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Finland suspends deportations to Afghanistan

Migri says it will stop issuing negative decisions to Afghan asylum seekers for the time being.

Afganistanin sisäisiä pakolaisia, burkhaan pukeutuneita naisia ja lapsia Heratin maakunnassa.
Fighting between Taliban fighters and government forces is displacing families in Afghanistan. Image: Jalil Rezayee / EPA

Finnish Immigration Service Migri on Monday tweeted it had stopped handing down negative asylum decisions to Afghan nationals and had halted deportations to Afghanistan as of Friday 9 July.

The agency said it needed to assess the country's security situation before moving forward with Afghans' asylum applications.

Temporary measure

Commenting on the matter to tabloid Iltalehti, Migri director Jaakko Purontie said instability was rising in Afghanistan, which is why Migri decided to stop issuing negative decisions that could lead to deportation from Finland.

The move does, however, not mean that Afghans will automatically receive a positive asylum decision. Applicants will instead face longer waits from Migri to rule on their case.

"We are constantly monitoring the situation in different countries and base our decisions on this information. Things are happening quickly now in Afghanistan, which is why we made this change," Purontie told the paper.

Last Friday news agency Reuters reported Taliban officials as saying they had taken control of 85 percent of territory in Afghanistan. US President Joe Biden has set a 31 August target date for the final withdrawal of American forces from the country.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has warned that the Taliban's advance may lead to an Afghan refugee crisis.

Migri is currently processing some 350 applications from Afghan asylum seekers.

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