Deportation to Angola unjust and inhuman

19 September 2011

Deportation to Angola unjust and inhuman

SP Member of Parliament Sharon Gesthuizen describes herself as ‘dumbstruck’ by the decision of Minister for Immigration and Asylum Gerd Leers to deport a longstanding resident of Limburg in the south-east of the Netherlands. The young Mauro will de deported to Angola, despite a request to the minister, which garnered support from almost the whole range of Parliamentary parties, to allow Mauro to remain in the Netherlands. Supporters of the 18-year old Limburger also organised a special, football-based demonstration on Het Plein, the square in front of the Parliament in The Hague. Gesthuizen wants to arrange an urgent debate with the Minister. ‘Although I disagree with many of the views of this minister,’ she says, ‘I didn’t expect this. It’s a real hammer blow. I find it inhuman and unjust to send this Limburger away to a country where he cannot speak the language and knows no-one.’

Gesthuizen and Mauro
June 2011: Football demonstration in front of Dutch Parliament in support of Mauro

Gesthuizen wrote a letter in which she made an urgent call on Leers not to send Mauro to Angola, and her signature was joined by those of representatives of the Labour Party, Green Left, the centrist D66, the Christian Union and the centre-right governing party the CDA. Later, the CDA’s coalition partner, the centre-right VVD, added its voice to the request to the minister to exercise his discretionary power to give Mauro permission to stay in the Netherlands. Mauro himself also wrote a letter to Leers, in which he says that he has lived happily for eight years with his foster parents and foster brother.

Gesthuizen cannot believe that Mauro is to be forced to leave the Netherlands. Coming to the country as a boy of nine, Mauro had at the time absolutely no idea how and why he arrived here. After all these years he is, however, fully acclimatised and feels himself at home. “And now the minister wants to do the same to him again. That surely cannot be allowed. Leers must show his humane side, because this is really a harsh and incomprehensible ruling. Possibly it’s a misguided idea of ‘getting tough’, but this concerns the interests of an 18-year-old boy who has spent the best part of his life in the Netherlands and has his family and his future here. Mauro belongs in the Netherlands.”

Gesthuizen is counting on support from all of the parties which backed her earlier call on the Minister.

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