Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ter Apel eviction in English

Since there's hardly any English info on the eviction of the illegalised immigrants camp in Ter Apel, a quick summary of things found online, not all may be 100% correct since there's not that much info accept for tweets, phone calls, etc and regular media are, well, not to be trusted. The aim is only to give a quick summary for English readers, please place corrections and updates!

Thuesday night a group of Iraqi refugees accepted the offer of Minister for Immigration, Integration and Asylum Affairs Gerd Leers to give them shelter for three weeks during which Leers will talk with his Iraqi colleague for options to send the refugees back. This will probably mean that the Iraqi government will change its policy of not accepting refugees that are being sent back by force.

Regular media speak of 'a big group' or of 'all Iraqi refugees' accepting the offer, but another source (STIL) said it is only 20 Iraqi's accepting the offer. The Somalians and Iranians in the camp refused the offer. Others left the camp because they were scared of an eviction and the possibility of arrest.

This morning, police arrived and blocked off the roads leading to the camp. At that moment there were 167 refugees in the camp. At 13:45 the mayor of Ter Apel announced a 'noodverordening' which made a continuation of the camp illegal.
Police came into the camp telling people to leave, in the meanwhile people outside the camp started a legal procedure (a preliminary injunction) to stop the eviction, but the police was not willing to wait for an outcome and encircle the camp.
People are being arrested, some women from Ethiopia and Eritrea still decide to accept Leers' offer, probably pressured by police presence and arrests. Apparently people have been refused to get their belongings out of their tents. Two people with blood pressure problems black out.

At 16:00, 20 riot police vans are on the spot, encircling the last group of about 60 people. They are arrested one by one. Riot police vans are placed around, blocking the view of the media, making it impossible to see what is happening. All the tents are being put down by the cops: the camp is completely torn down at 19:00.

At 19:00 there are about 130 arrestees: 128 refugees, a Dutch woman active in the camp and a Dutch medical practitioner. They're bought to a jail in Groningen.

The procedure against the eviction is going to be tomorrow and is still going to happen: if the procedure is won, it means that the camp will be reinstalled!

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