Dutch deportation policy ‘risks lives’
13 February 2004
AMSTERDAM – International rights watchdog Human Rights Watch hit out strongly at the Dutch government’s plans to expel 26,000 unsuccessful applicants for asylum.
The deportation of thousands of people — many of whom have been waiting for five years or more for their files to be processed — will put their lives at risk, the group warned Dutch Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk in a letter on Friday.
News agency ANP reported that Human Rights Watch is essentially concerned for asylum seekers who face being returned to countries in conflict, such as Afghanistan and places such as Somalia where the central government is weak.
Not only is returning people to places like that putting their safety and freedom in danger, it was also “illegal”, the human rights group warned.
The group said the government’s policy was a serious deviation from the historic role of the Netherlands as a leader of the protection of human rights in Europe.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + asylum seekers