MEPs revisit Afghan refugees in Brussels in light of declaration by Belgian PM
MEPs revisit Afghan refugees in Brussels in light of positive declaration by Belgian PM Elio Di Rupo
Several MEPs who co-signed the joint letter to Belgian authorities expressing their concern about the situation of Afghans applying for asylum in Belgium revisited them this week.
They welcomed a recent declaration by Prime Minister Di Rupo stating that the Belgian Government had decided to reconsider the security situation in Afghanistan. They especially welcomed the increase (to 81%) in January 2014 of the acceptance rate for Afghans (compared to 52% in 2013) and hope that recognition rates will not drop in the coming months.
“This step in the right direction has to be attributed to the courageous struggle of the Afghans themselves,” said GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer expressing “hope that the Belgian Government has abandoned the policy of repatriating Afghans on the basis that they can find safe refuge in some parts of Afghanistan.”
The Supreme Court of Australia recently decided to prohibit repatriations of Afghans, after being informed that several of those already returned have been killed. Zimmer proposed to question High Representative for Foreign Policy Ashton and the Council over whether there are investigations into what has happened to those already sent back to Afghanistan. Portuguese MEP Alda Sousa said that she would invite her colleagues to push for a European moratorium on the repatriation of Afghans.