This Wikileaks document offers a broad overview of Eritrea with a particular angle of "What relations do expatriate Eritreans have with Eritrea?" Eritreans who live outside of Eritrea are supposed to pay a 2% tax to the country.
UPDATE: Articles on the internet are being published about the 2% tax that Eritrea tries to collect from the diaspora. A national Canadian newspaper featured the story. See also Meskerem.
The document was created by the US Ambassador to Eritrea in December, 2009, and released in September 2011. Short sections deal with subjects like: Diaspora Basics, Escape from the 30 year war, Political Outcasts, and the Youth. Here's the complete text of the "Refugees" section.
REFUGEES -------- ¶7. (C) Today's refugees flee the country in droves. While some are genuinely persecuted by the GSE (religious dissidents, too successful in the private sector, close association with foreigners, etc.), the vast majority simply want to escape poverty, or, in the case of the young, avoid the grinding labor and poor wages of interminable national service. A young writer for ELEM (Eritrean Lifestyle and Entertainment) Magazine recently left Eritrea for a new life in London. In Eritrea she experienced no direct persecution; she was only prohibited from achieving her goal of running her own magazine. She told Poloff her deep disappointment in the GSE's restrictive policies that prevent young Eritreans from achieving their full potential. Her comments are not unique. Many young Eritreans choose to flee the country in hopes of being something other than a soldier or a woefully underpaid teacher. ¶8. (C) Those that are able to escape usually end up in refugee camps in Sudan, Kenya, South Africa, Libya, Egypt, or throughout Europe. Once outside the country, the majority do not discuss politics. Many of those that disagree with the GSE would rather bide their time silently in the refugee camp than risk being outspoken and having GSE forces harass or arrest family back in Eritrea. Once resettled, refugees often congregate in pre-existing Eritrean communities, such as in London, Stockholm, Washington, D.C., and Oakland, California.
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