Dutch embassy denies granting blanket political asylum to Egypt's Copts

Ahram Online, Tuesday 17 Jul 2012

The Netherlands embassy in Cairo says procedures for granting political asylum to Egyptian Christians remain unchanged after rumours the Dutch grant blanket refuge to

The Netherlands embassy in Cairo clarified on Monday that any political asylum granted to Egyptian Copts will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

News reports had circulated in some private media outlets over the past few days that the Netherlands officially agreed to grant Egyptian Coptic Christians political asylum as a group.

In their statement, however, the Dutch embassy stressed that no change has been made in their processing of asylum requests from Egyptians, and that it was up to the individual to express his or her need for protection.

They did add, however, that political asylum will be granted if the petitioner can prove a real risk of a violation of article three of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights - which speaks of torture or "inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment" - or that they are persecuted as described in the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention.

The embassy's statement said indivudual applicants for assylum do not have to prove that they have sought police protection from discriminatory practices.

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