Canada’s response dare I say has not been all that great.
According to a leaked copy of the UN report, which was expected to be released this week, at least some of Eritrea’s military financing comes from its consulate in Toronto, which levies a dubious 2% income tax on members of the diaspora.
“According to a recent Royal Canadian Mounted Police assessment, which is consistent with the Monitoring Group’s own findings, refusal to pay the tax often results in denial of service or threats against, or harassment of, family members still residing in Eritrea, or possible arrest of the individual should they travel to Eritrea without paying the taxes alleged to be owing,” it said.
The report recounted the case of a man who had immigrated to Canada from Eritrea. Before he could become a permanent resident, Canadian immigration authorities required him to present a valid Eritrean passport.
Since he didn’t have one, he had to apply at the Eritrean consulate in Toronto. But the consulate told him he would first have to pay a tax, which included a contribution to the “Eritrean defence fund.”
When the man responded that he was willing to pay the 2% tax but not the money for the military budget, the consulate refused to renew his passport. He pleaded with Canadian immigration officials, arguing that he would be violating the UN arms embargo if he gave money to the Eritrean military, but they insisted he had to provide a valid passport. He “had no choice but to pay the entire sum,” the report said.