Judge stops man's deportation to ebola area

A Liberian asylum seeker was on his way to Brussels, from where he would be deported back to Liberia, when he got the surprising news that he can remain in the Netherlands.

The man had repeatedly appealed against his deportation because of the Ebola epidemic prevailing in his country, but all his requests were denied.

A ruling by the court in Roermond prevented the deportation of the 31 year old man, his lawyer confirmed. Last week the court in Den Bosch ruled that he must be returned to Liberia despite the Ebola epidemic.

The man then appealed to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights (ECHR), but the European Court also decided that he should be deported to Liberia. According to the judge the man had failed to show that there is a real risk of infection. He might be able to protect himself against the virus by taking precautions.

Following this, objections were raised in the Second Chamber. Opposition parties the D66, SP and GroenLinks argued that asylum seekers must temporarily not be returned to Ebola affected countries. D66 Member of Parliament Gerard Schouw called it a double standard, referring to the negative travel advice issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the affected countries Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The Second Chamber is expected to discuss the deportation of asylum seekers to Ebola affected countries on Wednesday, but the Liberian man can remain in the Netherlands for the time being.

After the ruling of the European Court, the Liberian man's lawyer filed a new case with new arguments against deportation in Roermond, this time with success. The man has now returned to the detention center for refugees in Rotterdam.

According to Christos Stylianides, The European Union's new coordinator for the Ebola crisis, tens of thousands of rescue workers are urgently needed in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Another 4 thousand beds are needed to help patients and about eight people are required for each bed, including doctors, nurses and other care providers.

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