Government statement on Yemane Gebreab's visit to the Netherlands

The Eritrean embassy in Brussels has informed the Dutch authorities by note verbale that Yemane Gebreab, an adviser to the Eritrean president, intends to travel to the Netherlands to address young Eritreans at a conference of his party’s youth wing. The government is concerned about the human rights situation in Eritrea. It is uncomfortable with Mr Gebreab’s visit, since it means that a senior Eritrean official will be addressing Eritrean nationals who have left their country. His visit will therefore not be facilitated and will be treated as a private matter. This means that Mr Gebreab will not meet with members of the Dutch government or with senior officials. Since Mr Gebreab already held a Schengen visa, the government was never faced with the issue of whether or not a visa should be issued.