Suicide case continues to haunt Verdonk
15 June 2006, AMSTERDAM — The suicide of deported asylum seeker Andrej Donorov in 2003 continues to haunt controversial Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk.
15 June 2006
AMSTERDAM — The suicide of deported asylum seeker Andrej Donorov in 2003 continues to haunt controversial Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk.
Opposition MPs reacted angrily on Thursday to Verdonk's insistence that the transfer of medical information about Donorov to Spain was satisfactory. The Dutch Health Inspectorate (IGZ) studied the handling of the case and found it was not adequate.
A Ukrainian national, Donorov had schizophrenia and was suicidal when he was deported to Spain in the summer of 2003. He had been in institutions on several earlier occasions and was "seized by blind panic over his impending deportation," Socialist MP Jan de Wit said.
Donorov took his own life in a hotel in Madrid on 30 August 2003. This was 10 days after his arrival in Spain and the day before his first scheduled doctor's appointment.
Opposition MPs claimed the Spanish were not properly informed about his condition. The officials who received him were given a bag with medication and a two-line letter in English about his illness and suicidal tendencies.
Medical experts reviewed the case and stated the suicide could very likely have been prevented had the case been handled properly.
MPs of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrat Party (CDA) expressed 'disappointment' at the way Verdonk continued to insist her officials had acted adequately.
Government and opposition parliamentary parties held special meetings on Thursday to discuss the issue. Under international law, the Netherlands is responsible for asylum seekers in the country's care, even those being expelled.
Verdonk said initially that the deportation went according to the rules. But then she was forced to concede that three mistakes had been made. She said measures have been implemented to improve the procedure.
The medical handling of the case "could have been better, but the Spanish authorities were sufficiently informed [about Donorov's condition]," the Liberal Party Minister repeated time after time in parliament on Thursday.
This caused her left-wing questioners to almost lose their cool. They maintained that at least two of the four conditions laid down for the deportation of ill people had not been complied with. "It is particularly worrying that the Minister does not accept the judgement of the Health Inspectorate," Labour MP Klaas de Vries said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news