MP Lied To Obtain Political Asylum
Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali has admitted she told more lies about her past in order to get asylum in the Netherlands in 1992 than she has previously admitted in public in the past.
The Dutch TV programme Zembla, a Dutch television program, established that - rather than fleeing the violence and warfare in her land of origin Somalia, as the moderate-conservative parliamentarian and feminist has claimed - she spent more than ten years in reasonable comfort in Kenya before applying for asylum first in Germany and then in the Netherlands. MP Hirsi Ali said she lied because she was afraid of being turned down a second time. However, she told the leadership of the conservative political party (which is known as a classically liberal party in Europe) the true story when she applied to become a parliamentary candidate in 2002. The party has confirmed this. Apparently, Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk - who is also a member of the Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy) - recently told her that, if she had been minister at the time and had known the truth, she would have deported MP Hirsi Ali.These commentary pieces provide more details. Zembla retraced MP Hirsi Ali's journey from Somalia, via Kenya, to the Netherlands and uncovered both well-documented and previously unreported inconsistencies in her story. Interviews with her brother, aunt and ex-husband raised doubts about MP Hirsi Ali's contention she fled to Europe to escape possible retribution from her family for not going through with an arranged marriage. Her relatives contradicted her claim that she was not present during the wedding to the Canadian-Somali man. MP Hirsi Ali said she was forced to marry a stranger but her ex-husband said they had been in love and spent the week together after the wedding. He then went back to Canada to prepare for her arrival. Supplied with a plane ticket, MP Hirsi Ali later arrived in Germany and took a train to Amsterdam rather than continue the planned journey to Canada.MP Hirsi Ali has for years admitted she made up parts of her story to get asylum in the Netherlands but she insisted to Zembla her relatives and ex-husband were lying in regard to some of the details. The program-makers said it was decided to look into her past because of differing accounts she has given over the years about her past. A spokesperson for the VVD said the party had been aware that MP Hirsi Ali lied about her name and date of birth when seeking asylum. This was not seen as a barrier to her joining the party or becoming one of its MPs. Other Somalis living as refugees in Kenya were refused asylum in the Netherlands in 1992 because Kenya was considered a safe country. MP Hirsi Ali, who had refugee status in Kenya, told Dutch immigration officials she was fleeing from Somalia. She was granted asylum within five weeks, an apparent record. Zembla showed footage of MP Hirsi Ali in a documentary made the Dutch Muslim broadcaster only months after she was supposedly in hiding for fear of retribution from her family. It also emerged she was in contact with her father and on one occasion her jilted husband came to see her in the Netherlands. He left without harming her when she made it clear she did not want to continue with the marriage. The MP's spokesperson said there was nothing new in the documentary and noted Zembla had chosen not to include other issues about her past, including her claims to be undergone female circumcision as a young girl. Former Immigration Minister Hilbrand Nawijn called for Hirsi Ali to be stripped of Dutch nationally and deported. He was head of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) when Hirsi Ali applied for asylum.
Under the 2003 Naturalization Law, fraud is grounds to undo naturalization or asylum status. This can be done up to 12 years after naturalization.
However, Minister Verdonk said that MP Hirsi Ali need not fear any repercussions for what she did 14 years ago. Prior to 2003 it was only possible to take away a newcomer's Dutch passport if it emerged they had committed crimes against humanity before naturalization was granted. MP Hirsi Ali was granted asylum in 1992, and became a naturalized Dutch citizen in 1997. This means she could run a risk until 2009 of losing her Dutch passport for lying. Such cases are generally fought out in court and the Minister for Justice has the final say.If she lied to get asylum, then she should face repercussions like any other claimant would face. Perhaps this will spur her to move out of Europe.
# posted by Shay @ 10:48 PM