Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Council of State halts deportation of Somali refugees

The Council of State on Tuesday ruled the Netherlands must stop deporting failed Somali asylum seekers because of the continuing violence - effectively reversing government policy.
The country's highest court ruled it is not possible for Somali nationals to travel from Mogadishu to southern and central parts of the country without the risk of being attacked because of the armed conflict.
This means deportation is no longer an option at the moment, the court said.
The case was actually taken to the Council of State by immigration minister Gerd Leers. He had appealed against a lower court decision banning the immigration service from putting Somalis in secure accommodation pending their deportation.

Protest camp

According to the IND, the ruling affects some 300 people some of whom, earlier this year, set up a protest camp outside a refugee centre in Groningen to draw attention to their case.
'The immigration service keeps saying everything is fine [in Somalia] but that is not the case,' a spokesman for the Somalis is quoted as saying by ANP.
They now want Leers to clarify their legal position as they are no longer classified as asylum seekers.