Father Mussie Zerai, Allegations of Facilitating Illegal Immigration and Meron Estefanos

The role of Eritrean Activists in the illegal immigration of Eritreans
Human Trafficking is a crime. The role of diaspora based, self-proclaimed Eritrean ‘Activists’ in the Trafficking of Eritreans and their shadowy links with journalists and state officials vis-à-vis Eritrean migration warranted an investigation by European prosecutors.

BY FRANCESCA TOTOLO | LUCA DONADEL

We have already spoken in a previous insight into the figure of Father Mussie Zerai (NGO Analysis in the Mediterranean) and on Habeshia, an organization he founded with the purpose of “helping migrants to come to Europe”.

Habeshia has developed an online platform, Watch The Med ( Sea-Watch partner , one of the NGOs operating in the Mediterranean), online mapping to monitor the deaths and violations of migrant rights at EU maritime borders, in addition to have drawn up a guide to assist migrants during their voyage and once they reach the Italian coast [1]. It also contains the link of the most famous vademecum “Welcome to Europe” now published by Feltrinelli. [2]



Father Mussie Zerai, the self-proclaimed “Father Moses” in his last book, was arrested last August by a warrant for the allegation of “facilitating illegal immigration” following inquiries conducted by the prosecutor of Trapani. The same investigation also involved the NGO Jugend Rettet, with the seizure of the ship Iuventa and three notices addressed to the members thereof. [3]

As reported in il Giornale [4], “Father Zerai seems to be a migrant switchboard, but if you signal the inflatables from the start, without imminent danger to people on board and maybe you are being handed over by traffickers, it’s complicity. The same accusations made by the prosecutor of Trapani to the German NGO Jugend Rettet, owner of the Iuventa ship, seized for this reason by the judiciary.

Not only that: the Navy has undergone pressures and blackmails by Father Zerai, who in practice intimated to go to retrieve migrants otherwise he would report a hypothetical omission of rescue. And the Eritrean government has long accused the priest of being part of a “group” of human rights activists in Europe, which in fact favors illegal immigration and has political interests. The regime of Isaias Afewerki is certainly very similar to a dictatorship, but it does not seem to be a case that after years in Rome Father Zerai was transferred from the Vatican to Switzerland in the far Friborg.”

Il Giornale’s article suggests that Father Zerai is involved in a network of activists based in Europe who are opposed to Eritrean President Afewerki (Eritrea and NGOs: Resilience vs. Assistance and Refugees in Independence Square) with the aim of destabilizing its government also with the support of Western nations and international NGOs that have long been “banished” from Eritrean soil thanks to the “self-reliance” vision that drives reconstruction in the African nation.



In Sweden, we find another prolific Eritrean activist, Meron Estefanos, which established close working relationships with Father Zerai, as she already stated in NBC News in 2015, saying: “He is our ambassador. Usually called the Embassy. Instead, our people call on Father Mussie when in trouble.” [5]

An Eritrean newspaper, TesfaNews, in 2015 even wrote a true “sponsored” European organization by the US Department of State: “Emerging evidence suggests that activists of regime change, Mussie Zerai, Meron Estefanos and Elsa Chyrum have all been involved in facilitating the trafficking of young Eritreans.” [6]

Meron Estefanos is an Eritrean human rights activist and co-founder of the International Commission on Eritrean Refugees (ICER), an organization that claims to be active in defending the rights of Eritrean refugees, victims of trafficking and torture. [7]

Estefanos also collaborates with Radio Erena [8], satellite broadcasting radio to Eritrea (transmitted from Paris) and designed by dissident journalists from Eritrea abroad with the financial support of Reporters Without Borders [9] (an organization sponsored by Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation, American NED – National Endowment for Democracy, French Government and Swedish SIDA ). The purpose of Radio Erena is to offer “news and information that is independent of Eritrea in Eritrea” and declares itself “independent of any political and government organization”, A statement that proves false after a quick look at the supporters of its main donor.

Meron Estefanos tweeting trafficking ...
Tweeting with impunity …

Like Father Mussie Zerai, the Eritrean journalist seems to know in advance the departure of her fellow countrymen from the Libyan coasts as evidenced by her many tweets in recent years. The last one is a few days ago and Estefanos speaks of the departure of 2000 Eritrean migrants. [10]

Perhaps Meron Estefanos is continuing the “humanitarian commitment” of Father Zerai, interrupted after receiving the court notice for “facilitating illegal immigration”?

From September 28th to October 1st, will be held the festival “Internazionale a Ferrara” [11], created by the daily online Internazionale in collaboration with Doctors Without Borders and the European Commission, which will see the participation of Father Mussie Zerai (which will also advertise his book “Father Moses”) and Meron Estefanos. Both will be the speakers of the conference “Eritrea – The kingdom of fear. Repression, violence and unlimited leverage: why Eritreans flee to Europe”.



The presumption of innocence is obviously established up to the third degree of judgment, but would it not be prudent and appropriate to wait for the closure of the prosecution of Trapani before “sanctifying” and “legitimizing” the work of Father Mussie Zerai through prestigious invitations at festivals and conferences? Perhaps his “work” is continuing through the activity of other people close to him and not resident in Italy, such as Meron Estefanos?

We focus on this article, inviting the reader to listen to a song that is becoming very popular in Eritrea thanks to his message: ” Aytitehamel Gobezay ” (Do not be naive young man/woman). The song addresses the young Eritreans and invites them to stay in the homeland to contribute to the reconstruction, pointing out that “not all that glitters is gold” in overseas countries. [12]

Obviously, the message is in sharp contrast to what Eritrean “made in Europe” activists have said, such as Father Mussie Zerai and Meron Estefanos.

