• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Danish report on Eritrea faces heavy criticism

The Local · 1 Dec 2014, 09:55

Published: 01 Dec 2014 09:55 GMT+01:00

Gaim Kibreab, a professor at London South Bank University, was featured heavily in the Danish Immigration Service’s report on Eritrea but has now stepped forward to say that he feels “betrayed”. 
 
“I was shocked and very surprised. They quote me out of context. They include me in a context with their anonymous sources in order to strengthen their viewpoints. They have completely ignored facts and just hand-plucked certain information,” Kibreab told Berlingske.
 
 
Kibreab sent a sharply-worded letter to Immigration Service asking to be "dissociated" with the report's findings and saying that the Danish officials ignored a "heavily edited" document that he said he provided in order to clear up misunderstandings from earlier conversations. 
 
"Instead of doing that [using the edited version, ed.] you either used my name generally to lend credibility to your anonymized sources, or picked words of half sentences to fit into your account," Kibreab's' letter, which was shared with Berlingske, read. 
 
The Immigration Service’s 79-page report indicates that the human rights situation in Eritrea may not be as bad as rumoured and that Denmark should no longer offer blanket asylum to Eritreans fleeing compulsory – and often time indefinite – military service. 
 
Using mostly anonymous sources, the report calls into question previous claims that Eritreans can face retribution or even possible death if they flee the country. The fact finding report instead says that Eritreans who have tried to avoid military service can merely sign a repentance letter and agree to pay an extra two percent ‘Diaspora tax’. 
 
The report thus recommends that Denmark only provide asylum to Eritreans who can show that they face a personal threat.  
 
Even before Kibreab stepped forward, many in both Denmark and Eritrea were expressing their doubts about the fact-finding report. 
 
Danish NGOs including the Danish Refugee Council and Amnesty International have advised against using the findings in the report and a campaign group run by former recruits of the Eritrean National Service released a lengthy rebuttal to the Danish report that accuses it of having “looked hard for unlikely pieces of ‘evidence’ (needle in a haystack style) that could be used to support a policy move away from blanket protection.”
Story continues below…
 
The Stop National Service Slavery in Eritrea campaign said the Danish report ignored the “vast and well established” human rights violations and instead focused too much on the military service. 
 
“We are… adamant that ignoring the host of other human rights violations being perpetrated  in Eritrea and focusing on ‘absconding’ in isolation will not curb the flow of refugees from Eritrea nor will it reduce the numbers coming to Denmark (or any other country),” the campaign writes. 
 
Denmark called for the fact-finding mission after the number of Eritrean refugees exploded in July

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
21-year-old man arrested for Copenhagen car fires
At least 22 cars and three mopeds were burnt. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

Amager resident arrested after more than 20 cars were torched over the weekend.

Denmark aims for ‘first smoke-free generation'
Photo: Kyrre Lien/Scanpix

The Danish government on Wednesday released the details of what it called a “historic" plan to combat cancer.

Denmark takes small step towards medicinal cannabis
A cannabis plant. Photo: Coleen Whitfield/Flickr

A trial programme gets the okay in southern Denmark.

Danish police chase clues in motorway ‘stone murder’ case
Police technicians look for clues on the overpass. Photo: Kim Rune/Scanpix

Local residents and businesses have offered to put up rewards for information.

Danish MPs to visit Australia's Nauru migrant camp
Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen said she'd use the trip as a fact-finding mission on Australia's "grotesque" system. Photo: MARIE HALD/Scanpix

One lawmaker vows to "ask some of the questions that the Australian government is preventing journalists from asking."

Danish MP: EU a bigger threat than Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Crimean officials last week in a hand-out photo from the Kremlin. Photo: Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Nikolsk/Scanpix

Danish People’s Party MP Marie Krarup is under fire for saying that the EU is “without a doubt” a bigger threat to Denmark than Russia.

Denmark to get year’s ‘last summer weather’
Time for one last trip to the beach? Photo: Thomas Rousing/Flickr

Temperatures could reach as high as 30C by week’s end in what is likely summer’s final hurrah.

Copenhagen vehicle fires continue for third night
The Copenhagen car fires have drawn comparisons to a similar spate of incidents in Malmö, pictured here. Photo: Johan Nilsson/Scanpix

For the third night in a row, Copenhagen Police reported that vehicles in the city had been torched by unknown arsonists.

Two straight nights of car fires in Copenhagen
The Copenhagen incidents come after a spate of more than 70 car fires in Malmö, as pictured here. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT/Scanpix

Has Sweden's spate of car fires now spread to Denmark?

Photo gallery
IN PICS: Record crowd shows its Pride in Copenhagen
The parade started in Frederiksberg and ended at Copenhagen's City Hall Square. Photo: Nils Meilvang/Scanpix

The biggest ever Copenhagen Pride peaked in grand style over the weekend as the annual parade worked its way through the heart of the city.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Sport
Denmark is Europe’s Olympic (per capita) champion
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
National
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
National
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Business & Money
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Society
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Sport
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
National
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
National
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Culture
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
2,218
jobs available