This coming Thursday, Jozias van Aartsen (VVD), the Mayor of The Hague wants to evict our tent camp, where we are taking action against the inhumane Dutch refugee policy.
Since September 19, we, a group of deported refugees have been taking action against our lack of rights and the inhumane Dutch refugee policy. The IND is telling us to go back to our home countries, but we can’t do that because the countries from which we came are unsafe. Returning for us means a return to violence, torture, and even death. In addition, there are countries (such as Iraq) that don’t accept people who are forcibly sent back. We also cannot go to another European country, because we would be sent right back to the Netherlands. Our human rights which we couldn’t have in our own countries are also denied us in the Netherlands.
Mayor Van Aartsen let us know in a letter on Friday that the tents have to be gone by December 13. We are no longer allowed to stay there through the night, or in other words, we are being evicted. One of the reasons that the mayor gave is that it keeps getting colder and that our health will be in danger. However, if we can’t stay at the camp, then we have no place to let our voices be heard and we will have to sleep on the street in the cold without the shelter that the camp provides us. We are protesting because the IND has put us on the street and declared us unworthy of rights.
We don’t think that this is about the cold. The Dutch government does not want us to let the Dutch people see how we are treated; that the street is a part of the Dutch refugee policy to force us to go back to the land where we came from but can’t go back to. We want a solution to our problem, and the street is definitely not the solution!
We have also started a lawsuit against the plan to evict our tent camp. The hearing will take place this coming Wednesday at 13:30 in the Palace of Justice, Prins Clauslaan 60 in The Hague. If it comes to eviction, we will not go away. We have the right to demonstrate, and we will decide for ourselves how to do this.
After the hearing, we will meet in front of the courthouse to demonstrate against the plan to evict the camp.
If it comes to eviction, we will resist non-violently. We are calling on everybody to come help! Bring all of your friends and acquaintances with you and support us in our struggle for a decent life, because even after eviction, we will be put out on the street because we can’t be deported.
It is not yet certain when the eviction would take place. The tents have to be gone by Thursday, so it could happen in the night between Wednesday and Thursday, but this could also be delayed if the judge decides to give his verdict later. It is also important to keep checking our website for the latest updates!