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Dutch government unhappy at visit by Eritrean official

Associated Press logo Associated Press 11/04/2017

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch government says it won't be offering any assistance to a high-ranking Eritrean official planning to visit the Netherlands for a congress of young Eritreans.

In a statement Tuesday, Dutch authorities say they will not facilitate the visit of presidential adviser Yemane Gebreab, citing concerns about the human rights situation in Eritrea.

A United Nations commission of inquiry last year said that officials "at the highest levels of state" bear responsibility for crimes against humanity and that abuses in the country should be investigated by the International Criminal Court. Eritrea accused the commission of bias.

Rights groups say that Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, who has been in power since 1991, has become increasingly repressive. In 2015, nearly 50,000 Eritreans applied for asylum in Europe.

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