Geneva (AFP) - Human rights abuses in Eritrea must receive greater attention after the boat tragedy off Italy that claimed the lives of over 300 people fleeing the Horn of Africa, an exiled campaigner said Wednesday.
Open letter to His Holiness Pope Francis
The Apostolic Palace
6 October 2013
We are representatives of the Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change, an international umbrella organization for the Eritrean diaspora. We are writing to you on this national day of mourning, to thank you for your initiative over the tragic loss of the lives of would-be migrants off Lampedusa, and to request your further help in resolving this longstanding problem.
The dictatorship of Isaias Afeworki in Eritrea is causing hardship and oppression within the country, and destabilising the Horn of Africa. With this document, the newly-formed Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change aims to raise awareness in the international community of the dangers of the Eritrean regime, and to set out our strategy for change.
Hugh Muir, theguardian.com, Friday 4 October 2013
While the UK government has stuck to spending 0.7% of the budget on overseas aid, our tough line on immigration sends a different message
In all the coverage today of the sinking of the migrant boat off the coast of Italy – and with up to 300 dead, there will be a lot of it – one quote needs to stay at the forefront. "This is not an Italian tragedy, this is a European tragedy," said Italy's interior minister Angelino Alfano as he arrived on the island of Lampedusa. "Lampedusa has to be considered the frontier of Europe, not the frontier of Italy."
More than 350 people are said to have died when a boat of African migrants sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa last Thursday. Futsum Mesfa, from Eritrea, is one of the lucky survivors. He tells the BBC of the ordeal.
On the rocks of Lampedusa island, Futsum and Berihu are looking at the sea.