On Friday, The SBC and a group of Syrian & British activists handed a letter to the Danish Ambassador, opposing the Danish government's decision to repatriate Syrian refugees based on the false premise that Syria is safe. This action by Denmark is based on a false assessment of the situation in Syria and is in breach of international law and the principle of non-refoulment, which guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm.
It is in conflict with the stated policy of the European Union as laid out by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs in November 2020 #Syria can't be safe when it is ruled by a war criminal.
The Danish government says that it will not coordinate returns of Syrians with the Assad regime and will not force them to return against their will. But its recent decision means that Syrians will be forced into “deportation camps” in Denmark if they refuse to return to Syria.
Theusen told the Syrian activists at the meeting, “We are not returning Syrians at present.”
“But you are keeping them in legal limbo,” replied Clara Connolly, a human rights lawyer and activist with Syria Solidarity UK.
While Denmark is an EU state, its claim that parts of Syria are safe for refugees to return to stands in stark contrast to statements by the European Parliament and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs.
Douna H Ahmed, an activist from the Syrian British Council who met Ambassador Theusen said, “Bombing and hostilities are not the only reasons that forced Syrians to flee their homes. Thousands of Syrians died under torture in the Assad regime's prisons. Every refugee who is returned to Syria is under the threat of arbitrary arrest and death under torture, or of forced recruitment. Will the Danish government bear responsibility for the disappearance of any Syrian refugee deported to Syria, after entering the Syrian territories?”