Correcting the Record – Statement from U.S. Embassy, Asmara

Correcting the Record

A recent editorial entitled “NY Exposes American “Diplomats” Engaged in the Recruiting, Harboring, and Transporting Youth,” was replete with factual errors and allegations about Eritrea and the U.S. Embassy in Asmara.  In order to halt the spread of misinformation, U.S. Embassy Asmara issued the following statement.

Allegation: Eritrean youth are recruited to leave Eritrea.
Fact: This is completely untrue. The United States welcomes students to legally study at American universities. The Eritrean government makes it nearly impossible, however, for Eritrean youth to pursue such opportunities in the United States. The Eritrean government has three times impeded the delivery of diplomatic materials essential to consular operations, forcing the Embassy to temporarily shut its doors to visa applicants.

Allegation: Eritrea does not have a refugee problem
Fact: The allegation is totally wrong. There were more than 223,000 Eritrean refugees in 2009, according to UNHCR. The editorial cited a UNHCR report indicating Iraq is the leading source of asylum seekers with 13,200; the author failed to point out that this particular report was referring only to applicants in industrialized nations. In 2009 Eritrea was the third highest source of asylum applicants in the world with 43,300 applicants.

Allegation: “Eritrea´s youth are not working for the government. They are working for their country and people.”
Fact: This is erroneous. According to the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report National Service Conscripts are obliged by Eritrean law to serve for only 18 months, but some are forced to serve in their positions for over 10 years under the threat of inhuman treatment, torture, or punishment of their families.

Allegation: U.S. Diplomats engage in Human Trafficking
Fact: The allegation is false. The United States strongly opposes all forms of human trafficking. The United States has made significant efforts to curb trafficking within its own borders and seeks to be an international leader in the fight to end what President Obama called “the bonds of modern slavery.”

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Posted by on Jul 5 2010 Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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