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Western reporter finds Dutch media portrayal of YPFDJ all wrong

During the 13th YPFDJ European conference we were given exclusive access. For 4-days our journalist Kevin P. Roberson was allowed too roam around freely and speak with whomever he wanted to. The attendees were from all over the world, some were members of the YPFDJ and others were non-members interested in learning more about the political movement and Eritrean culture. Journalists Sanne Terlingen and Huub Jaspers claimed that the conference is used to "recruit spies for the Eritrean regime."

Roberson did not witness anyone recruiting individuals to be spies and sees the statements of Terlingen en Jaspers as evidence of 'media lies' that are being used to criminalize countries that Western powers want to re-colonize. Going into the conference Roberson was worried about his safety and what he was going to experience. He explained that these feelings were caused by the biased reporting of the mainstream media and the criminalization of the YPFDJ by a network of researchers, journalists and NGO's.

One specific example that Roberson gives is the story of Rahel Hadish. After her arrival at the conference location in Veldhoven she says that she was thrown to the ground and kicked in her head by a opposition demonstrators. In a Tweet by De Telegraaf journalist Jan Williem Navis he states that he saw the man in the blue jacket kick someone in the head. Hadish also references this Tweet in her police report and states that she recognizes the man in the blue coat in Navis's photo as the person who assaulted her. Roberson interviewed Hadish about her attack. Nieuwsuur interviewed Hadish as well but didn't report on her attack.

Hadish is one of two attendees that we know of who are stating that they were assaulted by opposition demonstrators. After disturbing the peace by initiating a successful public display of civil disobedience, by sitting in the road and blocking the entrance to the hotel, all opposition demonstrators were arrested. Shortly after the release of the demonstrators a photo was uploaded on the Facebook profile of Prof. Mirjam van Reisen, where she is pictured with these same demonstrators standing outside of the Eindhoven jail.

Prof. van Reisen is a researcher at the University of Leiden and has been calling for regime change in Eritrea. We haven't been able to get a reaction from Prof. van Reisen in regards to the assault accusations that are being made against the demonstrators that she is pictured with. On Facebook she writes the following about the demonstrators: "Heros of today in Veldhoven-justice seekers in action."

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Western reporter finds Dutch media portrayal of YPFDJ all wrong Reviewed by Admin on 12:05 AM Rating: 5

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