Somali nationals protest at loss of freedom
Tuesday 31 July 2012
A group of around 80 Somali refugees camped out overnight on the steps of the immigration service in Den Bosch in protest at their treatment.
The Somali nationals were part of a protest camp outside the Ter Apel refugee centre in Groningen earlier this year. When the camp was broken up, they were given temporary shelter at the Vught refugee centre.
However, the centre is due to close in October and the Somalis were told they would be sent back to Ter Apel. They say this would limit their freedom because refugee centres involve reporting in on a daily basis.
On Monday they packed their bags and left Vught.
The Council of State says the Somalis cannot be deported to their own country because travelling through the capital city Mogadishu is too dangerous.
'And yet we must go to another deportation centre,' a spokesman told the press. 'We just want leave to stay.'
Immigration minister Gerd Leers is not impressed by their action. He says they will be sent back as soon as the situation in Somalia is safe. 'Reporting in on a daily basis means we can keep an eye on them,' he said. 'If they don't like it, they can go back voluntarily.'