Firebombing Eritrean Centers in Sweden

by THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN

On Sunday night February 24 three Eritrean community centers in Stockholm, Sweden were firebombed and burnt to the ground following a vicious attack on the Swedish Eritrean population by a program broadcast by Stockholm television station SVT.

The pogrom style “documentary” was a clear message to racist elements in the Swedish community to attack the Eritrean community, one of the largest, best organized and nationalist African communities in Sweden.

Racist fire bombings in their capital yet not one Swedish parliamentarian, human rights group or religious organization has spoken out publicly to condemn these violent attacks?

And what of the so publicly vociferous “defenders of Eritrean human rights in Eritrea” such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch? A shameful silence, continuing both organizations long history of such when it comes to really defending Eritrean “human rights” going back decades.

The television program that sparked the fire bombings was a one sided rant that focussed on the support Eritreans in Sweden have for their homeland Eritrea, in particular the voluntary 2% income tax all Eritreans pay to their government, a tax that has been critical in funding, amongst other programs, the human services that have made Eritrea one of the few countries in Africa on its way to meeting the UN Millennium Development goals.

Programs that have helped Eritrea reduce malaria mortality by 80%, the biggest breakthrough in malaria mortality prevention in history.

Programs that have lead to a “remarkable” increase in longevity in Eritrea, according to the World Bank, certainly no friend of Eritrea.

Programs that have brought real “human rights” to Eritreans in villages across the country such as clean drinking water, medical clinics and schools.

Sweden, the UK and the USA have all tried to block Eritreans from supporting their homeland, threatening Eritreans publicly for paying their 2% while trying their best to prevent the collection of such by the Eritrean Embassies in the three countries.

In the USA Eritreans from all over the country have to find a way to pay their 2% in cash to the Eritrean Embassy in Washington D.C. due to the Obama regimes suppression of all bank accounts and remittance services by the Eritrean government in the USA.

Eritreans have never been ones to take such attacks laying down and this past weekend saw thousands of Eritreans gather from across Sweden to march through the bitterly cold streets of Stockholm to the Swedish Parliament to protest these racist attacks. Yet still not a single Swedish media outlet found the time to cover this demonstration.

One can only wonder what attacks lie in store for the Eritrean communities in these so called “democratic, human rights loving countries”? As Eritrea continues to reject western aid as it builds its economy, the fastest growing in Africa, and improve the lives of its people all the while fighting off continued military invasions by the Ethiopian regime the question of the right of Eritreans living abroad to support their country and its government will be a focus of the western regimes frustration and one would be well served by preparing for worse to come.

Arbitrary arrest and detention under the guise of fighting “terrorism”? Mass deportations? Eritreans experienced these crimes committed by the western supported Ethiopian regime in the late 1990’s and the world should start preparing itself for the possibility of a repeat of such in the so called “western democracies”.

The one thing that can be counted on is the continued silence of those self-anointed defenders of human rights such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch.

Thomas C. Mountain is the most widely distributed independent journalist in Africa, living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain_at_yahoo_dot_com.

Thomas C. Mountain  attended Punahou School for six years some half a dozen years before “Barry O’Bombers” time there. He has been living and writing from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain at g_ mail_ dot _com

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
September 01, 2015
Mike Whitney
Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
George Wuerthner
Myths of the Anthropocene Boosters: Truthout’s Misguided Attack on Wilderness and National Park Ideals
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
Jesse Jackson
Season of the Insurgents: From Trump to Sanders
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal