A petition demanding that Denmark stop its controversial policy of revoking residency of some Syrian refugees on Tuesday got the required number of signatures to be submitted to parliament.
In the summer of 2020, Denmark decided to re-examine the cases of about 500 Syrians from the capital Damascus, which is under the control of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, saying “the current situation in Damascus is no longer such as to justify a residence permit or the extension of a residence permit”.
The move, supported by much of Denmark’s political class, had sparked protests and a petition was launched in April asking parliament to change the law allowing the measure.
On Tuesday, the petition, which is available online, had been signed by more than 53,000 people. It needed 50,000 signatures for parliament to consider it.
“We want the Folketing (parliament) to change the law allowing the Danish authorities to send back Syrian refugees under the circumstances today,” it reads.
Since Denmark announced the measure in summer of 2020, at least 250 Syrians in Denmark have had their temporary residency permits revoked, according to government statistics published in May.
At the end of an appeals process, those who had only been granted temporary residency could be placed in a detention centre pending their deportation.
Under Danish immigration law, temporary residence permits are issued without an end date in cases of a “particularly serious situation in the country of origin characterised by arbitrary violence and attacks against civilians.”
But they can be revoked once conditions are deemed to have improved.
Some 35,500 Syrians currently live in Denmark, more than half of whom arrived in 2015, according to Statistics Denmark.