The Situation in Ethiopia has gone from worse to worse – the issue of Ethiopians must be stopped
Their cases must be reviewed again in light of the new situation in Ethiopia. We owe it to the rescue of Ethiopians and our humanitarian heritage.
(VG – Google Translation from Norwegian) — While you and I slept safely in our beds, four policemen came and fetched the Ethiopian toddler ‘Yonas’ at. 02.15 night to Wednesday 28th of June this year. The five-year-old cried and clung to his mother, the two-year-old got a short hug in the chaos.
“Yonas” took only his cellphone and an almost empty cashbook since he and the cohabitant perceived that it was only a matter of interrogation. At Trandum internment camp, he was deprived of the mobile and given five minutes of talk to the family via the camp’s phone for the next two days. Two days later, he got the cellphone back and the co-worker received the following text: “I’m being picked up by the police – I do not know where to go”. The cohabitant says that neither she nor the children have heard from him since.
Contested return agreement
The United Nations, Amnesty International, the Norwegian Church and several organizations criticized the strong return agreement Norway signed with Ethiopia on the return of asylum seekers in 2012. They criticized the agreement because it did not largely protect against possible pursuit of return. This agreement was suspended in January this year. As of today, Norway has no publicly known return agreement with Ethiopia. The support group for the long-standing asylum seekers in Vågan had a meeting with the UDI on 12 May this year. At that time, UDI’s employees confirm that Norway’s responsibility for return ceases as they set foot on Ethiopian land.
After countless phones, the Support Group confirmed what we thought. “Yonas” was sent by plane to Addis Ababa the same evening as the text was received by the cohabitant. And at the same time, the staff of the Police Immigration Unit confirmed that many Ethiopians would be sent out the following weeks.
The Solberg government has set the target number of nine thousand asylum seekers in 2017. At what price?
In October 2016, there was an exceptional state of emergency in Ethiopia after prolonged agitation. Earlier, Ethiopia is known as an almost totalitarian state with countless human rights violations. This is confirmed by reports from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and US authorities. The country is among the worst in the world in terms of imprisonment and persecution of journalists and bloggers.
While you and I go safely into the night, hundreds of Ethiopians are waiting for carpenters who are smacking and walking in the stairs. Is that my turn now?
Two of the long-standing Ethiopians in Svolvær were prosecuted because of their regime criticism and had to flee. They are independent critics who want democratic development in their home country and therefore took a settlement with corruption and the oppression of the authorities. In Svolvær, they gained an even stronger voice when they created their own blog, and through articles and cartoons, they reach almost one hundred thousand readers each week with their clear regime criticism.
What has Norway paid?
The same articles and cartoons are posted weekly in a web forum with a far greater number of followers. The owner and administrator of the forum has had a lifetime sentence for its business called terrorist activity by Ethiopian authorities. Fortunately, the convicted person is safe in the United States. It also makes a female Ethiopian journalist sentenced to fourteen years in prison for contact with the owner and administrator, but escaped due to cancer diagnosis after five years and fled.
But these two Ethiopians in Svolvær can be picked up by Norwegian police any night and handed over to the same authorities.
Their case is highly criticized by UDI and UNE. But in order for their cases to be dealt with again, there must be new, important moments in the cases. It does not mean that they are in danger of return.
How can Norway send people back to Ethiopia without a deal that protects against persecution? What has Norway paid for Ethiopia to start receiving its own asylum seekers?
Early last year, FRP’s State Secretary Jøran Kallmyr visited Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Foreign Minister was clear in this period in his wish to become the “World Health Minister” in the WHO, a summit he also received. Did Norway vote for the foreign minister in this almost totalitarian regime against accepting the Ethiopian asylum seekers who applied for protection in Norway?
Must be reviewed again
Or has Norway increased its aid resources to the country? Several countries, including Sweden, have reduced support to Ethiopia because of their many human rights violations.
UDI has offered financial support to those who will return to Ethiopia with a deadline of 15 August this year. We believe many people are afraid that persecution awaits them. When no one has heard from “Yonas”, what will happen to them?
There is a lot of pain that can happen in summer’s darkness and darkness. The start of the issue of Ethiopians started when the school holidays began and the summer elections had taken place on newspaper editions, public offices and humanitarian organizations. Nobody has succeeded in protesting. Just before, nine to ten Ethiopians moved from their reception because “the environment is adversely affected”. (Letter from UDI 12.05.17) UDI would break the fragile ties between Ethiopians, but and the ties more had attached to their local communities. So that the transport could take place completely, completely quiet and no one should shout a serious warning?
In Svolvær, two children are sitting in two and five years waiting for their father. Who will tell them the truth? All children in Norway have the right to know what happens to their parents when the authorities intervene, the Children’s Convention states paragraph 9.
Several Ethiopians in Norway may not be entitled to the protection that the asylum institute entails. But the situation in Ethiopia has gone from worse to worse and most of the Ethiopians rejected many years ago.
The expulsion of Ethiopians must be stopped immediately. Their issues must be reviewed again in light of the new situation in Ethiopia, and also the possible political activity several may have had since the last rejection was given. We owe it to the rescue of Ethiopians and our humanitarian heritage.
It’s soon to be a choice. A minister needs to demonstrate his power. We can not let Listhaug’s action and target cost a life.