The Danish government is planning to return hundreds of Syrian refugees back to their country of origin after Damascus and the surrounding area were deemed safe, despite objections from the EU.
In June of last year, the Danish Refugee Board deemed that the city of Damascus was safe in five separate asylum claims.
“Conditions in Damascus in Syria are no longer so severe that there is a basis for granting or extending temporary residence permits”, the government announced at the time.
Now the Denish authorities have decided that they will be stripping Syrian refugees of their residency rights after deciding that their home country is safe, insisting it has always been honest with those seeking refuge in the country that their residence was conditional and that they must return to Syria when it is safe to do so.
Even before this announcement, the Danish immigration service had started interviewing 1,250 Syrian refugees in sessions lasting up to 5 hours, and assessing how well they integrated into Danish society, testing their proficiency in the native language, as well as their adherence to “Danish values”. As a result of these interviews, 250 Syrians have already had their residency revoked.
Denmark has been “honest from day one” about the temporary nature of the refugees’ residency, Danish Immigration Minister Mattias Tesfaye.
“We have made it clear to the Syrian refugees that their residence permit is temporary,” he said.
The European Union has lashed out at this decision, with one European Commission spokesperson on foreign policy insisting that Denmark must respect the refugees “fundamental human rights.
"The limited returns that have taken place illustrate the many obstacles and threats still faced by returning internally displaced persons and refugees," said the EU's foreign policy chief just last November https://t.co/qxAWgqZPBB
— EUobserver (@euobs) April 14, 2021
Last July, Tesfaye said that Syrians “who have been granted protection in Europe must also go home when conditions in Syria permit.”
“We must give people protection for as long as it is needed,” he said.
“But when conditions in the home country improve, a former refugee should return home and re-establish a life there.”
Denmark’s Leftwing Prime Minister, Mette Frederiken, has been critical of mass migration in the past, saying in 2019: “For me, it is becoming increasingly clear that the price of unregulated globalisation, mass immigration and the free movement of labour is paid for by the lower classes.”
In 2017, the Iraqi government officially declared the ISIS caliphate to be finished.
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 29, 2017