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Denmark: Syrian refugees at risk of deportation

Syrian Refugees | 2020-07-07 14:16:00
Denmark: Syrian refugees at risk of deportation
The issue of deportation has arisen once again to haunt Syrian refugees in Denmark, with the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), which is supposed to be responsible for receiving and integrating refugees, readjusting their mission to repatriate them using all means, including financial incentives. In addition, the Danish government has announced a decision to deport refugees from Damascus, claiming that they were no longer in need of protection.

Minister for Immigration and Integration, Mattias Tesfaye, called on a fast-track reconsideration of hundreds of residence permits for refugees from Damascus to be withdrawn. Recently, five residency applications have been rejected.

Media platform Nabd Denmark said that the Danish Ministry of Immigration is reviewing residence permits for around 900 Syrian refugees. Last Sunday, the minister stated on national television that “100,000 refugees are returning to Syria from the surrounding areas,” using it as an excuse to deport the refugees in Denmark, especially those from Damascus as “they don’t need protection.” 

Last December, the Refugee Council supported the Immigration Department’s decision regarding the conditions in the Damascus as no longer severe to warrant their Temporary Protected Status, a decision that has been condemned by human rights activists as an explicit violation of  the Aliens Act which states that “a residence permit will be issued to an alien if the alien risks the death penalty or being subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in case of return to his country of origin.” 

Since 2011, around 35,000  Syrians have been granted residency in Denmark and opening 900 files is quite unfair, considering that neighboring countries, like Sweden and Germany, have received over 100,000 and 600,000 refugees respectively, without deporting anyone.

According to a source, who preferred to remain anonymous, some extremist parties in the Danish government are recommending cooperation with the Assad regime in order to repatriate refugees according to specific provisions.

The source said that the refugees whose files are being reassessed have visited Syria in the past, meaning that there are no dangers or risks to them since they have entered Denmark through family reunification and not because they are wanted by the regime. 

The source added that the five families who are being deported have harmed the chances of thousands of Syrian refugees in Denmark. He explained that some refugees who have entered through political asylum have submitted requests to return to Syria in order to collect the money that was granted as part of the Assisted Voluntary Return program: about $20,000 US for every adult over 18. According to the source, most of them were pro-Assad militants who have completed their recon missions of collecting the names of opposition members and activists for the regime.

Zaman Al Wasl
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