Alarm amid suspension of expulsions

8th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

8 January 2007, AMSTERDAM — The vagueness of the suspension of deportations for rejected asylum seekers has sparked panic and chaos, a survey of lobby groups and experts has indicated.

8 January 2007

AMSTERDAM — The vagueness of the suspension of deportations for rejected asylum seekers has sparked panic and chaos, a survey of lobby groups and experts has indicated.

The Dutch Parliament voted in favour of a motion last month from the Labour PvdA to impose a suspension on deportations until the installation of a new government, which would legislate a general pardon.

But panic has been sparked among asylum seekers, while lawyers, lobby groups and judges do not how the suspension should be interpreted, newspaper 'De Volkskrant' reported on Monday.

"A large amount of unrest has arisen due to the ministerial conjuring," said Jan Mulder, an official with the group Een Royaal Gebaar (A Royal Gesture).

Mulder, the former director of the deportation centre Ter Apel, said the situation was a mess: "No one knows where it's at".

His foundation has sent a letter to the facilitator of the coalition government negotiations, Herman Wijffels, to have the issue discussed during talks between the Christian Democrat CDA, PvdA and ChristenUnie.

Tilburg professor Anton van Kalmthout said the government promises were also vague, stressing it is unclear who can avail of the suspension.

"The criteria in the letter from [Prime Minister Jan Peter] Balkenende are so unclear, that even judges can't do anything with them," said Loes Vellenga, the chief of the association of asylum seeker lawyers, Vereniging Asieladvocaten en- juristen Nederland.

A spokesman for the Dutch Refugee Council (VluchtelingenWerk Nederland) said that the suspension of deportations had given people secret hope.

But he said there was great alarm because no one knows how the general amnesty will develop.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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