Asylum centre burnt to the ground / News / The Foreigner

Asylum centre burnt to the ground. Police have arrested 23 people on suspicion of arson after last night’s fire that destroyed Lier asylum centre in Buskerud. The fire started in three separate buildings that were far apart almost simultaneously, and preliminary investigations show traces of inflammable liquids. Inmates already knew what was going to happen, as several refugees had packed their belongings, according to VG.

fire, arson, riots, police, asylum, seekers, lier, buskerud, fagerli, nannestad, akershus, destroyed, inhuman, uninhabitable



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Asylum centre burnt to the ground

Published on Wednesday, 7th July, 2010 at 09:49 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 8th July 2010 at 11:47.

Police have arrested 23 people on suspicion of arson after last night’s fire that destroyed Lier asylum centre in Buskerud.

Burnt out builiding at Lier asylum centre
Burnt out builiding at Lier asylum centre
Photo: The Foreigner/Inez Dawczyk


Advance warning

The fire started in three separate buildings that were far apart almost simultaneously, and preliminary investigations show traces of inflammable liquids.

Inmates already knew what was going to happen, as several refugees had packed their belongings, according to VG.

Jan Erik Skretteberg, regional director of SOS Rasisme, says he can understand why the fire was started, claiming there are many frustrated people who don’t get enough food or vitamins. There isn’t enough hot water in the showers, and a complete lack of mental health services.

“Several residents have warned previously it was only a matter of time before someone either harms of kills himself because of conditions at the institution. Not only do they live under severe mental pressure, but living conditions at the centres are also not fit for human beings,” he says.

“Unsurprising”

One of the damaged buildings at Lier
One of the damaged buildings at Lier
The Foreigner/Inez Dawczyk
Trouble at both the Lier, as well as Fagerli asylum centre in Nannestad in Akerhus municipality started early yesterday morning. Rioters destroyed fixtures and fittings, broke windows, and started smaller fires. Both facilities are now uninhabitable.

The centres house refugees who are awaiting deportation, after their asylum applications have been a final rejection. Some have been living there for four years.

Both NOAS (the Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers), and Norwegian People’s Aid (Norsk Folkehjelp) told NRK yesterday they believe the government deliberately keeps conditions to a minimum. As deportees, they have no rights to medical help and are given 100 kroner per week in pocket money.

“It seems the Norwegian authorities are engaged in a kind of exhaustion technique. They see who can last the longest, instead of having centres that work in accordance with the original purpose of encouraging them to travel home,” said Irfan Qaiser, refugee policy spokesman for Norsk Folkehjelp.

“Shameful”

Andreas Furuseth, NOAS’ secretary general, attacked the government for its “shameful” policy of “scaring them into leaving the country by making life as difficult and untenable as possible.”

The 23 who have been arrested now face compulsory deportation, according to Labour’s (Ap) state secretary at the Ministry of Justice, Pål K. Lønseth.

“These are people who have no right to be in Norway. We’ll find a way of expelling them by force if they don’t choose to leave voluntarily.”




Published on Wednesday, 7th July, 2010 at 09:49 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 8th July 2010 at 11:47.

This post has the following tags: fire, arson, riots, police, asylum, seekers, lier, buskerud, fagerli, nannestad, akershus, destroyed, inhuman, uninhabitable.





  
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