Monday 24 February 2020

Thousands sign petition backing 19-year-old Amsterdammer facing deportation

A prison corridor

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Over 11,000 people have so far signed a petition in an effort to stop a 19-year-old youth who was born in the Netherlands being deported to the Dominican Republic, a country where he knows no-one and has no family.

Daniel Buter, from Amsterdam Noord, was left with his grandparents at the age of three and only discovered he is technically illegal when he tried to get a passport so he could register at college to study IT.

The youth, who has a citizens registration number (BSN), was picked up by the immigration service at the beginning of November and has been held in prison in Rotterdam since then.

According to Amsterdam media, a city official reported his situation to the IND when he discovered that he was not officially Dutch. The IND then tried to set up a meeting with him, which he did not attend on the advice of a lawyer.

‘That was a big mistake,’ friend Maroua Bensalah told the Parool. She describes Buter as a caring young man who does a lot for others and has never been in trouble with the police.

Buter, she says, was left in the Netherlands by his parents when they went on holiday and never came back. He has been raised by his grandmother since then.

Vanished

‘It took three days before we knew what had happened to him,’ grandmother Carmen Luisa Afonesca told local broadcaster AT5. ‘I did not know where he was, he just vanished.’

Local politicians are also trying to have Buter released from jail, until his case can be heard in February. ‘This is disgusting and inhuman,’ Amsterdam GroenLinks councillor Femke Roosma said on Twitter.

The petition had gathered nearly 10,000 signatures just a day after it was launched by Buter’s friends. ‘I hope that everyone signs,’ said friend Dylan in the Parool. ‘This is just wrong and he should not be locked up.’

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