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Dutch Justice Minister Mark Harbers
Image: AFP/ANP/B. Maat
Politics

Dutch minister resigns over asylum-seeker report

May 22, 2019

The Dutch migration minister has quit after coming under fire over how crimes involving asylum-seekers were reported. Mark Harbers' ministry placed offenses such as sexual assault and murder under the term "other."

https://p.dw.com/p/3Iqzw

The Netherlands' migration minister, Mark Harbers (pictured), resigned on Tuesday following an outcry over a report which appeared to downplay crime statistics in relation to asylum-seekers.

Harbers presented a report to the Dutch parliament that included information on crimes committed by asylum-seekers. Various misdemeanors, such as shoplifting, had their own separate categories but serious crimes such as sexual assault, murder and manslaughter were placed under the category "other."

Read more: Asylum-seekers left in 'inhumane' conditions in German refugee center

EU elections explained

During a parliamentary discussion, the politician stated he had offered his resignation. He took "total responsibility" for not correctly informing the chamber but said it was "not deliberate."

Harbers' fall comes amid a mini-crisis for the center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte as he tries to stave off a surge for euroskeptic and anti-immigration parties who look set to make gains across the continent in European elections on Thursday.

Read more: Not your grandparents' Europe

Rutte tweeted saying though he "respected" Harbers' decision to quit, it was "incredibly regrettable that the cabinet must say goodbye to such a talented and committed liberal."

jsi/se (AFP, AP)

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