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Cablegate: Immigration Dept Further Restricts Passports And

VZCZCXRO9711
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHAE #0427 2401355
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271355Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASMARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9869
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUMICEA/JICCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RUKIA/DIA WASHDCQQRHRMDAB/COMUSNAVCENT
RUEPADJ/CJTF-HOA J2X CAMP LEMONIER DJ
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS ASMARA 000427

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E, CA/OCS/ACS/AF
LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CACS PGOV ER
SUBJECT: IMMIGRATION DEPT FURTHER RESTRICTS PASSPORTS AND
EXIT VISAS

1. (SBU) The Government of the State of Eritrea (GSE)
suspended without explanation most exit visa and passport
services to Eritrean citizens on August 11. Embassy contacts
believe the GSE was responding to increased corruption,
noting many individuals otherwise unqualified for passports
or exit visas under Eritrea's restrictive immigration laws
were "legally" leaving the country. Only cases receiving
unquestioned approval, such as for 54 year old men, 47 year
old women, and persons excused from national service are
allowed to apply. Cases involving the judgment of an
adjudicating official are not accepted. No date has been
announced for resuming passport and exit visa services for
Eritrean nationals.

2. (SBU) There are no reports indicating the closure applies
to holders of foreign passports, including dual nationals.
Conoff has received no reports of increased restrictions on
Amcits leaving Eritrea.
TABLER-STONE

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