Denmark suspends deportations to Afghanistan until October

by Reuters
Thursday, 12 August 2021 15:46 GMT

COPENHAGEN, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Denmark will suspend deportations of rejected Afghan asylum seekers to Afghanistan until October 8 following a request from the Kabul government amid increased conflict in the country, the Danish immigration ministry said on Thursday.

The decision comes after Denmark last week signed a letter with five other European Union countries, insisting on their right to forcibly deport Afghan asylum seekers whose cases had been rejected.

Denmark's move follows similar announcements by Germany and the Netherlands - two other signatories to the letter - as the Taliban continues to make advances around Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country.

The Danish government said it had received notification from the Afghan government last month that Kabul would suspend for three months its willingness to take back deported nationals.

"The decision of the Afghan government means that in practice we cannot forcibly deport to Afghanistan until October 8... as forced repatriations require that the Afghan authorities be ready to receive the deported person at the border," Immigration Minister Mattias Tesfaye said in a statement.

Earlier, Germany's foreign minister said a country based on the rule of law had a responsibility to ensure any deportations did not put people in danger.

Austria, Belgium and Greece were the other signatories to the letter.

On Wednesday Greece's migration minister said the European Union was not in a position to deal with a repeat of the migration crisis in 2015 and that ending the returns to Afghanistan would "send the wrong message". (Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen Editing by Gareth Jones)

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