Dutch goverment left Afghan refugees to their own defense, lawyers say
The Dutch government abandoned Afghan people on the evacuation list but still stuck in Afghanistan, asylum lawyers told NU.nl. The Afghans who helped the Netherlands are trapped in the country where the Taliban came into power last month.
Since Friday, registrations to be brought to the Netherlands have been closed. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IOD) have not been answering phone calls and emails, according to several non-profit asylum lawyers.
Afghans on the evacuation list are left in the darkness aslyum lawyer Barbara Wegelin said, “They have to make do with rumors and fragments of information." Wegelin has been representing around ten Afghan families.
Lawyer Vivian Oliana tried three times to get her client, a high-ranking Afghan official who worked together with the Dutch military, on the evacuation list but without success. “It seems as if the government is trying to look away for as long as possible, to debate and to evaluate in hopes the problem will solve itself,” Oliana said.
European governments have been working together with the UN and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to get “vulnerable Afghans” out of the country ruled by the Taliban, it was shown during a date of the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday. Rescuing Afghans is only possible with international help, caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.
Wegelin questioned why it was possible for Germany to bring Afghans to Pakistan by land, but not for the Netherlands to do the same. “Be transparent, clear and communicate!”, Wegelin said. “If there are secret plans to bring people out of Afghanistan, great. But let us know. Then, we know what we are up against,” the asylum lawyer said.
The lawyers pleaded for the Dutch government to take action before it is too late.