The Netherlands cannot simply send status holders back to Greece: Council of State
The Netherlands cannot simply deport asylum seekers who have a residence permit in Greece, the Council of State stated in a ruling on Wednesday. The ruling means that the State Secretary for Justice must provide more insight as to why foreign nationals who apply for asylum here but already have a residence in Greece should be deported.
Some status holders sometimes travel to the Netherlands to apply for asylum here. Due to their residence permit in Greece, they are, in principle, no longer eligible for asylum in the Netherlands and their application is immediately rejected. Yet according to the Council, asylum seekers often end up in inhumane situations upon their return to Greece without shelter, food and running water. “They end up in a situation in which they cannot provide for the most important, basic needs”, the Council of State said.
“The Netherlands cannot simply send refugees with a Greek residence permit back to Greece. In Greece, they are left to their own devices and often end up on the street”, a spokesperson of Refugee Work Netherlands said, according to the ANP.
The Council issued this ruling in the cases of two Syrian refugees who initially obtained an asylum permit in Greece and then traveled on to the Netherlands. Here, they applied for asylum again and their applications were not reviewed by the State Secretary of Justice Ankie Broekers-Knol. The Council of State ruled that the deportation of the two asylum seekers should be reconsidered because they will likely end up in horrible conditions in Greece. Broekers-Knol must now explain why, according to her, the asylum seekers will be offered a humane reception in Greece.
The situation for asylum seekers arriving in Greece has been challenging for years. Yet in 2018, the Council of State ruled that status holders could be sent back because their fundamental human rights were not being violated. Based on new reports and information, the Council has decided this is no longer the case.
The State Secretary said she will study the ruling.