Two groups from Eritrea with differing views on the authoritarian regime in their homeland clashed yesterday in downtown Bergen.
Five people have been charged with violence and violating police orders.
Several of them were brought in on Saturday, but they were all released on Sunday afternoon. The police are still trying to arrest someone.
He says the “hard core” of counter-protesters consisted of between 30 and 50 people, while the announced event said around 200 would attend. There were 70 police officers present, says Chief of Police Staff Gustave Landreau.
Among other things, a bus with counter-protesters arrived in Bergen. They were escorted away from the city, and the police tracked the bus for several hours to make sure they complied with the order.
– This wasn’t supposed to happen
Opposition demonstrators are said to have protested the event because they believe the association supports the regime in Eritrea, many of whom have fled, and demanded that the ceremony be cancelled.
The Eritrean Assembly of Hordaland believes that the commemoration was a celebration of the liberation war against Ethiopia.
– Unfortunately, they hurt us and the police here today. It wasn’t supposed to happen here in Norway, but it did. We have learned and experienced something, us and the police. “We hope the police will explain it well,” says Heydro Gebremichael, president of the Eritrean Society.
– This is the People’s Day in Eritrea, and everyone in Eritrea has the right to celebrate it. People should be partying, rather than making noise, Gebremichael tells NRK.
Sylvie Listog of the Progress Party thinks this is “totally unacceptable”.
– It’s almost unbelievable to see scenes like this unfold in Norway, Listog tells NRK.
He was TV 2 who mentioned this issue for the first time.
He wants to draw maps of the Eritrean environment
The FRP leader says the government should step up its efforts.
– It’s not just words now. Listough says a survey of the Eritrean environment should be done.
– We have to find out who supports the authorities, says Listough.
You also see that the other party that commits violence must be pursued.
– We have freedom of expression in Norway, but this freedom cannot be used to commit acts of violence. She says strict action must be taken against him.
Store: – There is freedom of speech in Norway
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Storr (AFP) agrees that Saturday’s events in Bergen are unacceptable.
– It is absolutely unacceptable, whatever the case, for disputes to take place in acts of violence and quasi-fighting in the streets. It creates insecurity for people, it can’t be that way.
However, he does not believe any mapping is necessary.
– There is freedom of speech in Norway. There can be disagreements, even between people who have come to Norway, but this must happen within the framework of the law.
He believes that normal PST and police work is enough to handle this kind of situation:
– I can assure you that the authorities are watching that no offenses are planned. But it’s not as if yesterday afternoon changed the view on the matter.
Eritreans loyal to the regime will be denied residency permits
Listough believes that Eritreans who support the regime in the east African country may have been given residency permits for spurious reasons.
– There are allegations of that Some of those in Norway support the regime in Eritrea. In this case, they may have been granted residence under false pretenses. “They have to go home,” says Listough.
And you find it strange that support for the regime continues.
– Why should this be done if these people have fled from the same regime? she asks.
Refuse to support the system
A source in the Eritrean community told NRK that they demonstrated against what they believed to be a pro-regime party celebrating the president and his army:
– It was announced that the party is open to all, but it has become private. So, as in Stockholm, there is a lot of anger, he tells NRK.
The Eritrean Assembly says it does not support the regime in Eritrea, and rejects the speculations of Listog and the opposition protesters.
– We have no connection with the regime in Eritrea. We celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the armed struggle to liberate Eritrea, says Heydro Gebremichael, President of the Eritrean Assembly.
– Many people think that this is between Eritreans and Eritreans, but we know that there are many in the other group who are not Eritreans, and who want to harm us, our parties and our property, says Heydro Gedremichael.
pressures of authoritarian regimes
In the past, many Eritreans have tried to speak out about surveillance and persecution. In a report issued in 2020 commissioned by the Ministry of Education, a closer look at the pressures and control exerted by the regime in the motherland.
the report He addressed, among others, regime critics from Ethiopia and Eritrea. Around this time, NRK spoke to key figures in the Eritrean opposition milieu. They hoped the report would contribute to making life freer in Norway, but they haven’t seen any change so far.
There are approximately 25,000 immigrants in Norway of Eritrean origin. Shows numbers from ssp. About 15,000 of them have come to Norway in the past ten years.