Our friends from Uzbekistan, asylum-seekers in the Netherlands, have received the final decision. They are to be evicted from the Netherlands. Despite being husband and wife, they are to be separated. She, a Muslim married to a Christian, is to be sent back to Uzbekistan. He is to be sent to Israel. After many years in the Netherlands.

She’s a paediatrician who has been doing volunteer work in the local hospital. Both have learned Dutch far above the required level; but even having a profession that is scarce in the Netherlands doesn’t mean anything. The targets have to be met, and no matter how bad the decision, how ill it fits the law, they have to go away. Report to the extradition camp in Ter Apel.

Great people, always cheerful, always thoughtful of others, always prepared to help. Our children loved them. I don’t know how to tell the children; I certainly don’t know how I can explain.

I would want our friends to come and live with us, but ‘onderduiken’ doesn’t give any perspective. It’s not a war, when you can expect the occupying force to get beaten out of the country. It’s our own damned government. Our friends would have to hide forever.