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Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Netherlands will not return asylum seekers to Greece

Still image from the documentary film "Wa...Image via Wikipedia  
Source: ECRE

Following a letter from the European Court of Human Rights, Dutch Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin announced on 6 October that the Netherlands would no longer send asylum seekers back to Greece. This suspension will affect 240 asylum seekers who should be returned under the Dublin Regulation. Dorine Manson, Director of the Dutch Council for Refugees, welcomed this news, saying that they had been fighting for this for a long time. She recalled that there was a huge difference in the recognition rate for Somalis who have a 65% chance to receive protection in the Netherlands vs. none in Greece.

On 20 September, the UK Border Agency also decided to suspend the return of asylum seekers to Greece, pending the result of a case that has been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) from the UK Court of Appeal. In Denmark, after the Danish authorities decided to forcefully return hundreds of asylum seekers to Greece, the Danish Refugee Council has stopped the return of 15 asylum seekers through the European Court of Human Rights. In its proposal to amend the Dublin Regulation, the European Commission has proposed to introduce a mechanism for the temporary suspension of transfers to particular Member States for example if the level of protection that falls below Community standards.
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