Danish plan to repatriate Syrian refugees sparks controversy

Denmark is going through rising criticism for a choice final yr to revoke residence permits for Syrian refugees, citing a “protected” scenario round Damascus, however the nation is sticking to its place.

The powerful Danish stance is a brand new signal of the nation now having one among Europe’s most restrictive migration insurance policies.

“No different nation in Europe has adopted such a coverage,” Niels-Erik Hansen, a lawyer specialising in migration points, advised AFP.

Within the final election in 2019, the Social Democrats, headed by Mette Frederiksen, adopted a restrictive line on immigration and managed to take energy from the conservative authorities propped up by the far-right Danish Individuals’s Get together.

Widespread indifference in the direction of the coverage change within the Scandinavian nation was upended in early April, after one among Hansen’s purchasers, a young person about to graduate from secondary college, pleaded for her case on Danish tv.

Talking in fluent Danish, 19-year-old Aya Abu-Daher moved viewers as she requested, holding again tears, what she had “performed incorrect”.

The “glorious pupil”, in accordance with the headmaster of her highschool in Nyborg, is campaigning for her household to be allowed to remain.

The Syrian woman was not too long ago advised that her residence allow, which expired on the finish of January, wouldn’t be renewed.

Like her, 189 Syrians have already had their residence permits revoked because the summer season of 2020 after Copenhagen determined to re-examine the instances of round 500 Syrians from Damascus, underneath the management of Bashar al-Assad’s authorities.

The revocations have been on the grounds that “the present scenario in Damascus is now not akin to to justify a residence allow or the extension of a residence allow”.

A number of the rejected candidates, who had initially been granted solely a short lived allow, have been positioned in a detention centre.

“Being in a return centre, you possibly can’t work nor examine and also you get meals thrice a day. Principally, they hold you there till you signal a paper saying that you just’ll return voluntarily to Syria,” Hansen advised AFP.

Underneath Danish immigration legislation, momentary residence permits are issued with out an finish date in instances of a “notably critical scenario within the nation of origin characterised by arbitrary violence and assaults towards civilians,” however may be revoked as soon as situations are deemed to have improved.

Some 35,500 Syrians at the moment stay in Denmark, greater than half of whom arrived in 2015, in accordance with Statistics Denmark.

‘Worst place in Europe’

Final week, the UN Excessive Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) mentioned it was involved about Denmark’s resolution, even with deportations at the moment suspended due to an absence of collaboration between Denmark and the Syrian authorities after years of civil conflict.

UNHCR mentioned it “doesn’t contemplate that the latest enhancements in safety in components of Syria to be sufficiently elementary, secure or sturdy to justify ending worldwide safety for any group of refugees”.

Rights group Amnesty Worldwide has additionally denounced the “worrisome growth”.

“Denmark retains sending alerts that they don’t need any asylum seekers within the nation and scaring those who’re right here into returning to their house nations even when they don’t seem to be protected,” Lisa Blinkenberg, a senior adviser for Amnesty in Denmark, advised AFP.

“Not solely is Denmark the worst place in Europe however the nation additionally reveals an absence of solidarity with different European nations refusing to take a share within the burden,” Hansen mentioned.

However, regardless of criticism even from inside parliament, the federal government is sticking to its weapons.

“The federal government’s coverage is working, and I received’t again down, it received’t occur,” Social Democratic immigration minister Mattias Tesfaye mentioned after Aya Abu-Daher’s plea was broadcast.

“Denmark has been open and sincere from day one. We’ve got made it clear to the Syrian refugees that their residence allow is momentary and that the allow may be revoked if the necessity for defense ceases to exist,” Tesfaye advised AFP on Friday.

The Nordic nation has a acknowledged objective of “zero asylum seekers”, and likewise gives particular grants for voluntary returnees’ grants, which have been accepted by 137 Syrians in 2020.

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