Abu Kurke Kabeto, the Ethiopian refugee who was to be deported from the Netherlands to Italy on 4 April 2012, has been released. Following a stay of deportation by the President of the Administrative Law Division of the Council of State—because the appeals case requires further investigation—Kabeto and his wife were released from the detention facility in Rotterdam by the Repatriation and Departure Service this afternoon. Kabeto and his wife will be housed in an Asylum Seekers’ Center. According to his lawyer Marq Wijngaarden it is not known when the Council of State will hear case on appeal.

Abu Kurke Kabeto was one of the passengers on a boat with refugees who were abandoned to their own devices in the middle of the Mediterranean sea in March 2011; subsequently 63 of the 72 passengers died of hunger and thirst. The Council of Europe strongly condemned this conduct in a report dated 29 March 2012. Abu Kurke Kabeto and his wife were granted asylum in Italy, but were not given any form of shelter or necessary medical care. Moreover, they were threatened with death if they were to continue speaking to journalists about the incident. Following this, they fled from Italy to the Netherlands. As of yet, the Dutch Minister for Asylum and Immigration feels that they can be returned to Italy.


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