On Tuesday, 26 November 2019 at 14:30 hours, the founder and editor of Assenna Foundation, Amanuel Eyasu, was physically assaulted by 4 or 5 PFDJ thugs at Putney Bridge Station, London. This is the second attack on journalists in London in 12 months - the first was on the former BBC Africa editor and Horn of Africa expert, Martin Plaut.
In Martin Plaut’s case, the assailant was convicted, fined and received a criminal record. In our view this sentence was far too lenient. It has clearly failed to deter the assailant from committing another crime. With this in mind, and since the unprovoked attack on Amanuel, Assenna Foundation Board have been actively soliciting an international law firm in the City of London to bring together a case so that this time the severest punishment is given to the attackers, including custodial sentences. More importantly, and given the alleged threats being made by PFDJ Sympathisers in Germany and elsewhere, we wish the lawyers to establish in a court of law whether these threats and attacks are state sponsored.
Although we are asking the international law firm to take up our case on pro bono basis, it looks as if the case might be far too costly for them to do so. This means Assenna Foundation will have to fund the legal fees in full or in part, hence this appeal for ring-fenced funding.
The estimated legal fee is £15,000 (or c. US $20,000). We ask all peace loving, justice seekers and nationalist Eritreans to give generously. Every little helps not only in terms of the finances but the moral support it gives to Eritrean justice seekers all over the world. We need to remember, it was Martin first, then Amanuel and it could by anyone of us next. Isaias’ thugs are just like him and know no boundary nor justice.
As the demise of the regime in Asmara fast approaches, physical attacks on justice seekers and nationalist Eritreans are bound to increase. We need to draw a line and stop this cancerous thuggery. Together we can and we will.
I will keep you updated on progress. And at the end of the case, I will share with all donors an independently verified income and expenditure statement that shows the amount of money received with a breakdown of spend.
Keep safe and I thank you for your kind generosity.
Habte Hagos Chairman, Assenna Foundation 30 November 2019