Canberra considers Eritrea sanctions

  • Mark Dodd   June 11, 2011

THE British and Australian governments have threatened to ramp up diplomatic measures against Eritrea over its refusal to allow consular access to four men arrested on suspicion of espionage.

The opposition’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop yesterday called on Kevin Rudd to get “more personally involved” in the case that includes dual national Adrian Troy.

“It is clear our officials are not making progress. It is time for Kevin Rudd to become far more personally involved in this issue and to raise it with his counterpart in Eritrea,” Ms Bishop said.

“The relevant representatives of Eritrea should be called in to explain to the Foreign Minister the whereabouts of Mr Troy.”

Mr Troy, 47, a West Australian pearling skipper and former soldier was arrested under mysterious circumstances on December 28 along with three Britons after stopping at Massawa on the Horn of Africa to refuel his ship.

It’s understood all four men were employed by a British private security firm — Mr Troy having signed a short-term contract while his pearling vessel was being refitted in Thailand.

Repeated attempts by British and Australian diplomats to gain consular access have been refused and this week the Eritrean government said all four would be charged with spying.

Yesterday, the British high commission in Canberra confirmed furthur unspecified measures were being considered in light of Eritrea’s intransigence.


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