Syrians sue Danish state for 3 years waiting time

The courts will now decide if it's legal to let refugees with asylum under §7(3) wait 3 years to apply for family reunification

PHOTO: Mathilde Bech, Politiken

Before the law was passed, Danish Institute of Human Rights warned the Parliament that it would be a clear violation of The European Convention of Human Rights. Many lawyers agree with the institute, among these the lawyer Christian Dahlager from Danish law firm Foldschack & Forchhammer. He has offered to take the case for five Syrian refugees, who were all granted asylum in Denmark under the 1-year temporary status §7(3) which includes the 3 years waiting time for family reunification. In practice, the separation of families can be for 4-5 years, including travel time and case processing. If necessary, Dahlager will take it all the way to the Danish High Court.

According to a number of experts that Danish news paper Politiken talked to, they have a good case. It is however unusual, as the lawyer is presenting it as a principal case, based on the text of the law – he does not want to wait for a rejection under the normal procedure, as this is exactly the core issue of the case: waiting time. Until April this year, 1,811 persons and their family members have been affected by this law.

We have written about Omar and his 16 year old son Anas on REFUGEES.DK before. The other persons are Omar's two brothers Ali and Abdallah, and a woman named Arij who knows the family and came to Denmark alone. Altogether, 14 family members between 6 and 50 years (spouses and children) are waiting in one of Syria's most dangerous areas, Aleppo.

The organisation Refugees Welcome has assisted with the applications in collaborations with the law firm.

Read more in the article (in Danish) at Politiken.

Arij, 41 years, farming engineer and mother of three children 15, 9 and 6 years old, explains why she joined the case against the state:

"It was necessary for me, there are no other options. I already had a hard time accepting to wait for one year for family reunifaction. It is not possible for me to wait 3 years. I can't. Would the person who made this rule be able to live with that? If my family cannot come here, then life has no meaning. Then it doesn't matter that we were granted protection. If it will not be a positive result, I will prefer to be in Syrian, even though it means there is a risk I will be killed."