Another 21 deportees return to Kabul from Germany

Another 21 rejected Afghan asylum seekers have returned to Kabul on 20 March 2019 from Germany. This brings the total number of deportees from Germany to more than 530 since deportations began in December 2016.

The plane from Leipzig brought the 22nd group of Afghan deportees from Germany. In Europe, Amnesty International and other international organisations continue to campaign for all European Union governments to suspend forced returns of Afghans. These critics say the country is still too dangerous for rejected asylum seekers to return.

Upon arrival in Kabul International Airport, all 21 men were accommodated in guesthouses before being returned to their families in time for the Afghan New Year, Nowruz, according to InfoMigrants. The information was confirmed by Murtaza Rasouli, the head of legal support for Afghan returnees in the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations.

Germany began deporting rejected asylum seekers after the German government signed a deal with the Afghanistan government in 2016. However, it has come under heavy criticism, after a group of 69 men committed suicide after arriving back in the country in July 2018. Among them was a 23-year-old who had lived in Germany for eight years.

The German government said it is responding to security concerns by limiting the number of deportees to less than half the maximum of 50 per flight agreed in the bilateral deal, Murtaza Rasouli told InfoMigrants. Conflicting reports from the refugee council in Saxony, however, said the rejected asylum seekers often flee the country for fear of deportation. Many head to France, where deportations stopped in 2013.

According to the European Commission, Afghanistan remains in “persistent insecurity and intensified conflict”. In 2018, over 550 people died in 22 major attacks in Kabul, and across the country, more than 10,000 civilians were killed or injured. Additionally, a UN report released in February said that over 900 children were killed in 2018. At least 2.3 million Afghans still live as refugees in neighbouring Iran and Pakistan.

TMP – 22/03/2019

Photo: Procyk Radek / Shutterstock. A group of Afghan refugees leaving Serbia.