Cabinet to take tougher line on war criminals

The cabinet wants to take a tougher approach on suspected war criminals who flee to the Netherlands and claim asylum, reports NRC Handelsblad on Monday.

The public prosecution department will make greater attempts to prosecute and deport them, the paper says.
The paper says that justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin and his junior minister Nebahat Albayrak want to avoid the Netherlands becoming a haven for foreigners suspected of war crimes or committing crimes against humanity in other countries.
Over the past 10 years, around 700 people suspected of war crimes have claimed asylum in the Netherlands. About 350 are known to still live in the country. Most of them are Afghans and Hirsch Ballin and Albayrak are negotiating with Afghanistan to take them back. Similar agreements with other countries are also being negotiated, says the NRC.
But the ministers plan to take a softer line with the families of war criminals who have lived in the Netherlands for over 10 years. They do not qualify for the recent amnesty for long-term refugees, meaning children born and brought up here face deportation.

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