The Netherlands has been given the green light to deport five Afghan men who have lived in the Netherlands for at least 15 years by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The men all worked for the Afghan authorities during the period of Soviet rule. The Netherlands says everyone who worked for the Soviet government in a position of responsibility was aware of human rights violations and may have been involved themselves. Thus, they are not entitled to asylum.
The five men, in five separate cases, claimed the Netherlands was ignoring their human rights by sending them back to a country which is unsafe.
The court ruled, however, that deportation would not contravene Article 3 of the treaty on human rights and the men had failed to prove their lives would be in danger if they were sent back.
In addition, the situation in Afghanistan is no longer dangerous enough to consider ‘there would be a real risk of ill-treatment simply by virtue of an individual being returned there,’ the court said.
The court ruling will become effective within three month, unless the men launch an appeal. The court did say none of the men should be deported until the ruling becomes definitive.
Last year, the Netherlands deported a 54-year-old man back to Afghanistan after 18 years living legally in the Netherlands, leaving his wife and children behind.