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Eritreans protest in Bern against tough new asylum rules

Over a thousand Eritreans protested outside the Swiss national parliament on Friday against tough new rules that could see as many as 3,200 people returned to the autocratic African country. After the demonstration, which Swiss People's

Over a thousand Eritreans protested outside the Swiss national parliament on Friday against tough new rules that could see as many as 3,200 people returned to the autocratic African country.

After the demonstration, which Swiss People’s Party politician Natalie Rickli filmed on her mobile phone, protesters handed authorities a petition signed by 12,000 people and addressed to Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga. The document called for the increasingly tough asylum rules targeting the group to be relaxed.

Friday’s protest comes after Bern announced in April it planned to review the status of 3,200 of the 9,400 Eritreans granted temporary residence in Switzerland.

That decision came after the Federal Administrative Court ruled in August last year that it was reasonable to return Eritrean citizens who had already previously performed military service to the African country as they were unlikely either to be required to re-join the military or to face other punishment.

Read also: Switzerland’s tough stance on migrants criticised by Amnesty International 

Swiss authorities stressed in April that all people affected by the new rule changes would have the right to a judicial hearing and that cases would be dealt with on an individual basis.

But on Friday, protesters carried banners with messages such as “Eritrea is one huge prison”, “Stop negotiations with the dictator” and “We did not flee for fun”.

Annelies Djiellal-Müller, one of the organisers of Friday’s protest, stressed that the act of returning to Eritrea was highly dangerous. She told Swiss daily Der Bund that all people who left the country did so illegally, risking being shot when they did so then facing a dangerous journey to Europe across the Sahara Desert.

When people did choose to return, the Eritrean embassy then demanded the names of family members and friends. Once back in Eritrea, returnees faced possible punishment for having left the country illegally.

“Would you take that risk for yourself and your loved ones?” Djiellal-Müller said.

Switzerland currently has no treaty with Eritrea regarding the return of migrants but State Secretary for Migration Mario Gattiker said in April that this did not mean such returns were not possible.

Switzerland only has a returns treaty with every second country, he said, and while Eritrea does not accept the forced return of migrants, voluntary returns were possible, he told Switzerland’s Le Temps newspaper.

Source: The Local


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Review overview
  • Tiblets May 19, 2018

    Very strange and surprising that weak Eritreans could come out in large numbers to protest against foreign governments but never have the guts or courages to do the same protests against their own government in Eritrea.
    The Swiss authorities or any other western authorities don’t have any obligation to treat Eritreans in a special way.
    Most of these so called refugees or migrants have no shames to participate and enjoy in HGDEF’s guayila/festivals.

    • amanuel May 19, 2018

      Right on. Shame on them. A refugee who dance with the regime it escaped from is “a genuine refugee”

  • almaz May 19, 2018

    Throw them out, these are worthless migrants.

  • k.tewolde May 19, 2018

    1000 thousand came out to protest and over 12000 sighed a petition against tough asylum rules……do you think there would be this kind of response there if they were asked by a good Eritrean to come out and denounce the Regime in Asmara as illegitimate and join a global Eritrean revolution to replace it democratically? ____________ This refugee enterprise is lucrative and the host countries even though it took them too long,they finally are figuring it out.

    • k.tewolde May 19, 2018

      read as “over a 1000”

      • Simon G. May 20, 2018

        Brother KT:
        To answer your question with a very long answer: Nope!

  • Amanuel A May 19, 2018

    these are not refugees and these are cheap beggers. they do not have any problem with PIA in fact to the contrary they collabrste with him to weaken the justice seekers. i hope they will be deported and serve their master in eritrea not in swizerland.

  • rezen May 19, 2018

    Subject: : “ Eritreans protest in Bern against tough new asylum rules” May 19, 2018
    Quote: “This refugee enterprise is lucrative and the host countries even though it took them too long, they finally are figuring it out.” k tewolde, May 19, 2018 Unquote

    Commentary, 19 May 2018 I am shocked! I am naïve! I am a FOOL! I am a perfect example of the Classical IDOT. I am — call me anything.
    These refugees are in fact NOT refugees?!?!? These refugees are, in fact, NOT destitute searching for a HOME?!?! Am I reading that these ‘refugees’ are in fact “agents” of the Eritrean Government, all working as conduits to a source of income for the diabolical government of Eritrea???? Is this what I am reading?!?! If so, then the TRUE refugees, running away from their Dear Eritrea, will be victimized twice – at Home and Abroad. This is the most vicious crime perpetrated on indigenous people by their own devilish, lunatic, conniving hoodlums of government ever seen in history. Now, I am beginning to see THE extreme DEPTH of Issayas’ declaration >>> “ከርእየክን እዬ“
    But, actually, more than that: I see the demise of the characteristics of Eritrean man and woman of “yesteryears’ known for their straightforwardness, truthfulness, kindness, valour, gallantry and principle for equality. I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Now, that is all “gone with the wind”. We are NOT talking about “Eritreans” any more. We are talking about “NEW” breeds as attested by “over a 1000 “ zombie-like parading in Switzerland, openly cheating the People and Government of Switzerland – and, by extension, the whole world – orchestrated by the diabolical rulers in Asmara, Eritrea. We have NOTHING tangible left in the character of “Eritrean”.
    With the above scenario — nightmare –, how do we believe that the mushrooming of various parties abroad is actually genuine? How do we believe that the various invitation being circulated on the Internet for meetings around the Globe are genuine? How do we differentiate between genuine from hoax? The very fact that we are asking these questions proves that Issayas has already succeeded in monopolizing and hypnotizing our minds and soon, perhaps, our “souls”. THE END <<<in the true sense of our own wisdom: “ካይሞተ ዝሞተ“ Isn’t THAT true?

    • k.tewolde May 20, 2018

      “I am shocked! I am naïve! I am a FOOL!”……….. you are non of those rezen,lets call it political epiphany,HGDEF has been procuring this business for sometime.If you want to see a picture of a true refugee the ones you see above ain’t it.