UNDOCUMENTED REFUGEES PROTEST AGAINST THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT’S INHUMAN ASYLUM POLICIES AT THE DOMPLEIN IN UTRECHT ON THE 7th OF DECEMBER FROM 14.00 TILL 16.00
On the 7th of December we are protesting against the detention of our fellow asylum seekers who were detained last Tuesday. The 19 rejected asylum seekers from Somalia were occupying an area in front of the asylum seekers centre in Ter Apel. Their only demand: their basic human need, a roof over their heads during these cold, rainy winter months. These people fled Somalia to save their lives and know they cannot return there. Some of the people occupying in Ter Apel had agreed to return to Somalia because they were not given the opportunity to survive in the Netherlands, but were nevertheless sent back here because they lacked the necessary documents. “It is clear that it is not safe or even possible for us, as Somali refugees, to return to our country of origin. Yet we are thrown to the streets here to fend for ourselves. The occupiers in Ter Apel were simply asking that the Dutch government acknowledge their situation as true refugees and grant them asylum, but instead they were detained and sent to the deportation center at Rotterdam Airport,” says Mustafa, a refugee from Somalia.
We demand that these brave people be released and that the IND changes its policies of throwing asylum seekers out into the streets. “Every human being has the right to express their feelings peacefully and that is exactly what they were doing and that is what is called freedom. Why should they be silenced in this civilized part of the world that advocates freedom?” adds Mustafa.
The occupiers at Ter Apel were from Somalia, but there are people from several countries facing the same dire situation. Mustafa concludes that: “Rejected asylum seekers from several countries are kicked out to the streets without access to shelter, food or medical care. This policy is inhuman. The Dutch government is trying to make the asylum process more difficult in the Netherlands so that the country attracts fewer asylum seekers. The net result only makes the lives of those already here unbearable.” We are born free and equal and we demand that our basic human rights be respected.
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