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German rights group condemns Scholz’s plan to deport criminals

In World
June 07, 2024

The German refugee advocacy group Pro Asyl has condemned German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s initiative to allow deportations of serious criminals to Afghanistan and Syria.

“International law clearly prohibits any deportations to Afghanistan and Syria,” Pro Asyl’s managing director Karl Kopp told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper in remarks published on Friday.

Kopp described Scholz’s proposed plans as unlawful, because “both countries are known for their use of torture and inhuman punishments.”

On Thursday, Scholz proposed to allow the deportation of serious criminals to Afghanistan and Syria again, following the recent death of a police officer who was stabbed at an anti-Islamic rally in Mannheim.

“Such criminals should be deported – even if they come from Syria and Afghanistan,” Scholz told the Bundestag or lower house of parliament. “Serious criminals and [people posing] terrorist threats have no place here.”

The chancellor did not explain exactly how he intended to make this possible, but said the Interior Ministry was working on the practical implementation and was already in talks with Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries.

An Afghan national stabbed several people last week in the south-western city of Mannheim during a rally by the anti-Islam movement Pax Europa. A policeman who tried to intervene later died of his injuries.

“The attack in Mannheim has shocked us all, but the German government must not undermine international law. Instead, it must rely on the resources of the German constitutional state,” Kopp said.

“The prohibition on torture applies to everyone including criminals. This important principle must not be undermined,” he added.

Germany has not sent anyone back to Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover in August 2021. Even before that, the agreement was that only men – especially criminals and those deemed terrorist threats – would be forcibly returned, due to the difficult security situation.

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