Darren Calabrese/National PostThe
entrance to the Consulate General of Eritrea, located in Toronto, which
has been imposing a fee of up to $500 on Eritrean-Canadians to meet the
country’s national defence needs.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Canada is investigating allegations that Eritrea’s diplomatic mission
in Toronto has continued soliciting money for the East African regime’s
military despite being warned by the Department of Foreign Affairs to
The RCMP and Foreign Affairs are reviewing new evidence that appears
to show the Consulate General of Eritrea has been imposing a fee of up
to $500 on Eritrean-Canadians to meet the country’s national defence
The fundraising scheme would be illegal since Eritrea is the subject
of United Nations Security Council sanctions. Canada insisted in
September that Eritrea either cease soliciting such payments or recall
its consul, Semere Ghebremariam O. Micael.
But nine months later, evidence gathered by an Eritrean-Canadian
human rights group shows the practice has continued: As recently as
January the consulate issued forms demanding payment for Eritrea’s
“national defence against Ethiopian invasion.”
The documents also show the consulate is still imposing a 2% income
tax on Eritrean-Canadians — a practice Ottawa had also insisted had to
end after the RCMP and UN reported that those who refused to pay were
subjected to threats, intimidation and coercion.