To State Secretary Broekers-Knol

Concerns: Flight ED3041

Dear Mrs. Broekers-Knol,

You are very well aware of the misery that takes place in the European refugee camps in Greece: Camp Moria on Lesbos was recently burned down. It has been replaced by a closed camp, where the situation is even more inhumane – we had not thought that was possible. Tents without flooring on polluted sandy ground next to the sea, just a few dozen toilets for 10,000 people. There is hardly any medical care, but very few relief organizations are welcome, and many relief organizations consider it ethically irresponsible to participate in this ‘shelter’. The Greek government has rented this place for five years, for more than €500,000 a year. Winter is coming, and each and every one of those refugees has to get out of there as soon as possible.

Dear Ankie, 

We, Dutch citizens, have been very concerned about this situation for a long time and truly believe it’s now time to say: ‘no more!’. The Netherlands must take in at least 1000 people from the island and offer an asylum procedure in the Netherlands in safe conditions – with healthy food, sufficient medical care, and psychosocial guidance. 

Let’s bring them here. The citizens involved in the movement We Gaan Ze Halen request your permission to evacuate the first 189 refugees from the island of Lesbos to the Netherlands.

With a small team we will fly on Monday October 5th from Rotterdam-The Hague Airport to Mytilini Airport with a Boeing 737 that we rented. It concerns flights ED3040, and return flight ED3041. We ask you to contact your colleague, Minister Notis Mitarakis and his Deputy Minister working on relocation, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, as soon as possible. If you agree with them to relocate 189 people from the former Moria camp, based on the newly proposed criterium of a 20% chance of asylum in Europe, we can fly these people back to the Netherlands with flight ED3041 to continue their procedure here. 

The call from the Dutch community is deafening by now. The majority of the Dutch municipalities advocate the direct reception of 500 minors. There was a full-page advertisement by FNV urging for the reception of refugees from Moria, signed by more than a hundred prominent figures and organizations. People sent endless amounts of letters, offered petitions and organized numerous demonstrations throughout the Netherlands. 

The plane flies to Lesbos on Monday morning at 9.00 am. It is important that the Greek authorities select 189 refugees as soon as possible, so they can be flown over to the Netherlands. The plane will wait for two days at Mytilini Airport for the selected refugees. We assume that you will do everything you can to ensure that it will not have to fly back empty to the Netherlands.

Awaiting your speedy reaction, with heartfelt, urgent greetings, 

On behalf of Stichting We Gaan Ze Halen
Rikko Voorberg
Johannes van den Akker
Suzan Doodeman