A civil servant with the home affairs ministry has apologised after sending out an ‘insulting’ tweet ahead of Thursday’s clearance of an impromptu asylum seekers’ camp in The Hague.
‘Tomorrow clearance of the Koekamp tent camp near The Hague station. I’m already looking forward to the removal of the tramps,’ Leon Sinke said using the microblogging service.
The tweet has since been removed and Sinke has issued a new message stating ‘I should be more respectful as a civil servant when using social media’.
Sinke has worked for the government since 2003 and currently heads up a team in charge of reducing the size of the government apparatus.
Officials on Thursday began removing the tents where a number of failed asylum seekers have been living since mid September. A court in The Hague on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for the camp to be dismantled.
At the end of last month a similar camp was dismantled in Amsterdam. Many of those asylum seekers are now living in an abandoned Amsterdam church, with the help of volunteers.
The failed asylum seekers argue they cannot return to their home countries, either because it is unsafe or because they have no papers. Under Dutch asylum rules, failed asylum seekers are not entitled to any help with housing unless they agree to work towards their return.