Thursday, June 17, 2021
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HomeWorldDanish MP's Statements Regarding Syrian Refugees Reeked Of Shameful, Condescending Language

Danish MP’s Statements Regarding Syrian Refugees Reeked Of Shameful, Condescending Language


Geneva – A Member of the Danish Parliament and former
Minister of Immigration and Integration, Inger Stojberg, has
made some high-handed statements on her Facebook account
calling all Syrian refugees to return to their country. The
Danish authorities must put an end to the rising volume of
xenophobic speeches.

Stojberg demanded hundreds of
Syrian refugees to comply with the decision to deport them
their country, stating that Syria is no longer
dangerous.

The MP used condescending language when
addressing the services Syrian refugees had received since
their arrival. This included education, health, protection
and other basic services. These rights that the state is
obligated to provide are in accordance with the relevant
international laws, most notably the 1951 Refugee Convention
and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European
Union.

“You have received Danish lessons, guidance
and education,” Stojberg said whilst addressing the Syrian
refugees. “We have entered into agreements and made new
arrangements for you.”

“Now is the time for those
of you who have had your residence permits revoked, to pack
your things, travel home and begin rebuilding your own
homeland. And alongside doing that, you are very welcome to
send the Danes a big thank you for all the help you received
when you needed it.”

Stojberg’s speech showed
clear signs of contempt for the Syrian refugees. By
repeatedly calling them to leave the country, Stojberg
implied that the refugees were a burden and their presence
was an inconvenience. “Denmark is not your motherland,”
she added.

Chief of Programs and Communications at
Euro-Med Monitor, Muhammad Shehada, said that “the MP’s
’s speech is a shameless attack on the human dignity of
refugees. It is also a despicable example of bullying a
vulnerable group that sought refuge in Denmark to escape the
devastating effects of war, and a build a safe and stable
life.”

“The services provided by Denmark to the
Syrian refugees should not be viewed as ‘privileges’ or
‘grants’, but rather obligatory rights guaranteed by the
relevant international treaties; foremost of which is the
1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees that
Denmark signed.” Shehada added, “The convention
stipulated that refugees should be granted their basic
rights and should not be returned to a country where there
is a fear of prosecution.”

Stojberg served as
Minister of Immigration and Integration in Denmark from June
2015 to June 2019. Supported by right-wing, anti-refugee and
immigrant parties, she worked towards introducing strict
legal amendments that targeted refugees, particularly
Syrians.
In February 2021, the Danish parliament referred
Stojberg to trial for violating the European Convention on
Human Rights, after she gave instructions in 2016 to
separate spouses coming to Denmark, especially Syrians, and
if they found that one was under 18 at the time of
marriage.

Stojberg is scheduled to appear after the
next summer vacation before a special national court for
ministers and politicians on several charges, including the
separation of refugees from their spouses without individual
examination of each case.

Last March, Denmark revoked
the residence permits of 94 Syrian refugees after reviewing
the permits of about 900 migrants. This decision was based
on a conclusion made in December 2019 that considered the
governorate of Damascus not dangerous enough to grant
international protection to the people fleeing from
it.

Euro-Med Monitor had called on the Danish
authorities to reconsider their decision to return Syrian
refugees, since the UN made clear assurances that the
country is still witnessing war atrocities and crimes
against humanity.

There has been no changes to the
circumstances in and around Damascus to justify the loss of
international protection for refugees. A critical issue is
whether refugees can re-avail themselves of the protection
from the country of origin and its primary duty bearers, as
enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention.

In March
2021, an international commission of inquiry confirmed that
protection could not be made available, as the government
and other warring parties are neither will nor able to hold
the perpetrators accountable in a manner consistent with
international standards.

The Danish government should
take resolute measures to put an end to escalating hate
speeches against refugees, ensure that its leaders respect
human rights and confront every manifestation or discourse
that feeds hatred and violence towards migrants and
vulnerable groups in the country.

The authorities
should also reconsider the decision to deport Syrian
refugees, and recognize that Syria is far from being a safe
place for its citizens to
return.

© Scoop Media

 



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