  • Meaza

    “…… their shadowy links with journalists and state officials vis-à-vis Eritrean migration……”

    This is i believe a brilliant observation. Unlike in the past, this latest tweet by Meron Estefanos regarding the 2000 Eritrean migrants departing to Europe, gets almost no traction from the mainstream as well as some NGO sponsored media outlets in Europe.

    This is probably a clear indication that the media networks as well as journalists who used to give her wide coverage in the past are now distancing themselves as these useful idiots are under the radar of EU investigators and associating with them at this time simply brings unwanted attention. Very interesting indeed.

    • One Observer

      I personally can deal with the media, but not with folks like father Mussie (small ‘f’). Unfortunately I’ve noticed that “Hope”, formerly also known as “Justice”, sorts of disappears when the conversation is about ‘father’ Musse. I have counted too many times for it to be coincidental (LOL).

  • Aoura

    A lot will be revealed about Mussie Zerai, Meron Estefanos and Elsa Chyrum.
    They are Murderers, Evils and Deceivers.
    For Mr. Mussie Zerai, doing evil while acting religious- hiding behind the Vatican walls , tells about his mission and his facilitators (Vatican- Roman Catholic has horrifically harmed Eritrean youth and their families but God’s name as well).
    Mussie must not face the criminal court only but also the Catholic ecclesiastical law (court).

    • Lalmba

      ኣንታ ዕንድዕሎም ‘ዞም ሓደስቲ ኣቕሽሽቲ ደኣ’ምበር፡ እቶም ቀደም ንፈልጦም ኣቕሽሽትስ ስራሕ ኣጋንንቲ ‘ወጊድ’ ክብሉ እንተዘይኮይኑ፡ ስራሕ ሰይጣውንቲ ክውዕልዎስ ይትረፍ፡ ክሓስብዎ’ኳ ዘይመስል እዩ። I hope they bring him and his disciples to the court of law. BTW, what in the hell is “Habeshia”?

      • Ebay-Asmara

        Lalmba, if you mean our tewahdo priests- then ok.

        Catholic priests?

        Always, decievers!

  • Andat Abbay

    Should I say trators , Mussie, Meron and Elsa the blood of the poor refuges is screeming at you traitors ,killers liers . In the name of God for the sake of truth to get forgiveness repent of your evil d.ids. Accept your wrong doing

  • Soon after the Lampedusa boat disaster, Meron claimed she had the list of names of all the victims … Again in 2017, she said over 2,000 Eritrean migrants (in five – six boats) departed to Europe. How could she got such details including names of those migrants while they are at the custody of the human traffickers inside Libya?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/399b9fce7c8c531ae1798a6bdc1fdd167369f56afe5154c3e8d2b8cff305fdb3.png

    • Lalmba

      TN, good observation! She knew the list precisely because this good for nothing bloody fool woman works hand in hand with the criminal human traffickers. That is how she knew about the list of the doomed victims.

      • One Observer

        This was obvious to us all (that this criminal traffickers have blood in their hands) but these are good evidence that western prosecutors need to build a case against these peddlers.

  • HABEN MELLES

    Our Heroes,
    Aba Mussie Zerai, Meron Stefanos and Elsa Churum cannot and will not be cowed by the Italian Mafia magistrates paid by the Gold money paid by the Chifra HIGDEF. Unlike Eritrea where the psychopatic president is the law in Europe they can never be affected. It will only be ” HAMEMAS INTE ZEIKETELE YEKIHIR” and nothing else.
    The whole Justice seeking Eritreans are by the side of our heroes.
    The brain slaves of HIGDEF are only barking dogs outside Eritrea.
    Your charater assisination had ben working only before the people opened their eyes, now it is too late !!
    SHITARAKUM DEWIRU!!

    • Alem Mehari

      Are these criminals your heroes, well it says a lot of what you are up to, but don´t be fool these abhorred elements are nothing but messengers of evil and destruction, sooner or later their mission will be revealed as soon as those who are behind them have “attained their intended or unintended goals” they are only using these pawns who volunteered to be used for a penny. These idiots know little, they will be discarded like any use and throw staff by their contractors.

    • Lalmba

      Here another lifeless idiot. Just watch this clip you stupid idiot:
      https://youtu.be/oJPkoSOiBlg

    • L.T

      Another Meron hero is here …….HABEN MELLES

    • L.T

      You’re nothing but a “BaHam” or”Geldam”, I mean you’re a DerHo”, what I mean is that you’re Tista di galina and I’m ao hard to see you like …and I did not understand why you’re here my”Haben?”do you know what does “Haben”mean?and who gives you that name,Pappa Abi?if you try to call Eritrea…. for a Little ice Cream or candy as your hero did?you will live with your guilt feeling forever like Padre Mussie and the two dogs.would you like to be so?

    • One Observer

      Shortly, the Italian prosecutors will come looking for you too.

    • Mengis

      You must be the lost daughter of a little midget

      • Alem Mehari

        No he is a MLLT hardliner with covered identity. He is playing a theatre: imitating being a concerned Eritrean citizen in reality he is a weyane stooge with no credence.

    • Eritrea Ne Ertrawian
  • L.T

    Meron has lived for a long time in a poorest and dangerous Place South of Stockholm Bagarmossen(Bagis)in a small two-room apartment with a low rent and it was a second hand rent then when she worked with this illegal and global knife and gang crime organizations she bought a red old car:-) and she moved to a Little better apartment ,they bought her on just about it,but people have paid a high price,she smokes one after one and drink a lot to escape from fear and loneliness Always exists with her.Her appearance have different colors and it is difficult for stylists to look after her and her body is like a truck and can turn at any time to a monster.West Always ulitize that person.

    • Alem Mehari

      She is nothing but a low life crap.

  • B.Adal