As she sits in her studio condo in Sønderborg, Denmark, Rihab Kassem’s naked ft present the tan marks left by 43 days of protesting in Copenhagen. For her, displaying up day-after-day for the Syrian sit-in protest in entrance of the parliament paid off.
For the reason that nation turned the primary in the EU to declare Damascus and the encircling space secure, refugees are having their authorized standing reviewed, and risking being despatched again to the war-torn nation.
After being rejected twice (by the Danish Immigration Service and by the Refugee Board), Kassem’s attorneys managed to have her case reopened.
Up till that time, her story was very a lot the identical as that of tons of of different Syrian refugees in Denmark.
However Kassem’s case was met with a contented ending – or reasonably, with a brand new starting.
On 28 June, a number of days earlier than she was alleged to both depart for Syria or be despatched to a deportation camp, her case was reopened. Now she is allowed to remain in Denmark for as much as 12 months whereas her case is reviewed.
Kassem did not know her case had been reopened. She was asleep when somebody known as with the information. “I didn’t want to answer it, I was very tired. But then I did and she [the friend who called] congratulated me. I couldn’t believe it was true until the next evening.”
Based on lawyer Helle Holm Thomsen, who has been working with immigration and asylum since 2008, there are completely different causes for a case to be reopened.
“It’s not easy, but it happens. Normally, it’s if some new information comes to light, or if there was something clearly wrong stated in the decision. There has to be a really good reason”.
For Kassem, in line with her eldest son, the court docket had chosen to disregard many factors in the case.
Helle says that it typically takes between six to eight months for the reopening of a case to be thought of, in which the refugee maintains an unlawful standing, being required to attend in a foreign country.
Kassem was an exception. “The decision was made very quickly, and her case has already been reopened. Now, Kassem is allowed to stay in Denmark while waiting for a new hearing”, says Helle.
Ladies and youngsters (and the aged) first
The kinds of asylum foreseen by the Danish Immigration disproportionately exclude Syrian girls, kids and aged.
The three classes, identified among the many refugee neighborhood as 7-1, 7-2 and 7-3, provide safety, respectively, to these individually persecuted resulting from race, faith or political opinion; these liable to going through torture or inhumane remedy upon return; and people who fled their house nation because of the basic state of affairs of violence in opposition to civilians.
The third class solely provides momentary safety. Within the Syrian case, which means folks from the Damascus space, now thought of secure by the Danish authorities, would not want safety.
Whereas males ages 18 to 42 fall underneath the primary two classes, most ladies, kids and aged fall underneath the final one – which is exactly the kind of asylum being revoked.
“This problem is difficult to address, because it’s not really a case of discrimination”, says Helle. “The decision is based on the objective reason that all men in that particular age group are individually at risk, since they would be obligated to serve in military training and join a war they don’t want to fight”.
That results in a state of affairs the place girls and aged have to have the ability to show there are different particular person circumstances placing them in danger.
Helle provides that “there’s background information that a single woman without men is at great risk when returning back to Syria, but the refugee board doesn’t recognise that”.
In a notice printed on their web site, the Danish Refugee Council declares it “disagrees with the decision of the Danish authorities and agrees with UNHCR’s position that Syria is not safe for refugees to return, in the Damascus area or anywhere else”.
Anne Gerd Petersen, a retired faculty trainer who volunteers with Danish Refugee Council says girls and aged folks being despatched again could be very worrying for a number of causes. “They do not have anything to return to in terms of homes, money, a job or any kind of network. They may be at risk for having fled the country and, on arrival they may be arrested or have their valuables confiscated”.
Though Kassem received a second probability, most Syrian refugees are nonetheless scuffling with uncertainty. She additionally would not actually know what’s going to occur in the subsequent twelve months. “I hope I’ll be able to stay. Right now, there’s nothing I can do, but wait”.