Dutch MPs reject asylum ministers repatriation stance

24th November 2010, Comments 0 comments


Labour and the Christian Union MPs have rejected Immigration and Asylum Minister Gerd Leers’ interpretation of a ruling handed down to the Dutch government by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The court has written to Mr Leers calling for the repatriation of refugees to Iraq to be decided on a case-by-case basis. Over the next few months, the court will examine a number of cases brought by Iraqis in the Netherlands. These people will be allowed to stay until their cases have been heard.

The minister says the court’s latest move has now in effect lifted its blanket ban on the repatriation of failed Iraqi asylum seekers which it imposed in October. The two political parties disagree, however, saying the general ban remains.

The row follows weeks of problems for Mr Leers. He was earlier reprimanded by parliament when he ignored a letter from the European court in October. In the document, the court said that Iraqi asylum seekers who lodged an appeal should be allowed to stay in the Netherlands at least until 24 November.

Mr Leers initially failed to inform MPs about the letter. Many in parliament are now accusing Mr Leers of doing more or less the same thing again.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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