Syrian refugees leave Denmark for fear of deportation

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – About 400 Syrian refugees left Denmark for other European countries, mainly Germany, after the Danish government announced that the situation in the Syrian capital, Damascus and its surroundings, was “safe” in order to deport refugees from Denmark.

Syrians fleeing Denmark towards other European countries faced obstacles to enter those countries, according to a joint investigation published by the Dutch newspaper, Trouw, while a few other countries helped them, according to the investigation.

Since 2019, at least 421 Syrians have fled to four European countries: Germany, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands. according to the investigation. 

About 35,000 Syrians live in Denmark, including 4,700 people who have obtained the right of temporary protection, and 1,250 of them are from Damascus and its surroundings, according to the investigation that other media organizations participated in preparing.

Since Denmark declared Damascus and Rif Dimashq as a “safe” area, the Danish authorities have canceled 378 residence permits for Syrians, including 101 decisions under appeal, while more than 400 files are still being reviewed. 

In mid-2020, Denmark became the first European Union country to re-examine the cases of about 500 Syrians from Damascus, which is under the control of the Syrian government, claiming “the current situation in Damascus is no longer such as to justify a residence permit or the extension of a residence permit”.

The upsurge in fighting and the return to violence are cause for alarm, according to the 24th report of the UN Syria Commission of Inquiry released in September 2021, stressing that the country is not fit for safe and dignified returns of refugees.

“As President Assad enters his fourth term in office – controlling about 70% of the territory and 40% of the pre-war population – there seem to be no moves to unite the country or seek reconciliation,” the Chair of the Commission, Paulo Pinheiro told a press conference in Geneva.

Reporting by Muhammad al-Qadi