Refugee camp cleared because of health concerns, 117 arrested

The camp set up by failed asylum seekers outside the Ter Apel refugee centre in Groningen was cleared by police on Wednesday evening because of fears about the health of the campers and risk of fire.

In total, 117 people who refused to leave the camp were arrested and taken to jail in Groningen city. All but two of the people arrested were Iranian or Somali nationals.
The camp was set up two weeks ago by a group of Iraqis who were protesting about the government’s decision to deport them. They argue it is still too dangerous to be sent back to Iraq. Immigration minister Gerd Leers had offered them temporary accommodation pending their deportation.
On Wednesday morning, the Iraqis packed up their tents and left, but the Iranians and Somalis who had joined the camp refused, news agency ANP reported.
The camp was cleared on the order of the local mayor because of health and fire risk concerns. However, a lawyer for some of the asylum seekers said the situation at the campsite was no more dangerous than at the average pop festival.

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