Ger­many re­sumes Afghan de­por­ta­tions

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Eight Afghans ex­pelled from Ger­many ar­rived in Kabul yes­ter­day as Ber­lin re­sumed de­por­ta­tions of re­jected asy­lum seek­ers from the war-torn coun­try months af­ter sus­pend­ing the process when a huge truck bomb hit the Afghan cap­i­tal. Ger­many put the con­tro­ver­sial ex­pul­sions on hold af­ter a sewage tanker packed with ex­plo­sives det­o­nated near the Ger­man em­bassy in Kabul’s diplo­matic quar­ter on May 31, killing around 150 peo­ple and wound­ing hun­dreds more.

The lat­est group rep­re­sented the sixth wave of repa­tri­a­tions of Afghans from Ger­many since De­cem­ber un­der a dis­puted AfghanEuro­pean Union deal aimed at curb­ing the in­flux of mi­grants. In Ber­lin, In­te­rior Min­is­ter Thomas de Maiziere de­fended the lat­est de­por­ta­tion, say­ing that “all eight per­sons have been con­victed of se­ri­ous crimes”, with­out spec­i­fy­ing the of­fences. De Maiziere said that Ger­many would stick with its pol­icy of re­turn­ing to Afghanistan con­victed criminals, peo­ple feared by po­lice to be plan­ning an at­tack, and those who refuse to co­op­er­ate with author­i­ties or give their names.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing at Kabul air­port on a char­ter flight, the eight de­por­tees were es­corted by po­lice to a car park where an of­fi­cial reg­is­tered their names. Some of the men car­ried small back­packs while oth­ers had no lug­gage at all. “They told me that there is no prob­lem in your coun­try and you can live there so you can’t stay here any­more,” Mo­ham­mad Jamshidi said be­fore get­ting into a taxi. Reza Rezayi said he was de­ported af­ter his wife ac­cused him of beat­ing her.

“De­spite hav­ing a wit­ness, I couldn’t prove it in the court be­cause Euro­peans only lis­ten to the lies of women,” Rezayi said. The In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion con­firmed the ar­rival of “eight re­turnees”. Twelve had been sched­uled to ar­rive on Wed­nes­day, ac­cord­ing to Is­la­mud­din Ju­rat, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s refugees and repa­tri­a­tions min­istry. “We don’t know if there was a last minute change in the sched­ule or some of them were taken back,” Ju­rat said.

The men face an un­cer­tain fu­ture in a coun­try strug­gling with high un­em­ploy­ment, a weak econ­omy and masses of refugees be­ing ejected from Pak­istan and Iran, as well as hun­dreds of thou­sands of oth­ers up­rooted by war. A hun­dred Afghans have now re­turned to the coun­try af­ter their asy­lum ap­pli­ca­tions were re­jected by the Ger­man govern­ment, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial data. Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel has been bat­tling to bring down the num­bers of asy­lum seek­ers af­ter the ar­rival of more than one mil­lion mi­grants-mainly from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan-hop­ing to find refuge in 2015 and 2016.

While Ger­many granted safe haven to most peo­ple from war-torn Syria, Ber­lin has ar­gued that it can safely repa­tri­ate peo­ple to Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan, even as Tal­iban and Is­lamic State mil­i­tants ter­ror­ize much of the coun­try.

Jamshidi, one of the de­por­tees, said that “in ev­ery cor­ner of Europe the pri­or­ity is given to the peo­ple of Syria. “They need only three months to get reg­is­tered but Afghans can be de­ported af­ter years of stay­ing in Ger­many.” The lat­est de­por­ta­tion comes as Merkel’s con­ser­va­tive al­liance main­tains a strong lead in the polls ahead of Ger­many’s gen­eral elec­tion on Septem­ber 24.—AFP

KABUL: An Afghan refugee, cen­ter, de­ported from Ger­many is reg­is­tered by an IOM mem­ber af­ter ar­riv­ing at the in­ter­na­tional air­port in Kabul.—AFP

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