Denmark, Syrian refugees risk deportation over Danish authorities' decision to deem two government-controlled parts of Syria safe

Denmark, Syrian refugees risk deportation over Danish authorities' decision to deem two government-controlled parts of Syria safe

ROME - On March 17, two Syrians from Latakia will appeal against the revocation of temporary protection before the Danish Commission for Refugee Appeals. If the Council decides, in line with the Immigration Service, to withdraw the protection, it would set a dangerous precedent for many other Syrian refugees currently settled in Denmark. Denmark's addition of Latakia and Tartous to safe places list comes despite 2021 reports of Human Rights Watch And Amnesty Internationalaccording to which returning Syrians face serious human rights violations and persecution at the hands of the authorities and affiliated militias, including torture, extrajudicial executions and kidnappings.

UNHCR warning. L'High Commissioner for Refugees in March 2021 he invited the countries that have welcomed Syrian refugees not to revoke political asylum, because despite the fact that security has increased in some areas of Syria, these improvements cannot yet be considered stable and lasting enough to justify the cessation of the status of refugee.

Human Rights Watch's dossier on Syria. Refugees who have voluntarily returned from Lebanon and Jordan to Syria in recent years told Human Rights Watch that the Syrian government or its affiliated militias subjected them to arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment, kidnapping and extrajudicial killings. HRW documented 21 cases of arrests and arbitrary detention, 13 cases of torture, 3 kidnappings, 5 extrajudicial executions, 17 enforced disappearances and 1 case of alleged sexual assault. The Syrian authorities are suspicious of people who have fled the country to find protection abroad, which is why deportations at this time can be particularly dangerous.

Amnesty International. The analysis of the organization is not much different from that of HRW. Amnesty writes that Syrian intelligence officials have subjected women, children and men returning to Syria to illegal or arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment, including rape, sexual assault, enforced disappearances. Based on this research, Amnesty International believes that no part of Syria is safe for returnees, not even Damascus and the Damascus area - as claimed by the Danish Immigration Service - and people who left Syria from the beginning of the conflict are in real risk of persecution upon their return.

The UN Commission of Inquiry into Syria. The findings of HRW's and Amnesty International's work are consistent with those of other human rights organizations and those of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into Syria, all of which have documented arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture and ill-treatment, involuntary disappearances or forced executions and summary executions inside Syria. The Commission has disclosed cases of abuses amounting to crimes against humanity, murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence.

The humanitarian crisis in Syria. The designation of Latakia and Tartous as safe places comes, among other things, a few weeks after the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria, killing tens of thousands of people and causing serious collateral damage, including to water networks in the areas of Latakia and Tartous, which are among the poorest in the country. Many people are now without running water and are at increased risk of contracting infectious diseases. The earthquake has aggravated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country, where over 90 percent of the population now depends on aid to survive.

Appeals in Denmark. All decisions by the Danish Immigration Service to withdraw temporary protection can be challenged before the Refugee Appeals Board. Since the beginning of 2022, the Council has canceled 77 percent of the revocations of the residence permit to Syrian citizens decided by the Immigration Service.

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