No asylum for Afghanistan interpreters: Defense minister

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Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and State Secretary Teeven (Security) do not think it is necessary for a separate asylum system for interpreters who have done work for Defense.

The D66 and SP advocated for such a system. In a debate yesterday Hennis said that interpreters who have worked for Defense are not by definition in life threatening danger. According to her each individual case must be studied.

The debate on interpreters was overshadowed by the imminent deportation of Afghan ex-enterpreter Abdul Ghafoor Ahmadzai. This summer he told that he had fled Afghanistan after his brother was killed by Taliban who were looking for him. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) did not assess the content of his story, because he had previously applied for asylum in Norway and was rejected.

Therefore the IND invoked the Dublin rule, a European agreement that states that an applicant in principle will have the opportunity to receive asylum in only one country. On the "Dublin" exceptions may be made in "special individual cases". State Secretary Fred Teeven was not prepared to do this at first, which resulted in irritation and disagreement in the coalition party. After this political commotion Teeven said last month that he would still view the content of the matter.

MP Sjoerd Shoerdsma (D66) said that his party will insist that the government make an exception on Dublin standard.