Category Archives: Netherlands

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

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.

Man deported from the Netherlands to Guinea had been illegally detained

On 09-08-13 a judge declared that Issa Koulibaly, one of the two Guinean hungerstrikers who were deported from the Netherlands on 01-08-13, had been illegally held in foreign detention, report Nederlands Dagblad.

Koulibaly had asked the Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst (IND) to postpone his deportation because of his poor health. The IND should have made a decision on this within 4 weeks, but did not do it. According to the judge, at the end of the 4 weeks, on 9th July,  Koulibaly should have been released.

The day before the deportation, Koulibaly’s lawyer gave papers to the IND, requesting that Koulibaly be released and allowed to stay with his Dutch girlfriend. The IND claim to have ‘not seen’ the papers.

The Guinean government originally said that Koulibably and fellow deportee Cheik Bah would be treated in a clinic for 3 months whilst they recover from a 70-day hunger strike. However it transpires that had to leave the clinic after 2 days because it had not been paid for. According to a source the condition of both deportees is  ‘abominably bad’. They are currently staying in a hotel which is being paid for by concerned individuals.

Asylum seekers from the Vluchtflat sleep out in central Amsterdam

A group of around 70 asylum seekers from the Vluchtflat, mostly of Somalian origin, slept overnight at the Dam in central Amsterdam on 02/07/13 to bring attention to their situation. They were moved on from the Dam yesterday but slept last night (03/07/13) in front of the city hall. A spokesperson told AT5 they intend to stay there tonight and have no intention of returning to the Vluchflat.

Meanwhile residents at the Vluchtflat have been told that they can stay there until 01/10/13.


Spokesperson of Rotterdam hunger strikers in life-threatening situation as kidneys start to give up

The following is a translation of a report from the Deportatie Verzet website:

The situation of Nessar, the spokesperson from the group of hunger strikers in Rotterdam detention centre who was put in isolation on Friday night, has become critical. After 4 days refusing water his kidneys have begun to give up. Despite this he refuses to be taken to hospital. He has also declared that he does not want any artificial food or medicine.

“I am not a criminal. I do not want to be treated as a criminal.” And so Nessar continues not to drink. And this is killing him.

Nessar is not only dying from his thirst strike. The manager of the detention centre has said that from now on he must be woken up every hour. That means that he can no longer sleep. The deprivation of sleep is a proven torture technique. That says Nessar himself: “This is torture. This cannot happen. I have said, put me in a cell with CCTV, then you can see if I am still alive. But they do not want to do that.” The manager has said: “We will not put you in an isolation cell, because if we do so your lawyer can make a complaint”

Every hour when the guards come to Nessar’s cell they put the light on, and they turn the lock in the heavy metal door, thus waking him up. The cell is cold: the ventilator is on all the time and is pointed towards his bed.

No food.

No water.

No sleep.

Nessar’s situation is life-threatening. And all he is doing all of this to let us know in what a hell he and other asyluim seekers find themselves in after they come to the Netherlands seeking sanctuary.

Update from Schiphol hunger strike, 07/05/13

Here is an update on the hunger strike in Schiphol, translated from the Deportatie Verzet website:

Despite the heavy pressure on the asylum seekers, there is still a group of 20 hunger strikers in Schiphol detention centre.

Two of the hunger strikes have been placed permanently in isolation, another two have meanwhile been taken to the medical detention centre. Guards and management are holding out for the end of the hunger strike, and are refusing to speak to the hunger strikers about any of their demands. The hunger strikers, they say, are giving the ‘justice’ institution a ‘bad name’.

Deportatie Verzet have spoken with I, a 29 year old woman from Mali. She fled her own country because of violence, sought asylum here and has been imprisoned for the last 6 months. She is sick, but her repeated demands for medical support have been ignored. In protest against her detention and against the lack of healthcare, on 1st May she and other asylum seekers in Schiphol detention centre went on hunger strike.

She has spent the last two days in an isolation cell, with just a mattress and a thin sheet. She was cold there.

The light stayed on for 24 hours a day and it was so bright that she couldn’t sleep. Today she was again brought back to her wing but she was in a bad way.

You can listen to I’s story (in English), told by another detainee, here.

Hunger strike in Schiphol migrant prison

From telephone calls during a solidarity demo outside Schiphol migrant prison yesterday (05/05/13), activists learned that there are currently between 20 and 26 detainees on hunger strike there.

The hunger strike began on 1st May, with the strikers demanding freedom. They are being placed in isolation cells every evening at 5pm and not released until 8am the following morning. This is ‘for their own safety’, according to the guards at the prison.


‘Socialist’ Party in the Netherlands unhappy after ‘failed’ asylum seeker who had stopped drinking given residency visa

The SP (Socialist Party [sic]) and PVV (Wilder’s Freedom Party) have requested a full statement from Immigration Minister Fred Teeven after a 21 year old ‘failed’ asylum seeker from Cameroon who had stopped drinking was given a residency visa, report

According to a radio programme Argos broadcast yesterday (27/04/13), Teevan would not normally yield to such pressure but this was a ‘harrowing case’ and therefore he made an exception. Teevan, the programme noted, has recently come under fire following the suicide of Russian asylum seeker Aleksandr Dolmatov who was being illegally detained in the Netherlands.