Palestinian refugees rally in Sweden over denial of right to asylum. (File photo/2020)
The Swedish immigration authorities issued a deportation order against a Palestinian refugee and her daughter on claims that Damascus, where they had been sheltered, is now safe.
The refugee, who spoke with the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS) on condition of anonymity, said she received the order shortly after she was notified by the migration authorities in Sweden.
The mother and her daughter will be boarding a Lebanon-bound flight next Friday.
The refugee said she fled Yarmouk Camp in Syria with her five-year-old daughter following the death of her husband in the war-torn country in 2016. She irregularly entered Sweden and applied for humanitarian asylum in 2019.
The mother slammed the “inhumane” decision and appealed to the international humanitarian and human rights organizations to pressurize the Swedish authorities to backtrack on the refoulement decision.
The 24th report of the UN Syria Commission of Inquiry released on September 14 stressed that the country is not fit for safe and dignified returns of refugees due to the upsurge in fighting and the return to violence.
“One decade in, the parties to the conflict continue to perpetrate war crimes and crimes against humanity and infringing the basic human rights of Syrians. The war on Syrian civilians continues, and it is difficult for them to find security or safe haven in this war-torn country,” the Chair of the Commission, Paulo Pinheiro told a press conference in Geneva.
According to the report, as President Assad enters his fourth term in office – controlling about 70% of the territory and 40% of the pre-war population – there seem to be no moves to unite the country or seek reconciliation. On the contrary, incidents of arbitrary and incommunicado detention by Government forces continue unabated.
The Commission said it has continued to document not only torture and sexual violence in detention but also custodial deaths and enforced disappearances.
Further, during the reporting period, the Syrian economy has been rapidly deteriorating, causing bread prices to soar and a striking more than 50 per cent increase in food insecurity compared with last year.
“The overall situation in Syria looks increasingly bleak. In addition to intensifying violence, the economy is plummeting, Mesopotamia’s famous riverbeds are at their driest in decades, and widespread community transmission of the COVID-19 seems unstoppable by a health care system decimated by the war and lacking oxygen and vaccines. This is no time for anyone to think that Syria is a country fit for its refugees to return”, Commissioner Karen Koning AbuZayd stated.