Ter Apel

A group of Somali and Iraqi refugees whose appeal for asylum has been rejected permanently, set up a tentcamp in protest, right next to asylum center Ter Apel.

The refugees assert that they cannot return to their country. The Iraqi government does not issue documents to Iraqis who do not want to return voluntarily and Somalia is remains unsafe despite claims by the Dutch government stating otherwise, the refugees maintain. According to Dutch law the refugees cannot be put in detention centers in preparation of deportation since their homecountry does not issue the necessary traveldocuments. But with their asylumclaim rejected they have become illegals with no place to go.

The number of people joining the camp soon runs into a couple of hundred refugees. The local municipality sets up toilets, garbage bins and drinking water.

After a couple of weeks the government clears out the camp. Those refugees who agreed to be placed in temporary shelter have by them already left. The rest, 117 people are taken to a nearby detentioncenter.