrean embassy and claimed refugee status in 2007, but the matter has only came to light now the Federal Court of Canada has released its decision on the case.

Posted to Canada by his government in 2006, Mr. Hagos was in charge of “administering membership drives for the Eritrean community,” the court ruling says.

Since he defected, he said his daughter, brother and parents had been imprisoned by Eritrean authorities.

The Immigration & Refugee Board rejected his refugee claim because he had been a member of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), a rebel group it said had committed terrorism and crimes against humanity.

Justice Anne Mactavish of the Federal Court agreed the EPLF had committed atrocities, but said it was not reasonable to conclude Mr. Hagos was complicit in them. She sent his case back to immigration authorities for review.

Mr. Hagos ran the EPLF office in Sudan before returning to Eritrea to work for the People’s Front for Democracy & Justice (PFDJ) party, which runs the African country of five million, one of the least developed in the world.

But he said he began to have “serious misgivings” about the party.

“His concerns started when the PFDJ failed to hold promised elections and instead became focused on securing its own hegemony,” Justice Mactavish wrote in her Oct. 24 ruling.

“Mr. Hagos says that his concerns crystallized in 2001 with the arrest of dissenters within the government.”

Eritrea is under mounting international pressure over its brutal suppression of political opponents and journalists, support for the al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab and a controversial taxation scheme that taps Eritreans living abroad for money.

The National Post recently revealed Eritrean-Canadians were being pressured into giving 2% of their wages to the Eritrean consulate in Toronto, a system they referred to as a form of extortion. The United Nations is considering outlawing the “diaspora tax.”

National Post

Review overview
  • Ogbe November 22, 2011

    This means every hgdef has no place as a defector. He/she has already made enough inhumanity to his/her own people.
    It is just!

  • Aklilu November 22, 2011

    Mr. Assenna!

    How about your sisters and brothers who are tortured and electrocuted by moslems daily? Do you forget at least to mention them?

    • jemal November 22, 2011

      Replay to Mr. Aklilu.
      Listen Aklilu Don’t be ignorant & stupid . Yes i do have a lot of sempaty for the Eritrean who lost thier life by some one idiot like you ;But don’t generalze by claiming muslims .muslim is just a religen & you can’t discribe some one by his/her religen.

      • ahmed saleh November 23, 2011

        The real Eritreans do not say that, only the gohafat (garbages) so ignore him and other arrogant people like him.

  • zere November 22, 2011

    Canda is not fair to reject the demand of Hagos. Instead canda could stop its campanies from assisting genocide by participating in the Eritrean Gold minings . As far as they continue to allow their campanies in the minining , they couldnot have a moral high ground to consider EPLF,as committing crime against humanity

  • hasebela November 22, 2011

    What is the news about.At last is he granted or rejected.what is the purpose of the news?? Assena we need clarification pls.Thank you.

  • Abrhaley E't'iDne November 22, 2011

    Certainly pfdj is a terrorist organization. It is impossible for the west to say the South African ANC is a terrorist. The same applies to EPLF who delivered a freedom of a country recognized by the west. At the same time anyone 18+ who is registered under YPFDJ/PFDJ North America it is crystal clear he or she needs an attorney to clear himself.
    Canada should give him his papers. He didn’t became pfdj by choice it is by default. I think he will get it done finally. Best wishes.

  • The Bee November 22, 2011

    After watching HIGDEF or PFDJ or GOE perform for 20 years this organization is a liability to the country. Liability means when the good (if any) is subtracted from the atrocities, bad governing, lawlessness, dictatorship, disrespect to its own citizens etc etc you end up with a big pile of trash called Liability. If you are a supporter or a member of this looser organization you are a liability to your family, brothers and to your country. Name one good thing PFDJ did and I will name 10 evil things they did (that is where the word liability comes). It is like being in business and becoming bankrupt. PFDJ is a bankrupt organization in deed and in what it produces. Mr Hagos was wise to stop from becoming a Liability to his country.

    • Eritrawit November 23, 2011

      THE BEE.

      You just put it simple and clear. Why are some supporters can’t get this,? They go by — Abdi, HGDF , kozami and many others. Just tired of them.

      • The Bee November 23, 2011

        Thank you Eritrawit.
        Even if you look at it financially, by contracting mining to foreign countries they are telling us we are producing gold in Eritrea. If they want to be flush with gold they should diplomatically manage Assab Port and do business with Ethiopia. That is where real gold is found. But a Liability as they are, Issayas and his cronies would rather use Eritreans as a slave labor to extract gold. Go figure!

  • robel November 23, 2011

    This is history of 2007
    This is history of 2007
    This is history of 2007
    This is history of 2007
    So Assena is telling me We get our independence by terrorist ! my GOD