Local entrepreneurs raised money to buy tents for asylum seekers sleeping outdoors in Ter Apel, Groningen. However, Dutch police removed them from the site late last night.
The asylum seekers’ centre has been overcrowded for months, and this was the second time that people had to sleep outside.
It was estimated that around 250 asylum seekers were going to have to sleep outdoors, RTL Nieuws reports.
No room inside
This was due to the fact that there was simply no more room within the centre. However, a campaign was launched to try to help.
Entrepreneurs in the area raised €12,500 with a crowdfunding campaign to buy tents, which they then handed out on Monday evening.
However, last night, the mayor of Ter Apel and the security region decided to remove the tents. A spokesperson claimed the tents cause safety and hygiene problems, among other things. “We don’t know what’s going on in the tents.”
“This is not the solution”
“We really appreciate what these entrepreneurs have done, but it doesn’t offer the solution or make the work here easier.”
Police asked asylum seekers to return the tents in the middle of the night.
De Mobiele Eenheid is begonnen met het verwijderen van blauwe tenten die met het geld van een crowdfunding zijn gekocht.— Martijn Klungel (@MartijnKlungel) August 16, 2022
Asielzoekers mogen wel voor het aanmeldcentrum blijven slapen.#rtvnoord pic.twitter.com/I1STTVRGoG
“The Mobile Unit has started removing blue tents purchased with crowdfunding money. Asylum seekers are allowed to stay overnight in front of the application centre.”
Frank Candel, director of the Dutch Council for Refugees, spoke to the local broadcaster RTV Noord: “This is inexplicable, this is terrible. I do not understand how you remove tents and do not provide a bus to take people to a hotel. Instead, 300 people are told: the tent has to go, but you can sleep here. But where?”
According to a spokesperson for the municipality, an emergency shelter was sourced for 60 people outside the asylum seekers’ centre. Everyone else, nearly 250 people altogether, spent the night outdoors.