Police and council wardens in Ter Apel have confiscated dozens of tents which local companies had handed out to refugees, leaving hundreds of people outside the reception centre without shelter overnight.
One asylum seeker told NOS that the tents had been taken away without any explanation. ‘We were asked to remove our belongings and they took them,’ he said.
Local officials said the decision had been taken because ‘the safety of everyone cannot be guaranteed’.
‘We don’t know what is going on in the tents,’ a council spokesman is quoted as saying by news website Nu.nl. The tents also present a hygiene problem and do not help permanently solve the situation, he said. ‘That has to be done by The Hague’.
Local resident Willem Straat said the decision to take away the tents was ‘completely idiotic’.
‘They belong to the refugees and taking them away is theft,’ he said. The tents were bought following a crowdfunding campaign among local businesses, which raised €12,500.
Hundreds of refugees have been sleeping outside the centre this week because of the shortage of beds, and because of long waits to register for the asylum procedure.
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