Armenian asylum seeker commits suicide in Netherlands

A week and a half ago, a 30-year-old Armenian asylum seeker committed suicide in the Netherlands, reports NRC.

He killed himself in the woods near AZC Schalkhaar, the asylum-seeker centre where he was staying.

The man arrived in the Netherlands in mid-December 2013. He has serious psychiatric problems, suffering from delusions,  but had not seen a psychiatrist since he arrived in the country, because the IND wanted to deport him to Germany under the Dublin arrangements.

Before he fled to the Netherlands, the man had crushed his nose as he though that the Armenian secret service had placed a listening device inside it. He had also made a number of suicide threats in the Netherlands before he killed himself, says his lawyer.

The IND had planned to deport him to Germany as he had previously claimed asylum there. According to his lawyer, heleft Germany because his delusions became too strong there, and he had felt calmer in the Netherlands.

The man’s lawyer had appealed against the IND’s decision. The appeal hearing at the end of March agreed with the lawyer,  but the  IND had put in an appeal against this decision.

Opposition parties wants the Dutch Minister for Safety and Justice (sic), Fred Teeven, to answer questions about the suicide in parliament.

Last year Russian Aleksandr Dolmatov, whose asylum claim had been rejected, committed suicide in his cell in a migrant prison in the Netherlands.

Protest against KLM deportation flight on Tuesday to Guinea

At 8am this Tuesday, 29th January, a sick man is due to be deported to Guinea, report Deportatie Verzet. This is the third time that the DT&V (the Dutch government’s ‘Transport and Return Service’) have booked a flight for this man. The DT&V wants to use a travel document that has possibly not be received through official channels. Furthermore, the deportation is in contravention of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHM) and a medical emergency will quickly arise if the refugee is sent back.

The man has various several medical problems, and just before Christmas the DT&V asked for medical advice from the Bureau of Medical Advice (BMA). The BMA came to the conclusion that if the man does not receive medicine then a medical emergency will quickly arise: he will go completely blind. According to the BMA the medicines are available in Guinea. However an enquiry with the chemist in Guinea to which the BMA refers has revealed that this is not the case. They have stated in writing that they do not have the necessary medical equipment at their disposal. Yet the DT&V have booked a flight to deport this man.

The refugee has a 3-year-old son in the Netherlands, with a residency visa. The permanent residency procedure for the son has been rejected by the IND. The lawyer has filed a complaint about this. The IND recognises the right to family life set out in Article 8, but according to the IND government interference is justified. The biggest reason for this, according to the IND, is that the refugee himself started a family life in the Netherlands without having the right to stay. In doing so they ignore the fact that in 2007-2008 he was in the Netherlands legally as there was a moratorium on deportations to Guinea. Furthemore the IND says that the mother (from Cote D’Ivoire) and child (born in the Netherlands) can go with the man to Guinea in order to continue family life there. The IND has not investigated whether the woman or child would be allowed into Guinea, given that they are not from there.

The DT&V wants to deport the refugee to Guinea. The travel document, a so-called ‘titre de voyage’, with which the DT&V wants to deport the man, has appeared under very dubious circumstances. Workers from the Guinean Embassy have told the refugee that the travel document is certainly not from them and that he can put himself in danger if he is deported with such a document. Furthemore, 3 volunteers at the Emergency Accommodation (Noodopvang) in Utrecht have been told by both Guinean consul (Ms Toure) and ambassador (Mr Sylla) that the document has not come from them.

The ‘titre de voyage’ in the name of the potential deportee is signed with the name of Ms.Toure, but Ms Toure has verbally stated that this document has not been signed by her. The DT&V’s use of these ‘titres de voyage’ has already been investigated by Nieuwsuur (Dutch TV news programme). Following this investigation the Supervisory Committee for Returns (CITT) started an investigation into the documents, but no findings have been released so far.

Source: Stichting Noodopvang Dakloze Vreemdelingen Utrecht (SNDVU)

The workgroup Deportatieverzet is calling everyone to strongly protest against this planned deportation. Some of the ways you can protest are:

  • on the Facebook page from KLM, the deporting airline;
  • via Twitter @KLM;
  • Phoning KLM:  +31(0)20-5459780;
  • Phoning Air France (the second deporting airline) on +31(0)20 – 545 97 80
  • Through sending a complaint, remark etc. about asylum policy to the Secretary of State using this reaction form.

The flight number is KL1229, it leaves at 08:00 to Paris Charles de Gaulle, and afterwards probably AF724 (Air France), leaving at 11:00 to Conakry.

Human Rights Watch condemn Dutch asylum policy (again)

Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a report released 21-01-14, has called on the Dutch government to find alternatives to migrant detention, says nieuws.nl.

The report criticises the way in which asylum seekers are treated in detention. It also criticises the IND for illegally labelling almost 300 asylum seekers ‘deportable’, including Russian asylum seeker Alexandr Dolmatov, who committed suicide in his cell after fearing deportation.

Finally the report notes that although deportations to Somalia should not have begun until 2013, the government recommenced them in September 2012. In November 2012 one of the deported asylum seekers was wounded in a bomb attack in Mogadishu, three dasy after he was deported.