Germany deports more refugees to Afghanistan

By Marianne Arens
11 January 2019

The German government, a coalition of the Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union and Social Democratic Party, is continuing its policy of deportations to war-torn Afghanistan. On Monday night, a further 36 refugees were deported to Kabul. This is the 20th such mass deportation from the Franz Josef Strauss airport in Munich.

While the identities of all those deported have not yet been published, they included persons from the German states of Bavaria, Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein.

The German interior ministries and the BAMF immigration authority are proceeding with malice and complete contempt for basic human rights. Several refugee initiatives have reported that amongst the deportees were people who had lived and worked for years in Germany and had no idea they were at risk.

Politicians have sought to justify the policy by arguing that only “convicted criminals” would be deported, but this is not the case, at least for Bavaria. Twenty-three people were deported from this state alone, just 12 of whom were considered “offenders.” The remaining 11 were in part well-integrated young or older men, who had German language skills and jobs, or were just starting their education.

The Bavarian Refugee Council reported that physically and mentally ill refugees were also scheduled for deportation. One of them was a construction worker who speaks German and worked in the building trade in Lower Bavaria. After a steel beam fell on his hand, the man was incapacitated and needed medication and social assistance. Nevertheless, the immigration office in Deggendorf had planned to deport him.

In Kempten, immigration officials also tried to detain an Afghan who had a contract to train as an electrician. The immigration office was well aware of this fact. Another Afghan national held in detention had worked in a pizzeria in Plattlingen, before his work permit was arbitrarily withdrawn. In order to hide its deportation machinery from the public the Bavarian immigration office set up a detention center in a former Air Berlin hangar at Munich Airport last November.

The latest deportation has shocked and frightened many Afghan refugees, according to refugee organisations in Bavaria and Hesse. Stephan Dünnwald, spokesman for the Bavarian Refugee Council, stated, “Bavaria indiscriminately targets all male Afghans whose applications for asylum have been rejected. … Many Afghans go underground in response to this policy or flee to other EU states, including those who are not at risk.” This inhumane practice has also led to many Afghans who had a place in a vocational school or a company to stop turning up at work for fear of arrest.

In recent months, the deportation policy of Germany’s grand coalition and state governments has become increasingly brutal. The aid organisation Pro Asyl documents numerous cases on its website. One male Afghan from Zwickau was deported to Afghanistan. He had lived and worked in Germany for five years. “A young man and a dependable employee who had never done any harm,” his employer complained. “We lose a wonderful employee with him.”

People are evidently dragged out of their beds at night, including families with small children. At the beginning of November, the police in the Rhein-Hunsrück district broke open the door of a family from Armenia at 4 a.m. to deport the parents and three children. The youngest was seven months old. Another family was deported from Baden-Wuerttemberg in the morning. The immigration office snatched one child out of kindergarten and another from an elementary school.

An Iranian family was due to be deported from Rhineland-Palatinate to Croatia in mid-October although the mother was pregnant. The woman was detained by officials at a hospital and taken to Hannover Airport in an ambulance.

The deportation failed only due to the pilot’s refusal to fly. A similar case occurred in Saalfeld, Thuringia, where eight policemen abducted a man from the hospital where his wife was in labour. The man was dragged out of the maternity ward, despite protests from midwives, and taken to the Rhein-Main airport in Frankfurt. The deportation was only prevented after the man resisted and was supported by other passengers on the flight.

These and many other examples demonstrate the ruthlessness of the government in its deportation policy. Since the end of 2016, 475 people have been deported to the dangerous war zones of Afghanistan on charter flights. As recently as Christmas Eve, 43 people died following an hours-long attack on the government district in Kabul.

Other countries are also deporting people en masse to Afghanistan. Large-scale deportations to Afghanistan, Tunisia and Nigeria are planned for January in Albania, Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo. Germany’s grand coalition, in cooperation with all the other parties in power in the state governments, are relentlessly implementing the policy of the xenophobic Alternative for Germany: Foreigners out!

 

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