The Syrian Opposition Coalition’s (SOC) Office of Syrian Communities Abroad held a virtual meeting with the Syrian Community Council in Denmark and refugees whose residence permits have been recently revoked. The two sides also discussed the conditions of Syrian refugees in Denmark and ways to confront the Danish decision.
The meeting brought together SOC’s President Nasr Al-Hariri, Coordinator of the Office Muhammad Yahya Maktabi, and Coordinator of the SOC’s Department of Foreign Relations, Abdulahad Asteifou.
Members of the Syrian community talked about the latest developments in the Danish government’s decision to revoke the residence permits of hundreds of Syrian refugees and the pressure being exerted on them to return to Syria.
Al-Hariri gave an overview on the SOC’s efforts to prevent the implementation of this decision, stressing that the move violates UN resolutions on Syria and the conventions on the protection of refugees.
Member of the Syrian community in Denmark, Hazem Al-Khani, said that the decision was based on the Danish authorities’ assessment of Damascus and its suburbs as safe areas. He pointed out that the Danish authorities relied on 12 sources for their assessment, 11 of which denounced the exploitation of the information they provided in a context that is consistent with the stances of the right-wing parties which reject refugees regardless of the latter’s views of the Assad regime.
Al-Khani indicated that the decision does not mean that the refugees will be directly repatriated, but will be sent to isolated camps where they will be denied the right to work and education with the aim of pressuring them to return to Syria.
Al-Khani warned that the move represents the beginning of the rehabilitation of the Assad regime as he called on the SOC’s leadership to make every effort to ensure that these decisions are reversed.
Member of the community Muhammad Bertawi talked about the change that the Denmark government has recently introduced to the residence permit law, which led to the revocation of residence permits of hundreds of Syrian refugees.
Bertawi called on the SOC to take swift action and address the UN refugee agency, the European Union, the Danish Foreign Ministry and the Danish Embassy in Turkey in order to prevent a possible disaster that would affect Syrian households whose residence permits were revoked. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)