Rejected Somali asylum seekers demonstration revisited
Sometime in July, a group of rejected somali asylum seekers took to the streets, and ended up demonstrating in front of the Parliament for a couple of days. But according to Mr. Mohamed, one of the most active members of the board of the Somali rejected asylum seekers, this seemingly isolated case is just the tip of the iceberg if one has to ponder the relevance and significance of the plight of rejected asylum seekers, approaching the issue from a broad angle of view. He was willing to grant New Times a interview in retrospect, shedding more light on the matter.
Newtimes: Last time, you, as a group of rejected Somali asylum seekers, were demonstrating in front of the parliament. How far did you go in terms of attracting the attention of interested asylum systems instances, or any other influential power broker authority.
Mohamed: We did demonstrate, but there was nothing much to come from our action, because we wanted to seek some attention from the politicians. Some one came, but we never knew where he was coming from. And when we made some interaction with him, he told us that he is a human rights activist, and he felt sorry for us that we were demonstrating in front of the parliament and no one was there to address our issue. And he tried to assist us on the basis that we were to talking to an empty building, and tried to give us a link so that we can use it to get the attention from the politicians.
Newtimes: What was that kind of link?
Mohamed: He just suggested that we should write an open letter to the prime minister, and the letter should be stating our problems. Making his office know our views, making him aware of what we would like to see being done. And, in the same line, a letter would be to Her Highness, the Queen of Denmark, explaining the situation endured by these somali rejected asylum seekers facing deportation back to their war torn country, which is not possible for any authority to do.
Newtimes: Is this case particular to Somalis?
Mohamed: We share the problem with other asylum seekers. No, many more asylum seekers of various nationalities are as well facing the situation. We actually share the same problems. They might be migrating from different countries or perspectives of the world, but are coming away from their countries on the ground that it is no longer safe for them to sustain themselves. So it is a brilliant idea to come up with a way that we can integrate other communities in order to come together as one as we seek the attention of the country power brokers.
Newtimes: How is that possible?
Mohamed: We can do that. But we will really need the capital to achieve that. Only bringing all somali asylum seekers to the parliament cost us a lot. We had to do fundraising. We will, a little bit, be out of the scope in the sense that we can not afford to bring in some other asylum seekers to the same demonstration.
Newtimes: Any idea of a sort of common front board for asylum seekers?
Mohamed: Forthe time being, we, as somalis, have a board which is catering for all the activities of the somali asylum seekers. It could be easy for us to interact with other nationalities if they were going to be having the same principle or the same management. Then, it could be possible for us to come to the conclusion about what to do if other communities were well structured or were going to have bodies representing them. Any way, i can not reach any decision by my own but i will refer to the board in front of which i may have to make this point entertained . The all idea being about how to involve other communities. It is a good idea to be united. It would be good for all asylum seekers ited under one umbrella , trying to achieve our goals as one community.
Newtimes: What are other relevant instances to which you may like to refer in order to seek a solution to this unpleasing predicament ?
Mohamed: We are trying to seek the attention of the body that manages the asylum seeking process, meaning the immigration service. But as for now, it is still under discussion with the board. whether we are going to send them a letter or we are going to do an other demonstration in front of the immigration offices and try to seek their attention. They are the ones arresting the people, and moreover they are the body that is manoeuvering the policy on how asylum seeking applications should be handled in Denmark.
Well it would be a massive achievement if all asylum seekers from various nationalities living in all the centers all over the country could come together in a sort of a masses demonstration. And that could touch a lot of people, if all asylum seekers were going to get united, come out and say what are their grievances, trying to make the problem get solved.
Newtimes: Any idea on how to go for that ?
Mohamed: To my idea, that would require us organizing a sort of workshop that would be attended by all asylum seekers all over Denmark. We, as somali, have our own board. We are going to present to other asylum seekers who may be attending the workshop, and just bring them to believing that we could achieve too much, that there is nothing impossible in this
world. We would propose them to form their own boards according to their communities. Each and every community having someone who would be responsible or serving as the head, acting as a representative or a spokesperson.
Newtimes: On behalf of the rejected somali asylum seekers board and other people enduring the same plight, is there any message left for any interested party, directly or indirectly, involved in the asylum system?
Mohamed: I would like to send to the immigration services my sincere wish to, at least , try to see that asylum seekers are not criminals, and are people deserving a decent life treatment as we are just innocent victims. People who were forced to come out of our countries. We did not wish to leave our countries. I can not imagine someone, in phase one, living in the centre one year or two. Not having any idea what the future could be holding for him or her. From a human perspective point of view, they could at least grant us humanitarian protection. We can not sustain ourselves back in our countries.