Dolmatov asylum failings not an isolated incident, experts say

Failings such as those in the treatment of Russian asylum seeker Aleksander Dolmatov, who killed himself when he was wrongly scheduled for deportation, are not uncommon, experts have told Nos television.

A damning report last week said organisations, procedures and systems throughout the chain for dealing with asylum applications had failed, as had those supporting Dolmatov with legal and medical help.

But doctors told the broadcaster medical staff make mistakes more often and officials are sometimes unaware of the status of asylum seekers who end up in secure accommodation.


In 2010, there were 120 complaints made about mistakes but so far this year 64 formal complaints have been made. Most of these related to medical and psychiatric care, the broadcaster said.

Last week, for example, an asylum seeker at a centre in Utrecht was shot by police after he went bezerk when they came to fetch him for deportation, the broadcaster said. According to the man’s lawyer, his case was still being investigated.

On Thursday, junior justice minister Fred Teeven will answer MPs questions about the Dolmatov case. Commentators say he is likely to face tough question as well as calls for his resignation.

Aleksander Dolmatov, arrested last May during a demonstration opposing president Vladimir Putin, applied for political asylum in the Netherlands in June, saying he feared for his life.

He was found dead in a detention centre in early January where he had been sent to await deportation after his application for asylum failed

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