Update on 17th December: Asmaa’s case was reopened last week and she has been allowed to return home for now. She is expecting a hearing soon, but Denmark continues to pursue its inhumane policy of stripping Syrian refugees of residency so the fight is not over. Please sign the petition to urge Denmark to restore protection for Asmaa and all Syrian refugees.
This heartbreaking photo is of Asmaa Al-Natour as she says goodbye to her neighbour. The Danish authorities have forced Asmaa to leave her home to a deportation camp.
Asmaa is one of 414 Syrian refugees who have been told to leave Denmark and return to Syria this year by the immigration services – after Denmark falsely assessed that parts of Syria are safe to return to. In fact, refugees face huge risk if they return to Syria and Denmark has been widely condemned for its actions, but the government continues to pursue its anti-refugee agenda.
Demand that Immigration Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek reverse Denmark’s shameful policy towards Syrian refugees. Sign the petition and share widely.
The fact is, no part of Syria is safe to return to and no one should be forcibly removed from their place of living. To this day the Syrian regime continues to kill, detain, and torture thousands of civilians. By stripping Syrian refugees of protection, Denmark is tearing families apart and putting hundreds of people at risk – people who have already fled a brutal war and survived unimaginable human rights abuses.
Danish authorities are expected to revoke the residencies of hundreds more Syrians in the coming months, which can split up families with different refugee statuses. Like Asmaa, they will be forced to leave Denmark within a month or move into deportation camps where they live in limbo under inhumane conditions and far from their friends, work and education.
Denmark’s decision is an attempt to appease far-right parties whose influence is increasing, as a part of prime minister Mette Frederiksen’s “zero asylum seekers” agenda. This racist decision sets a dangerous precedent for other countries that host refugees.
There is hope. Aya Abu Daher, who thousands of us rallied behind, managed to persuade an appeal board that returning would put her life in grave danger. But hundreds more refugees remain in an anxious position. Together, we can pile on a huge wave of public pressure until Denmark scraps its policy for good.
Don’t let the Danish government get away with destroying refugees rights - sign this petition to demand protection for all Syrian refugees in Denmark.
Photo: Kenn Thomsen