Tarik Saadeldine, a lawyer from Damascus, is one of the Syrian refugees who has been stripped from protection by the Danish authorities that falsely claim that Damascus is “safe” for returns. Saadeldine, who has been living in Denmark with his family for nearly seven years, explains how erroneous and inaccurate the assessment that Damascus is safe for returns. “We fled not because Damascus is safe or not safe, but for fear of arrest, pursuit and oppression,” says Tarik whose nephew has been spotted in the Caesar images among those tortured to death.  

 Tarik, along with his wife and three kids, have successfully integrated into the Danish society and learned Danish. He used to work in a small restaurant he owned with his wife while his kids went to Danish schools. Yet after the decision of the Immigration Service, he has been banned from working and making a living. “We don’t have any criminal record, we are good people,” says Tarik who is shocked by the Danish authorities’ decision to send him back to Syria. He says that even though the Danish authorities won’t force him to get on a plane to Damascus, but they have threatened to separate him from his family and send him to a deportation center until he decides to voluntarily leaves.  

 Like almost all Syrian refugees in Denmark, Tarik Saadeldine is determined more than ever to fight for their right to have a decent and safe life by appealing against the decision that falsely claims that Syria is safe for returns.  

The Syrian Association for Citizens’ Dignity has publish a briefing which extensively explains how Denmark’s decision to withdraw protection for Syrian refugees from Damascus and Damascus countryside is in direct conflict with the official position of the European Commission and in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as the UNHCR’s protection thresholds. SACD called upon the Danish government to review this decision in the face of overwhelming evidence which clearly shows the flawed basis upon which it was made. The only way to ensure this is the case is through a comprehensive political solution, which will guarantee the rights of the displaced people with robust international guarantees.  

 Watch full interview with Tarik Saadeldine: