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O.Brabant: Eritreans threaten with a damages claim of 180,000 euros after Veldhoven's congress has ceased

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Eritreans threaten with a damages claim of 180,000 euros after Veldhoven's congress has ceased

Protesters and police at the Koningshof ANP

VELDHOVEN - The youth organization of the government in Eritrea certainly wants 180,000 euros stories on the municipality of Veldhoven. It is about costs incurred for the organization of the conference in April, which was blown out by mayor Jack Mikkers at the last moment because demonstrators caused unrest.

According to lawyer Bart-Jan Walraven, there are costs incurred for the hiring of Koningshof Convention Center, catering and the like. As a result, 'definitely 180,000 euro has suffered damage'. "We want to charge that damage to the municipality of Veldhoven."

Hired a conference center for four days

It is all about a meeting of the youth section of the government of the East African country. For this reason, Koningshof conference center in Veldhoven was hired for four days. Six hundred participants were expected, especially from abroad.

The cabinet was sitting in his stomach because a confidant of the Eritrean President would be there. It was intended that he would speak countrymen who left their country of origin. Many fiery Eritreans fear "Eritrea's long arm", and they are also monitored and pressured after they have fled by the regime of their native country.


Initially, Mayor Mikkers said he could do little against the arrival of the Eritrean politician. "We live in a free country and have the right to a meeting," he said.

Eventually, the mayor decided to wind up the conference in Veldhoven on April 14, because of the unrest and demonstrations of Eritreans in the Netherlands against the arrival of the controversial government official. As a result, safety and public order could not be guaranteed. The mayor's decision led to fights and demonstrations. More than 120 protesters were arrested.

'All the way out'

The youth organization has been hoping for a bottom-up procedure on the ban and for profit the municipality must pay for the costs, says Walraven lawyer. "The ban is caused by the organization's fault. We believe that the ban is contrary to the fundamental right to freedom of assembly. If we win the procedure and I have all the confidence in that, that means that the mayor's decision Was unlawful and then he has to reimburse the cost of the damage that my clients suffered. ''

Cost of municipality

Veldhoven also made costs and still looks who should pay that bill. The municipality says that additional staff costs have been incurred, legal advice has been taken and, in addition, bus transportation has been taken to remove hundreds of participants after the conference has been canceled. The exact costs are still calculated, according to the spokeswoman. The municipality does not yet want to respond to the possible claim of the Eritreans.

(Software translation)
Eritreans want to cost stories on the municipality of Veldhoven

The organization of the Eritrean conference in Veldhoven that could not continue last month, the costs incurred will be made on the municipality of Veldhoven. That confirms their lawyer Bart-Jan Walraven.

The youth organization of the controversial regime in Eritrea wanted to host a conference in Koningshof in Veldhoven in April. The evening before the conference there were grim protests by Eritrean opponents of the regime at the Koningshof. Mayor Mikkers van Veldhoven found that public order was in dispute and banished the multi-day meeting.

180,000 euros

The conference organization is fighting this ban now and invokes the freedom of assembly. Lawyer Walraven expects to win that procedure.
After that he wishes to submit a claim to the municipality.

That claim will consist of the cost of the proceedings, the cost of the conference and the overnight stays and plane tickets of the 540 Eritreans who could not be in the Koningshof and had to be collected elsewhere. The cost of the conference itself amounts to only 180,000 euros.

Council meeting

The municipality itself waits for the Eritreans procedure and does not yet want to respond. A spokesman denies messages that the municipality wants to reclaim costs incurred in organizing the conference. There may be a "costing process" in the future, but no decision has yet been taken.

Mayor Mikkers will give an account of the emergency order and ban on the conference on May 30 at a council meeting

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