Refugees leave Amsterdam car park squat, two arrested
A group of refugees who have been squatting in an abandoned multi-storey car park in Amsterdam’s Zuidoost district for several months left the building voluntarily on Monday.
However, according to news agency ANP, at least two were arrested in scuffles with riot police who were on hand to ensure they left the building.
The city’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan had ordered the squatters to leave because the city has organised alternative, basic accommodation for them. The car park itself is scheduled for demolition.
About 120 people have been living in the car park, dubbed the Vluchtgarage. Many come from Somalia, Congo and Yemen and have been living in squats all over the city since 2012, including abandoned offices and a church. The asylum seekers have all lost their applications for refugee status and have been ordered to leave the Netherlands. However, most of the group have no papers or say they will be at risk if they return to their home countries.
The city council has organised ‘bed, bath and bread’ facilities for the group, which is largely made up of men. However, the shelters are only open at night and the refugees say they will be forced to roam the streets during the day.