As a dictatorship taxes of asylum seekers abzockt

Eritrea – no other country in Africa and more people to flee to Germany. But even here it is possible the dictatorship, to force them to pay taxes. The money stabilized a brutal system.


No African country has in the Mediterranean to complain more deaths than Eritrea. In the biggest shipwreck off Lampedusa in April came almost every second of the 900 drowned from the military dictatorship in the northeast of Africa.

Up to a quarter of the population should be already emigrated, 70,000 to Germany. Last year alone, 13,253 Eritreans sought asylum in this country. So that the country was behind Syria and Serbia to third countries of origin, a year earlier led the list at even. Most Eritreans received a protection status, no one will be deported to the one-party state in the Horn of Africa.

”If you are young and can bear the costs, who flees,” says the 45-year-old Eritrean Yohannis Salomon * from Frankfurt am Main, who was sent in 1992 provided his parents with a plane ticket and a visa for 4,000 German marks to Germany now works for a major German car manufacturer.

”Without money you can not escape the government,” said Solomon, who meets weekly with newly arriving Eritreans and helps them to gain a foothold in Hessen. ”Who needs a visa today, employees of the German embassy in the neighboring country Ethiopia needs to bribe the demand now between 20,000 and 30,000 Euros,” says Solomon. From the Foreign Office states: ”The Embassy Addis Ababa goes together with the Foreign Ministry expressed any suspicion of irregularities by In recent years, however, not a single such suspicion has been confirmed..”

Because of the visa difficult to obtain, says Solomon, would become the most not by plane, but over the Mediterranean Sea. The neighboring country Sudan to gelange relatively easy walk, but there would be up to 5,000 euros due to breakneck ride on the back of a Toyota pick-ups in the ravaged by Islamist militias Libya. ”For the crossing Libya-Lampedusa my little sister I paid 1800 Euros”, reports the dissident Eritreans who a half years ago also brought his parents to Frankfurt – a tourist visa.

The dictator demanded taxes from the refugees

Blame for the exodus from the narrow strip of land on the Red Sea is the brutal dictatorship of former President Isaias Afwerki’s Liberation Army of the profits from the mass emigration.

The Eritreans leave the country, but then many of them will help to stabilize the military regime not only because a substantial part of the capital, there is, as in many other developing countries, remittances from the emigrants to their families.

But also because the government of the 5.2-million-inhabitant country one rubs a so-called construction tax of two percent of the income of the emigrants. Salomon refuses to pay this tax, but other Eritreans report to the ”world” as brazenly abzockt the military regime the exiles away from home.

”By 2011, we have delivered the tax once a year directly to the Eritrean Consulate in Germany,” said Avet Bisrat *, who works in a West German city as a social worker. Ever since the Eritrean diplomats to pressure the federal government ended this practice, however, the tax was never abolished. ”Anyone who someday want to do anything in Eritrea must continue to pay,” says Bisrat. ”When I start a legacy, a land buy, a birth certificate would -. I always need the certificate that I paid the two percent of my annual income”

Two percent of net income will be due

Whoever fails to deliver the sum, gets no more services from the Eritrean government. The tax rip-off has been running since 2011 on detours, Eritreans report: ”They do it now so if I fly to Eritrea, I have to deliver the money to the local government – then I get my certificate,” says Bisrat. If he even fly, he’ll take the tax money from compatriots in the old country and bring their certificate back to Germany. Conversely, would take over family or friends his payments, if he is not travel one year after Africa. Last submitted research by NDR, SWR and ”Süddeutsche Zeitung” suggests that many Eritreans in Europe the building control must even pay their benefits.

From the Foreign Office states: ”The Federal Government has the foreign representatives of Eritrea in Germany as early as 2011. asked not to carry out the recovery of the construction control over foreign missions insights into a collection of the tax by illegal means on German territory are not in front of the Foreign Office..”

The question of what undertake the Federal Republic against the foreign tax, does not answer the office. 2013 informed but with a Question Time in parliament that since 1995 ”All Eritreans living abroad pay two percent of their net income received in that country on the Eritrean government” must. He continued: ”After the appropriate legislative provision the Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with its foreign representatives and agents has the world’s responsibility to ensure that the ’building control’ shall be referred to the relevant tax authorities in Eritrea The taxation itself is not contrary to rules of international law.. ”

How strong the dictatorship and their army depend on the structure of control, can only be guessed – the government published in principle no budget and no economic data. According to World Bank estimates, GDP amounted in 2013 approximately 3.4 billion US dollars.

East Africa expert Annette Weber from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin (SWP) says: ”The Eritrean regime is existentially dependent on the income from the construction of control”. Nevertheless, one must be cautious in all estimates to Eritrea because vorlägen no safe numbers. ”There are no surveys and no census. Nor do we know for sure how many refugees who were registered as Eritreans, actually come from the country. Senior diplomats in Western countries believe that many Ethiopians as Eritreans, because after Eritrea may not be deported, ”said Weber.

Detention, forced labor, torture

And indeed, hardly provides a country to its citizens so many good reasons for flight. The regime is obsessed with the fear that Eritrea could be conquered back from Ethiopia, from which after a decade-long war of liberation it successfully fought independence until 1993. Any opposition is nipped in the bud. Arbitrary detentions in prison camps, even in burrows or shipping containers are documented by the United Nations. A considerable part of the population has for many years under arms, until the age of 50 years, all men are regarded as reservists who can be withdrawn at any time and committed as militiamen or forced laborers for state enterprises.

Also Salomon reported that his last still remaining in Eritrea brother was currently detained because he was trying to flee when he had toiled for months without pay for a general of the army in a mine.

Suppression fearing Ethiopian invasion

What is the fear of the original socialist regime motivated before an invasion of Ethiopia, is reflected in the support for the Sunni militia al-Shabab. Although the Dictator suppressed the Islamist movement in their own country, the Eritrean army, according to a report by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea from October 2014 for years trained Al-Shabaab fighters and equipped with arms and ammunition to hurt the common enemy Ethiopia ,

This conflict situation meets a group particularly hard: Christians who do not belong to the traditional Eritrean Orthodox Church. They are perceived by the government and of the Islamic part of the population as a threat. Another reason why most Christians flee from the half Muslim, half Christian populated country, the International Society for Human Rights informs (ISHR). The human rights organization Open Doors warns that it ”can lead to a bleeding of the Christian communities, as we have seen it about in Iraq” in Eritrea.

Yohannis Salomon currently has quite different problems in Frankfurt. He wants his many years also fled from Eritrea partner to marry, but the registry office requires her birth certificate. But the dictator with the pair a score to settle.

Det Welt

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