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Denmark to deport Syrian refugee who had 2 fingers amputated by Assad regime

Syrian refugee Muhammad Maher [@Israaalbalha/Twitter]
Syrian refugee Muhammad Maher [@Israaalbalha/Twitter]

A Syrian refugee in Denmark is set to be deported back to Syria, despite being wanted by and having his fingers amputated by Bashar Al-Assad's regime.

In a Twitter post by a Syrian refugee named Israa Raai Albalha, she revealed that Danish authorities have decided to deport her father – Muhammad Maher – after residing for around seven years in Denmark.

Having arrived in the country in 2015 after fleeing the Assad regime and its repression, the Danish government informed Maher, last July, that his residency permit would be permanently revoked. His attempt to appeal the ruling was further rejected and, at the end of January this year, it was confirmed that he did not have permission to remain in Denmark.

His daughter Israa, who is 18-years-old, and her mother will also reportedly be subject to the same ruling, as their own residency permits depend upon Maher's permit due to their arrival in 2016 through a family reunification process. The mother and daughter have applied for asylum, however, in the hope that they can regain their permits and possibly re-open the father's case.

The family's plight is a direct consequence of the Danish government's declaration in March last year that the Syrian capital, Damascus, and the territories under the control of the Assad regime are "safe", leading it to revoke the resident permits of hundreds of Syrian refugees in Denmark.

READ: Denmark is paving the way to making Syrian refugees unsafe again

It also meant that Syrian asylum seekers in the country could be deported if their permits are not renewed upon expiration. Rather than being directly deported, though, those Syrians are to be held at deportation centers for an unknown amount of time due to Copenhagen still not having open ties with Damascus.

Denmark's decision to deport Maher, and possibly his family, is in spite of the fact that he was detained in Syria's vast prison network during the 1990s, under the rule of the current Assad's father and predecessor, Hafez Al-Assad.

Throughout his detention, he underwent torture and visible damage to his hands, including the amputation of two fingers. He is also reportedly blacklisted by the Assad regime, with there being a real possibility of his arrest, detention, and threat to his life upon his return to Syria.

"My parents are to be deported to Syria, even though my father has been tortured in Assad's prisons and has had 2 fingers cut off and 2 fingers crushed. I have a residence permit. The Danish authorities believe that Syria is safe, but it is still the same executioners who are in power", Israa stated in her tweet.


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