Court stops expulsion of Dutch Somalis

7th January 2011, Comments 0 comments


The Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled today in favour of two Somali asylum seekers who were due to be deported from the Netherlands to their home country. The court has ordered the Dutch authorities to first investigate the asylum seekers' objection against the deportation before forcing them to leave.

The Interior Ministry has confirmed the court's ruling with respect to the two Somalis and said it will honour the outcome. A spokesman added, however, that the case should not be seen as a precedent for other asylum seekers and said the ministry will investigate the implications of the ruling.

The Netherlands offers protection to people who come originally from the capital, Mogadishu, but says the political situation in South and Central Somalia is now stable enough for Somali refugees. The Court for Human Rights argues that the situation throughout the country is too dangerous and that returning asylum seekers would most likely be subject to human rights abuses.

Many Somalis are confronted on a daily basis with one of two different conflicts. Fighting between transitional government and the African Union AMISOM forces supporting it and the opposition fighters continues to dominate life in Mogadishu. Thousands of civilians have been killed and wounded by indiscriminate small arms, mortar, and rocket fire. Meanwhile many of the areas under al-Shabaab's control have enjoyed relative peace - but the population is subject to targeted killings and assaults, repressive forms of social control, and brutal punishments under its draconian interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law.

Somalia's chronic humanitarian crisis is worsening, fuelled largely by conflict and instability. Food aid to much of southern Somalia has also been suspended. Due to all of these factors, thousands of Somalis flee the country every month.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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