EPDP Central Council member, Mr. Tuku Tesfai, and Eritrean human rights activists in Toronto, Canada, accomplished during the second week of this month two important joint tasks to help resolve the painful situation of Eritrean asylum seekers stranded in Israel. The first joint action involved meeting with concerned Canadian ministry and the second move was an extended meeting the UN Eritrea expert while on tour to Canada.
Eritreans Hold Meetings with Cabinet Minister and UN Expert in Canada
The EPDP leadership member and compatriot activists in Toronto jointly met Mr. Ahmed Hussein, the Canadian Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and discussed on the plight of Eritreans in general, and the situation of up to 40,000 African refugees in Israel, of whom about 27,000 are Eritreans. The Canadian minister of Somali origin, expressed his full understanding of the problem and promised continued contact between him and the Eritrean delegation.
The other event was a meeting in the Canadian capital of Ottawa with Ms. Sheila Keetharuth, the UN Human Rights Rapporteur to Eritrea. Mr. Tuku Tesfai brought with him to the meeting an Eritrean prison escapee who was able to provide the UN expert with very useful update on new prisons and ongoing incarcerations in Eritrea. Ms Keetharuth sacrificed up to three hours of her time to meet them before flying to Geneva to speak on Eritrea at the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on 12 March. The EPDP CC member appreciated compatriots Ghezae Hagos of Winnipeg and Yoseph Alazar of Toronto for helping in the meeting arrangements.
Mr. Tuku Tesfai has been in the forefront of joint action in the Toronto region to carry on the urgent tasks of the current Eritrean struggle for democratic change, and to help solve problems of distressed Eritrean refugees, especially of those currently in Israel.
EPDP branches in Canada further reported that their activities focused on mass mobilization and public diplomacy are making promising progress throughout the country. It was reported that new branches and cells formed in the western Canadian regions of Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton have been engaged in activities showing real achievements in various spheres of action. Special mention was made to the newly elected North America Zone head for organizational affairs, Mr. Naizghi Bahlai, who helped energize mobilization of young activists around the region. On its part, the Toronto branch was active as ever and was recently joined by four promising young party members.