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Netherlands: Riots at Eritrean meeting in The Hague

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Netherlands: Riots at Eritrean meeting in The Hague

There were heated arguments at a meeting of Eritreans in The Hague, Netherlands. Two groups of Eritreans clashed and, according to police, stones were thrown. Violent perpetrators set police cars, a bus and other cars on fire. The event building was severely damaged.

The police left used tear gas against the perpetrators of violence. The mayor declared a state of emergency at the scene of the riot, which gives the police greater powers.

There was no clear information about the number of injured or arrests. The exact cause of the altercation is also still unknown.

Recently there have been repeated riots at meetings of Eritreans in Germany and other countries. Supporters and opponents of the dictatorial government in the country on the Horn of Africa met.

Violence in other cities

Last summer in Gießen, Hesse, 26 police officers were injured in riots at such a festival. Just a few weeks later, 50 people were injured at a party held by Eritreans in Stockholm, Sweden. In Tel Aviv in September, 150 people were injured when a protest by opponents of the Eritrean government against an event at the country’s embassy turned violent.

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Eritrea, with around three million inhabitants, is located in northeast Africa on the Red Sea and is largely isolated internationally. Since independence from Ethiopia was won in a decades-long war 30 years ago, President Isayas Afewerki has ruled the country in a one-party dictatorship. Political parties are banned and freedom of expression and freedom of the press are severely restricted. There is neither a parliament nor independent courts or civil society organizations. There is also a strict military service and forced labor system, from which many people flee abroad.

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There were heated arguments at a meeting of Eritreans in The Hague, Netherlands. Two groups of Eritreans clashed and, according to police, stones were thrown. Violent perpetrators set police cars, a bus and other cars on fire. The event building was severely damaged.

The police left used tear gas against the perpetrators of violence. The mayor declared a state of emergency at the scene of the riot, which gives the police greater powers.

There was no clear information about the number of injured or arrests. The exact cause of the altercation is also still unknown.

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