Eritrea

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 20th March 2015.

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Photo of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 24 February 2014 (HL5333) concerning the enforced extraction of a two per cent tax on the Eritrean community in the United Kingdom by the Eritrean Embassy, and in the light of the report made against the Eritrean Embassy on 3 March by members of the Eritrean community at the West End Central Police Station that the tax was still being extracted, what action they intend to take to take to ensure that no such tax is extracted by illicit or coercive means.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

We are aware of the report made to the Metropolitan Police on 3 March. A decision on any further action is a matter for the police. The collection of taxes by governments from their citizens overseas is not illegal in international or UK law. However, UN Security Council resolution 2023 makes clear that Eritrea must not collect such taxes “using extortion, threats of violence, fraud and other illicit means”. Where those required to pay such taxes to Eritrea allege they have been subject to actions that are in breach of the resolution, we advise them to report the matter to the police, who are the appropriate authorities to investigate such allegations in the UK.

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