After the book "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini: the kite as a symbol of freedom.

After the book “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini: the kite as a symbol of freedom.

Yesterday was the international day of action against the expulsion of refugees to Afghanistan. Approximately three hundred people attended in Utrecht, including a considerable number of Afghan refugees. Besides Utrecht there were also demonstrations in Amsterdam, Nijmegen and Maastricht. And there were campaigns in various other European countries, such as Sweden, Germany, Poland, Austria, Ireland, Latvia and Belgium. Altogether thousands of people have said that Afghanistan is an unsafe country and no one should be sent back to it against his will.

Nederlandse tekst
Translated by Naeri

“I am nineteen years old now”, says Mustafa, an Afghan refugee who has been living in the Netherlands since he was fourteen. He is one of the speakers at the demonstration in Utrecht. “I did HAVO, I wanted to do VWO (both highschool levels) and then go to university. But that is not allowed, because I do not have a residence permit. The IND (immigration department) wants to send me back to a country that has been at war for forty years. More than ten thousand civilians have been killed or injured. More than twenty terrorist groups are active in the country. It is even worse today than it was five years ago when I came here. Many refugees are under psychological pressure. I want to ask the Dutch government to stop deporting. ”

Don't send Afghans back

Don’t send Afghans back.

Palwasha, another speaker, four years in the Netherlands, talks about her search for safety: “In Afghanistan I studied International Relations, I worked with international organizations for women’s rights. I had a very difficult life in Afghanistan. I was threatened, but I wanted to continue working for all women and children. So it was a very tough decision for me to flee.” It took three years for her to get a residence permit. “Every time I got a negative response from the IND. They wanted to deport me, on my own, because my husband and children have the Dutch nationality. I felt like I do no longer have a place in the world, not in Afghanistan, not in the Netherlands. Now I do have a good life here. But I can’t ever be happy, because my family and other people are unsafe in Afghanistan. Every time we speak to each other, we talk as if it could be the last time because tomorrow they might be dead. Three weeks ago there was an attack in Kabul during which 103 people were killed and 235 wounded. International organizations have concluded already for a long time that the situation is life-threatening in Afghanistan.”

Mustafa: "The immigraton department wants to send me back to a country that's at war for 40 years."

Mustafa: “The immigraton department wants to send me back to a country that’s at war for 40 years.”

Eduard Nazarski, director of Amnesty Netherlands, also participated in the demonstration. In a short speech he spoke about the concerns which Amnesty has about the already deported refugees in Afghanistan. Amnesty released a report about their situation in October 2017. The Dutch government is called upon to delay all deportations, unfortunately only until a new Country Report about the (un)safety in Afghanistan is to be released. But before the Country Report (produced by a department connected to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called “Working Group Country Reports and Return”) hasn’t been correct, so what or who will guarantee the next report will present a correct description of the situation in Afghanistan?! In his speech Nazarski also pointed out that there are big differences between the policies of European countries when it comes to Afghan refugees. In Italy 75 percent of Afghan refugees are granted a residence permit, in contrast to only 35 percent in the Netherlands.

Palwasha: "I haven't got a place in the world, not in Afghanistan, not in the Netherlands."

Palwasha: “I haven’t got a place in the world, not in Afghanistan, not in the Netherlands.”

In any case refugees should not be made illegal, even despite any negative decision by the IND. I hope that all those thousands of people who took to the streets in Europe last weekend will do so again and continue to do so. Because no woman, no man, no person is illegal!

"Afghanistan is not safe"

“Afghanistan is not safe”.

For example, come to the noise demonstration against the detention of refugees and undocumented migrants at Kamp Zeist. This time specifically because of two Afghan boys who were arrested all of a sudden in Drachten. Next week on sunday, February 25 at 1:00 pm, at the junction Kampweg/Richelleweg in Soesterberg.

Mariët van Bommel

We are going to walk through the city center to the local office of the immigration department.

We are walking through the city center to the local office of the immigration department.

Ten thousand dead

Ten thousand dead.

Stop deportations

Stop deportations.

Op the Vreeburg

At the Vreeburg.

In front of the immigration department office, right next to the police office so that refused refugees can be deported efficiently.

In front of the immigration department office, right next to the police office so that refused refugees can be deported efficiently.

Willing to keep fighting

Willing to keep fighting.

The organisation thanks al participants for joining and hopes that everyone will also be at the next protest.

The organisation thanks all participants for joining and hopes that everyone will also be at the next protest.



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