The baby who recently died in the Ter Apel registration center did not die as a result of violence. This is the conclusion of the Public Prosecution Service after an initial investigation by the forensic investigation and the NFI, and witness hearings.
For that reason, no criminal investigation is being conducted, the Public Prosecution Service in the Northern Netherlands said. This is a provisional conclusion. The investigation by the Netherlands Forensic Institute will take another six to nine months. Only then will a final judgment be given. Because the social unrest surrounding the baby’s death is great, the Public Prosecution Service has opted to issue a preliminary judgment now.
How the baby did die is still being investigated by two other parties: the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate and the Justice and Security Inspectorate. They look at all aspects that may have played a role in the death, such as the available care and living conditions. It is also checked whether there is a medical cause and whether care has been provided previously. It is not yet known when their research results can be expected.
The three-month-old baby died in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday last week. This led to shocked reactions, both in the Netherlands and internationally.
‘Human rights at stake’
In the reception in Ter Apel, the human rights of asylum seekers are at stake, the Council of Europe warns in a letter. It was also drawn up after the baby’s death. Asylum seekers appear to be receiving inhumane or degrading treatment, says the commissioner of the organization that monitors human rights in Europe.
Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic addressed the Netherlands in a letter about the poor conditions in the Groningen application center in particular. She urges State Secretary Eric van der Burg to ‘take all necessary measures to protect the rights of those involved’.
Aid worker Roos Ykema told Op1 about the situation in Ter Apel:
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