The final Finnish NATO troops return home from Afghanistan last month (Image: Lehtikuva)

News in brief

THE FINNISH IMMIGRATION SERVICE (MIGRI) HAS SUSPENDED all negative decisions and removals for Afghan asylum seekers in Finland as the security situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate markedly amid the withdrawal of western troops.

Migri announced in a tweet this afternoon that it would be reviewing the situation for Afghan asylum seekers in Finland and would be halting all negative asylum decisions in the meantime. This means that, in theory, any Afghan asylum seekers with pending claims or who were facing imminent removal from Finland should be able to remain in the country. The move from Migri comes immediately after the Afghan government announced that it would no longer be accepting returned refugees from Europe due to the worsening security situation.

The Migri has said that this announcement was not the "primary factor" behind the decision to suspend removals. As US and Nato-backed troops have completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban have moved in and the shaky state security apparatus put in place has quickly fallen apart in much of the country.

As a result, violence, conflict, and acts of terrorism targeted towards civilians have skyrocketed in virtually all areas of the country. Migri currently has 350 pending asylum applications from Afghans, while the administrative courts are dealing with a much higher number. Migri has stressed that the current decision does not mean that all pending cases will automatically be granted asylum, but rather that it will take longer for final decisions to be made. 


Adam Oliver Smith - HT

Image Credit: Lehtikuva