HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATED IN SHADOW OF THE HAGUE PEACE COURT
THE NETHERLANDS, Ter Apel | More than 350 refugees, which have been denied access to the Netherlands are camping to protest the Dutch decision they should return to their home countries. That many of the Iraqi’s, Iranians, Somalians and Afghani’s are facing death when they are sent home, doesn’t bother the local politics. In fact, Dutch politics even deny their basic human rights, such as water, food and shelter. Volunteers from all across the country are trying to help, but many are stopped by Dutch police.
They have been camping for 9 days now, and what used to be a small emergency solution grew to a massive protest camp. Refugees and volunteers from all over the Netherlands are flocking together to protest the Dutch policy of immigration (under the rule of Secretary of Immigration, Leers) which clearly violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Human Rights Declaration and the International Treaty of Refugees. That The Netherlands, which houses the International Court of Justice in The Hague gets away with these violations, is a huge thorn in the eye of both the global community and the members of the United Nations.
A van, stuffed with goods by volunteers, has been stopped by the police. “We simply could not deliver the chairs that we were bringing. People are sitting on wet grass soil in one of the rainiest countries of Europe, but the police finds it more important to stop volunteers than to assist the public health and provide for human rights”, one of the volunteers tells. “It is clear that politics are tangled up in their own bureaucracy and can’t see or think clearly anymore.” The red cross, who originally wanted to assist, was officially asked not to help in this situation. The city council also decided to close and block the water provision. Camping beds are forbidden by police.
“You have to help steer in the right direction,” Secretary of Immigration Leers says, “helping illegal immigrants to human rights is not the right direction”. In public statements he states clearly that this way they want to discourage political, economical or even humanitarian refugees to seek for more human alternatives. That thousands and thousands have to sleep on the streets without the basic human right on housing or even water or medical care being met, while a record of empty buildings are locked down and empty for years, doesn’t come to their hearts. Police rather forcefully evicts mothers, fathers and family that try to make use of empty space.
Dozens of volunteers from around the country have picked up on the idea through the social media. They are printing flyers, collecting foods, medicines, tents and goods in almost every city and try to provide the camp as much as they can. “It’s amazing,” someone says, “it’s like we are all working for this goal of humanity and this feeling gives us energy to go on. The Dutch people and the public’s opinion is also very clear on this. We need to help them. They have no other option.”
Artists are also joining the call and are organizing a love and unity festival on Saturday at the camp site in the North of Netherlands to draw more attention to this human cooperation. A team of lawyers just made a call to bundle the complaints refugees or citizens have on immigration policies, and the UNHRC has also visited the camp today. Minutes after that visite, the Dutch police issued a new order to forbid field beds that are used in humanitarian aid.
Now a nationwide call is launched to refugees and volunteers in a dozen of languages, to all humanitarian organizations and volunteers to join in this collective strive. Though the politics continue as usual, a refugee camp within the borders of Europe, denying the very basic human rights. might actually finally showing publicly how disconnected today’s European politics are from humanity.
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Main focus now is transport, medicines and blankets.
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