The UK Home Office has announced its decision to “deport a Syrian refugee” to his country. They considered Syria as a “safe country” now, which means he can return there. This is the first case of its kind in Britain.
According to the Guardian report published on Sunday, the 25-year-old Syrian refugee student sought safe haven in the UK in May 2020 to escape conscription into the Syrian regime’s army.
However, the British government decided in December that Syria was safe enough to return. He replied: “If I had gone to the regime’s army I would have had to kill other Syrians so I ran away, and if I went back to Syria I would be arrested for failing to join and I might be killed.”
So far, the UK has not returned Syrian refugees opposed to the Assad regime, because of the risks they could have if they returned to Syria.
The Guardian reviewed a letter from the UK Home Office, sent to the man in December, which said: “You have no justifiable fear of persecution in Syria, and it is unacceptable that you will face the risk of murder or any real risk because of your political views.”
The refugee’s lawyer appealed the Interior Ministry’s decision to claim his client’s right, stressing that returning to Syria meant his arrest. The asylum seeker said: “I have fled Syria since 2017, I hope I will not be forced to return to it. I am very tired of looking for a safe place to live.”
Refugee Action expressed concern over the Home Office’s decision, with official Kimble Hardy saying: “The Home Secretary should overturn this decision. If this government no longer grants refuge to Syrian refugees, who will grant its safe haven to! This is an unexpected act from a government that claims to meet its obligations to refugees globally.”
Similar attitudes towards Syrian refugees
Since November 2020, Denmark has detained some Syrian refugees who have refused to return home. According to a report in The Mail on Sunday, about 1,200 of the 35,000 Syrian refugees living in Denmark have been affected by the Danish government’s new policy of repatriation of Syrian refugees.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.