Dutch gov’t must compensate Algerian asylum seekers for wrongful detention: Council of State

State Secretary Eric van der Burg of Asylum must compensate at least three Algerian asylum seekers who have exhausted all legal remedies because they were wrongfully detained pending their deportation to Algeria, the Council of State rule. The ruling by the Netherlands’ highest administrative court could have consequences for over 250 other Algerians who are detained awaiting deportation, reports. 

The Algerian asylum seekers in question have exhausted all legal remedies in the Netherlands. Before they can be deported to Algeria, the Algerian government must issue a laissez-passer– a temporary travel document. The Algerian government has rejected all over 250 applications for a laissez-pazzer submitted from the Netherlands since the start of the pandemic.

As the Algerian government seems unwilling to cooperate, and that does not look like it will change soon, the Netherlands cannot detain these people “pending deportation” because that deportation may never happen. And they cannot be detained indefinitely.

The Council of State ruled that Van der Berg must compensate two of the asylum seekers almost 9,000 euros for wrongfully detaining them between February and May 4. The third Algerian was released earlier and already received compensation of over 2,000 euros. The standard compensation for unjust detention is about 100 euros per day, a spokesperson for the Council of State said to the newspaper.

The ruling could also have consequences for over 250 other Algerian asylum seekers currently detained awaiting deportation. 

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