Stockholm demo 3

In Stockholm, London and Washington the Eritrean diaspora arrived to take a stand.

They came to express their solidarity and support for the children who confronted the regime on the streets of the capital, Asmara, this week.

As Human Rights Watch reported: “The protests were triggered by the arrest of octogenarian Hajji Musa Mohamed Nur, a member of the school’s board, after he made a passionate speech opposing the government’s increased interference in the affairs of the private school.”

In Stockholm 600 protesters plus made their mark: one of the largest Eritrean demonstrations against the ruling party – the PFDJ.

Stockholm 2

They took their protest to the Swedish parliament, asking the government to pressurise the Eritrean regine; calling for the release of Haj Mussa and the Christian Patriarch Antonios, who has been restricted by the regime for years.

What was unique was that the majority at the demonstrators were women, with Muslims holding pictures of the Patriarch and Christians holding pictures of Haj Mussa.

 

In London the demonstration was held outside the Eritrean embassy.

London embassy protest

And – once again – women took a key role.

There was also a determination to ensure that the divisive policies of the Asmara government would not be allowed to drive a wedge between people of different religions.

Images of the Christian and Muslim leaders were carried with pride and affection.

London Protest 1

And in Washington DC some 300 people turned out to make a stand.

Washington 1

They protested right in front of the regime’s Embassy located at 1708 New Hampshire Ave NW.

Washington 2

For a demonstration called at short notice this was a great turnout.

Washington 3

One thing is clear: the people of Asmara and the pupils of the Al Diaa Islamic School are not alone.