The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) announced yesterday it has suspended the processing of applications from asylum seekers from Afghanistan.
The suspension is due to new guidelines on the situation in the conflict-ridden country issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Migri stated that it will examine the guidelines and, if necessary, make adjustments to its asylum policy in regards to Afghanistan.
“In the meantime, we will not be making any decisions on asylum applications submitted by Afghans. We will provide further information as soon as we have examined the issue thoroughly,” a Migri spokesperson said on Twitter.
The forced removals of unsuccessful asylum seekers to Afghanistan have recently stirred up widespread debate in Finland and other parts of Europe.
Migri issued a total of 1,147 decisions to asylum applicants from Afghanistan between May 2017 and May 2018, according to Helsingin Sanomat. Its statistics indicate that fewer than one-fifth (196) of the applications were granted and roughly four-tenths (465) of the applications were denied, while the rest of the applicants were, for example, granted subsidiary protection (170).
Migri said in August it is closely monitoring the security situation in Afghanistan. The situation, it said, has deteriorated particularly in Ghazni, after an offensive launched by the Taliban in April, but also in Faryab.
“Up-to-date information is always used when making asylum decisions, and the agency is constantly assessing the situation in Afghanistan,” assured Migri.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi