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'I fled Ukraine, not Morocco'

Last updated: 4/11/2024, 1:32 PM
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During his final year of dental studies, Moroccan Anass had to flee Ukraine. In May 2022, he arrived in the Netherlands. Not knowing that his right to temporary protection in the Netherlands would end earlier. "We all fled the same invasion, why am I not allowed to stay?"

Temporary protection ends on 4 September for thousands of people

25-year-old Anass lives in Tilburg. He is working and would prefer to rebuild his life. However, his right to temporary protection ends on 4 September. Just like approximately 3000 other people, according to the Dutch government, who came to the Netherlands but do not have Ukrainian citizenship.

"My life is being taken away both in Ukraine and the Netherlands"

Anass left his native Morocco for Ukraine to study. His degree was within reach when Russia invaded Ukraine. "I had to leave Ukraine and build a new life in the Netherlands. I now have a job. But now I am not allowed to think about a future in the Netherlands because my temporary protection is ending. I find this discriminatory. We all fled for the same reason, but people with Ukrainian citizenship continue to be covered. I do not want to enter an asylum procedure. I fled from Ukraine, not Morocco."

"The rules have not been clear from the beginning"

The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) is notifying everyone by letter about their status in the Netherlands and the possible changes in it. "The IND caused a lot of confusion. I first received a letter saying I could stay. I was given hope. But this turned out to be the wrong letter. It causes a lot of frustration and confusion."

"We want a peaceful protest"

"Just like others, I do not understand why temporary protection is ending for us." Via X (formerly Twitter), Anass found out about the protest against the termination of temporary protection on 4 September 2023. The protest on 14 August in The Hague was attended by hundreds of people. "I wanted to participate, to make my voice heard. Many people now work legally and have shelter. If soon we will not be allowed to work and have shelter, it will create much more illegality in the Netherlands."

The protest was known to the police in advance. "We asked the police if we could protest. We agreed this properly with them. We want a peaceful protest without any problems." The next protest is also planned. Anass continues to protest. He hopes his situation will change soon. "I will continue to make my voice heard. That is the only thing I can do right now. I wish everyone a fair policy without discrimination."

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