Human rights groups call on councils to stop deportations to Afghanistan

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Nine human rights organisations, including Defence for Children and Amnesty International, on Wednesday urged Dutch local councils to call for a halt to deporting failed asylum seekers to Afghanistan.

In 2017, some 10,000 civilians were killed or injured in fighting in Afghanistan and the UN Security Council now describes it as a ‘country at war’, the organisations say.

In January 2018, for example, there were four attacks within a week, one in the centre of Kabul and one on the headquarters of Save the Children in Jalalabad. ‘Ordinary people – men, women and children,’ were the victims,’ the organisations said in their letter.

The Netherlands continues to send people back to Afghanistan although the justice ministry has pledged to come with a new assessment of the security situation by May.

Four Dutch local councils – Maastricht, Tytsjerksteradiel, Leeuwarden and Coevorden – have already pledged not to cooperate with deportations to Afghanistan at present.