Submitted by Associazione Radicale Certi Diritti

We learn that that the Foreign Ministry has summoned the Eritrean ambassador to Italy, whose position is that any foreigner present in Eritrea has the obligation to respect the local customs and traditions and, even more so, the provisions of law prohibiting homosexual relations.

In this regard, Paolo Mannina clearly has not been charged with violating any Eritrean law and has not committed any crime sanctioned by the law of that country. And he in fact has not been charged with anything and his expulsion could not therefore have been motivated by a violation of Eritrean law. Mannina also emphasizes that the discontinuation of his employment was not voluntary because he was forced to return to Italy. Before he departed, he had to sign a waiver of the contract but he attached a note to the form he was provided in which he explained to the Minister for Foreign Affairs that his decision was not freely made but obligated so as to not endanger his safety, as indeed the Italian ambassador had strongly recommended to him.

Yuri Guiana, secretary of Certi Diritti, states: “We thank the Foreign Ministry for convening the Eritrean Ambassador and we hope that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will insist on a formal explanation for the behavior of Eritrea, since to expel a citizen of the Italian State employed in Eritrea without an official reason is seriously detrimental not only to the dignity of the citizen affected by the measure, but to the Italian State as well. Paolo Mannina was the victim of a sort-of preventative expulsion not motivated by a violation of law. Who decides who the employees of an Italian school located abroad are? The Italian government or that of Eritrea, with its laws contrary to the most elementary human rights? We hope that the Italian State will defend Italian citizens and employees wherever they may be and point out that if Paolo Mannina did not obtain a new assignment it could also constitute a case of indirect discrimination, which is prohibited by European Directive 2000/78/EC transposed into Italian law by decree n. 216/2003.”

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