Hérault, France. 11 April, 2016
A Syrian refugee family of five in L’Hérault has been ordered to leave France abruptly
and without understandable reason. They arrived in France from Spain in February
and, since that time, have complied with all registration and filing requirements of the
French government. On Monday (5/4) their request to be allowed to apply for asylum
in France was unexpectedly refused on the grounds that one family member, the
father, had fingerprints on file in Spain – bringing the Dublin regulation into effect.
The family’s passports had taken from them by the Prefecture and they were told that
they would have 30 days to file an appeal with the administrative court in Marseilles.
Only three days later (7/4), they were called to the police station to collect their
passports. When they arrived they were given documents requiring them to return to
Spain almost immediately (11/4) and told that their passports would be returned to
them at the airport. This haste (only one business day) denies them the opportunity to
make an effective appeal and makes it impossible for the mother to receive
necessary medical care already scheduled for next week.
This decision is an unexpected departure from the application of Dublin regulations in
other cases up to now.
The result is that this good family will suffer great harm both emotionally and physically.