The World – Syria
According to the newspaper’s long report on refugees in Denmark, “The Scandinavian country stripped 94 Syrian refugees of their residence permits after it decided that Damascus and the surrounding area are safe.”
The migrants will be sent to deportation camps, but they will not be forced to leave. But rights groups say the government is not trying to give migrants any option but to return to Syria of their own volition.
Matthias Tesfay, the Danish Minister of Immigration, said last month that the country had been “open and honest from the start” with refugees from Syria. We have made it clear to Syrian refugees that their residence permit is temporary. It can be withdrawn if protection is no longer needed.
“We must protect people as long as they are needed,” he added. But when conditions improve in his home country, a refugee must return to his homeland and re-establish his life there.
His statements came as Denmark extended the parts of Syria that are considered safe for the return of people to include the southern Damascus governorate.
The ruling Democratic Center Left Party in Denmark has taken a fierce anti-immigration stance in an attempt to ward off challenges from the right-wing parties.
While Germany had previously said that criminals could be deported to Syria, Denmark is the first country in Europe to say that refugees can be returned.
The decision by Denmark regarding the Damascus Countryside Governorate now means reassessing the temporary protection permits for 350 Syrian citizens in the country. This is in addition to the approximately 900 refugees from Damascus whose cases were reopened last year.
And in mid-January, The Telegraph reported that 94 Syrians from Damascus living in Denmark had revoked their permits. This came after a decision issued in December 2019 by the Danish Refugee Appeals Board that conditions in Damascus were no longer serious enough to give reasons for temporary protection, without any additional personal reason for granting asylum. But human rights groups have spoken out against Denmark’s move to send people back to Syria.