Verdonk rejects delaying Congolese deportations
14 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — Despite claims of breached confidentiality, Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk rejected on Monday parliamentary calls to postpone the deportation of processed Congolese asylum seekers.
14 February 2005
AMSTERDAM — Despite claims of breached confidentiality, Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk rejected on Monday parliamentary calls to postpone the deportation of processed Congolese asylum seekers.
Opposition parties Labour PvdA, the Socialist SP, green-left GroenLinks and the ChristenUnie had all asked for a deferment of the deportation in anticipation of a parliamentary debate.
The parties have demanded answers over a recent report on current affairs programme Netwerk that claimed the immigration service IND had sent confidential documents about the asylum seekers to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The report said asylum seekers could consequently face problems with Congolese authorities on their return, Radio Netherlands reported.
But Verdonk has denied that the documents were given to Congolese authorities, claiming the never gain insight into statements given by asylum seekers. These statements often reveal the names of people who helped the asylum seekers and various other sensitive details.
Verdonk said Congolese authorities are only supplied with information to determine the names and nationalities of the asylum seekers, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
She also presented to MPs a document detailing the agreement the Netherlands reached with Congo in 2002 over the return of rejected asylum seekers. The Dutch government is currently involved in negotiations to draw up a new agreement.
Refugee organisation Inlia has demanded access to the document in court. Some MPs claim that it outlines an agreement in which Dutch authorities must hand over the statements of asylum seekers to Congolese diplomatic authorities in The Hague when a travel document application is lodged during the deportation of Congolese nationals. Verdonk has dismissed the claims.
MPs are now demanding a debate on the issue next week. Current figures indicate that the Netherlands has deported 72 Congolese nationals to their land of origin since 2003.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news