Eritrea: Appearance of national identity cards, including description of security features and size; whether the acronym "PGE" is printed on the border of the laminate (2014-May 2015) [ERI105158.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

Information on the appearance of the Eritrean national identity card was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Keesing Reference Systems' document checker service for identity documents provides a specimen of an Eritrean national identity card, which is attached to this Response (attachment 1) (Keesing n.d.). However, Keesing Reference Systems does not provide information on the size of the card. In correspondence with the Research Directorate, Aaron Berhane, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Toronto-based Meftih newspaper, a Tigrigna, English and Arabic newspaper whose main audience is the Eritrean diaspora (Meftih Enterprise n.d.), provided a scanned copy of an Eritrean national identity card along with a general description, which is attached to this Response (attachment 2) (Berhane 1 May 2015).

Aaron Berhane also provided the following details on the Eritrean identity card:

The ID card is written in Tigrigna and Arabic.

...

The colour of the ID is light blue and on the back of the ID card, the light green logo of the government is stamped at the centre. On the left side of the border of the laminate, there are three "E" printed and on the right side of the border of the laminate, there are three "P" printed. ... At the bottom of the border of the laminate, there is an acronym ... "PGE" which appears five times. ... PGE stands for Provisional Government of Eritrea.

...

[The size] is 9.5 cm by 6 cm.

... [t]he word "Eritrea" appears in the front and back of the ID card background. Some of the words are cut at the border. If we count those ones, we see about 96 "Eritrea" in each page. So, in total, 192 [occurrences] of "Eritrea" appear. (ibid.)

Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Further information on the appearance of the Eritrean national identity card could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Berhane, Aaron. 1 May 2015. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

Meftih Enterprise. N.d. "About Us." [Accessed 4 May 2015]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: The following were unable to provide information for this Response: Canada – Canada Border Services Agency's National Document Centre; Frontex; Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat.

Attempts to contact the following were unsuccessful within the time constraints of this Response: Eritrea – Consulate in Melbourne, Embassy in London, Embassy in Washington DC; Eritrean Law Society; Human Rights Concern Eritrea; Visiting Research Fellow, Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Internet sites, including: Awate.com; British Broadcasting Corporation; Denmark – Danish Immigration Service; ecoi.net; Edison TD; Eritrea – Ministry of Information, Embassy of the State of Eritrea in Stockholm; Factiva; Haaretz; IRIN; TesfaNews; United Nations – High Commissioner for Refugees, Refworld; United States – Department of State.

Attachments

1. Keesing Reference Systems. N.d. "Domestic Identity Card." [Accessed 24 Apr. 2015]

2. Eritrea. N.d. Eritrean national identity card. Specimen provided to the Research Directorate by Aaron Berhane.