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Dutch urged not to send Somalis home

The Hague, Netherlands - Human Rights Watch is urging the Dutch government not to resume returning rejected Somali asylum seekers to Mogadishu until security in the war-scarred city improves.

The appeal amounts to a rebuke from a respected human rights watchdog to a country whose reputation as a welcoming haven for asylum seekers has eroded in recent years.

Policemen drag away a protester who blocked the entrance to a makeshift camp for asylum seekers in Amsterdam. Human Rights Watch is urging the Dutch government not to return rejected Somali asylum seekers to Mogadishu until security in the war-scarred city improves. REUTERS/Michael Kooren. Credit: REUTERS

Justice Minister Fred Teeven announced late last year that the government was halting a 22-month suspension of repatriating Somalis to Mogadishu due to improved security in the city.

The first rejected asylum seeker due to be returned home successfully appealed his deportation this week.

Human Rights Watch refugee advocate Gerry Simpson said Thursday the Dutch should not resume deportations “until the U.N. has issued an up-to-date objective assessment of security conditions.” - Sapa-AP

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