Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Against the increasing pressure from lawmakers civil society organisations, and human rights bodies, Denmark is clearly strong-willed to move on with efforts to send refugees back to war-torn Syria claiming that the situation in Damascus is safe.
Unfortunately, Syrian, who returned home after seeking protection abroad, have been subjected to disappearance and torture, including sexual violence by the Syrian Security forces who targeted even children. Amnesty International reported that some detainees died in custody after getting back to Syria, while the fate of other forcibly disappeared persons remains unknown.
Not only is Denmark the worst place in Europe but the country also shows a lack of solidarity with other European countries refusing to take a share in the burden.
Speaking to Brussels Morning Newspaper on the situation of refugees in Denmark, a Spokesperson of the European Commission, started his speech expressing that the EU is not against the idea of Syrians being able to return to their home country, but this can only happen when the right conditions are in place.
“This is currently not the case. Until there is clear evidence that the UN protection thresholds are met, it is key to ensure that asylum space is maintained, the principle of nonrefoulement is maintained, and the resilience of refugees and host communities continues to be strengthened. This is why we will continue to show solidarity with refugee-hosting countries” added the Spokesperson.
He affirmed that the EU adheres to its mission to provide humanitarian assistance in refugee-hosting countries and in Syria to respond to rising needs.
“If a return is to take place it must be on a voluntary, dignified, and sustainable basis, in line with international law and the relevant provisions. Meanwhile, refugees’ rights should be preserved, including the right to documentation, to decent living conditions, and adequate access to basic services” he asserted.
As Commissioner Johansson said: “Let me first stress that, in my view, nobody could be forced to return to Syria. And when I heard this new approach from the Danish authorities, of course, I reached out to the Danish Minister to discuss this. And he convinced me that there will be no forced returns to Syria. But let me also say that when it is not possible to return people, you can also make a question mark whether it is the right way to take away the possibility for people to go to their job or continue with studying or learning the [a] language. So I think this is something that concerns me.” Endorsed the spokesperson