Sunday 18 April 2021

Amsterdam tells refugees to dismantle camp on building land

Amsterdrefugeesam city council has told a group of refugees who set up camp on building land in the city’s Pijp district they have to move on.

While the group are on land which is accessible to the public, ‘it is not allowed to put up tents and sleep in public areas’, the council said on Tuesday.

Some of the group, all of whom have lost their right to stay in the Netherlands, put up the tents on Monday after being evicted from a car park where they had been squatting.

Around 120 people were living in the car park, dubbed the Vluchtgarage. Many come from Somalia, Congo and Yemen and have been living in squats all over the city since 2012, including abandoned offices and a church.

The asylum seekers have all lost their applications for refugee status and have been ordered to leave the Netherlands. However, most of the group have no papers or say they will be at risk if they return to their home countries.

Marjan Sax, of the group Wij Zijn Hier (we are here), says discussions are now under way about where the group should move next. Many have rejected the offer of emergency council accommodation because it is closed during the day and does not offer a permanent solution to their situation.

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