Netherlands won't deport Afghan asylum seekers for six months
In the coming six months, no rejected Afghan asylum seekers will be forcibly deported to Afghanistan. According to caretaker State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol (Justice and Security), the situation in the Central Asian country has deteriorated too much for deportations due to the advance of the Taliban. There are no deportations planned for the coming period.
As a result of this decision, the decision period for pending asylum cases for Afghans will also be extended by one year. A maximum term of 21 months applies.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wanted to reassess the security situation in Afghanistan in October. But this so-called official report will come sooner due to the rapid deterioration in the country, Broekers-Knol wrote to the lower house of parliament.
This past week there was a commotion because the Dutch government, together with five other countries, urged Afghanistan to take back asylum seekers who have exhausted all legal remedies. The cabinet came under criticism from various parties and interest groups, including Vluchtelingenwerk. Coalition parties CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie also called on Broekers-Knol to stop the deportations.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban is advancing at a rapid pace after American-led international forces largely left the country in recent months. The radical Islamic movement has since taken over a large number of provincial capitals. The US military thinks the Afghan capital of Kabul could fall within 30 days.
Reporting by ANP.