Rejected asylum seeker sets himself on fire in Germany

An Iranian migrant whose asylum application was rejected in Germany has set himself on fire, causing serious injuries and burns to himself, German authorities said.

According to the authorities, the 35-year-old migrant went to a local government office in Göppingen, in southern Germany. There, he asked two employees for help while showing them papers indicating that the authorities had turned down his asylum application.

The local staff members said they would help, but the man became aggressive, pulled a bottle out of his backpack, poured liquid over himself and then set himself on fire. The two employees fled the scene, while another government employee came with towels from a housekeeping cart and managed to extinguish the flames.

Günter Stolz of the Göppingen finance department told the German dpa news agency that employees had been shocked by the event. “A lot of people heard the man screaming,” he said, according to Deutsche Welle.

The 35-year-old man was transferred to a near-by hospital by helicopter, where he is under treatment for serious burns, according to German authorities.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer recently presented a new “master plan on migration”. As part of the plan, Seehofer promised tougher action to curb illegal immigration, accelerate asylum procedures and speed up the deportation of rejected asylum seekers.

Seehofer said Germany wants to house asylum seekers in central asylum centres, where they will stay with up to 1,500 other migrants for a period of up to two years. Migrants will not be distributed across the country until their asylum application has been approved.

Judges will be working inside the asylum centers. Those asylum seekers whose applications are not approved will be deported straight from the centres.

Seehofer also wants to increase the number of holding facilities for those who are to be deported to prevent them from evading deportation.

Caption: Asylum seekers queuing up at the train station in Munich.

TMP – 12/06/2018

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