Families in Leeuwarden Camp Demand Expedited Asylum Procedures
By Mohamad Eid
A group of families among the asylum seekers residing in LEEUWARDEN Camp in northern Netherlands have urged the local authorities to assist in expediting their asylum procedures, which have exceeded more than a year, as they continue to wait for the IND (Immigration and Naturalization Service) to schedule their second interview. They express feelings of despair and sadness while living in inadequate housing conditions with their children.
The families, gathered at OLDEHOOFSTER KERKHOF 2 Square in Leeuwarden, state that they have been enduring a long waiting period for the progression of their asylum cases, but there has been no response from the IND despite their repeated requests. The camp they inhabit fails to provide suitable accommodation for families, as each family resides in a single room and uses shared public facilities for toilets, bathrooms, and kitchens, which further adds to the hardships of their lives and the lack of privacy every family requires. Consequently, they have reached a point where they are losing motivation to continue in such challenging circumstances due to the delays in processing their asylum applications.
Rezan Ibrahim, one of the organizers of the gathering, stated: “We are not merely complaining refugees; we are patient refugees who have endured a lot, and we don’t know how much longer this will continue. We are not raising our voices to cause disturbance but rather seeking support from the immigration and municipal authorities.”
Ashraf, an asylum seeker living with his family in the camp, added: “It might be possible to live in such a camp for a few weeks or three months, but not for a year.”
Saida Ibrahim, a member of the Green Left party who participated in the gathering, shouted out: “This reality must change! Give these people their national numbers, how difficult can that be?”
Another individual accompanied by a minor child shared: “I expected my asylum procedures to move faster compared to some friends who obtained temporary residence permits, but I have been waiting for my second interview with the Immigration and Naturalization Service for 10 months now. It has become difficult for me to tell my wife, who is living in one of the camps in Turkey, when I will receive my residence permit and when we can reunite as a family. I am beginning to lose hope of achieving a positive outcome.”