From all across Europe they have come: Eritrean men and women opposed to the Eritrean government have converged on the Italian city of Bologna. Yesterday over 200 picketed the festival, which is used to mobilise support for President Isaias Afeworki’s regime. Today they are marching in a show of opposition strength.

Once these festivals were an opportunity for the Eritrean authorities to win young people to their cause. But as conditions inside the country have deteriorated, and thousands flee their homeland every month, the Eritrean diaspora is determined to take on the regime, challenging its attempts to win support for its cause.

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