A 14-year-old girl who faces deportation to Afghanistan should be recognised as a refugee in her own right, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Leeuwarder Courant reports.
The paper say the UNHCR has written to Sahar Hbrahimgel’s lawyer stating the girl could be in serious danger if she is sent back to Afghanistan because she is too westernised. In addition, the Taliban and other extremist organisations will regard her as ‘sinful’, the letter says.
The lawyer, Paul Stieger, says it is extremely rare for the UNHCR to intervene directly in an asylum case.
The Hbrahimgel family came to the Netherlands 10 years ago and has been turned down for asylum three times. The family lives in the Groningen village of Sint Annaparochie and the girl is in the pre-university high school stream. She wants to be a surgeon.
The family’s supporters say slow immigration service procedures are one reason the case has taken so long to process.
A last-ditch appeal by the family is currently being considered by a court in Den Bosch.
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