Inhumane conditions at German refugee centre lead to at least one suicide attempt

Asylum-seekers are allegedly living in overcrowded and filthy conditions at an asylum processing centre near Munich, according to German news agency DW. The residents of Fürstenfeldbruck centre in Bavaria told the German broadcaster that the situation was leading some asylum seekers to consider committing suicide.

Speaking anonymously, the inhabitants said that the hygiene levels at the centre were very low. One migrant said: “People pee outside because the toilets are not well cleaned.” While the local authorities claim that the toilets are cleaned five times a day, several residents showed DW videos of filthy toilets.

Videos also showed cramped bedrooms, housing up to eight asylum seekers. Some of the residents are forced to live there for over a year as their cases are being processed. Willi Dräxler, integration commissioner on the Fürstenfeldbruck town council, described the centre as “a giant storage cupboard for human beings.”

One of the key issues at the centre is the lack of adequate health care. The Bavarian authorities claim that a doctor is available for 2.5 hours per week to provide basic medical care. But there are concerns that this is not enough.

Some residents have contagious hepatitis B and are in close contact with other asylum seekers. The long waiting time and the poor conditions are also exacerbating mental health crises, leading several residents to consider or even attempt suicide.

Taha, an asylum seeker from Yemen, told DW that his Jordanian friend attempted suicide in March by overdosing on pills. He said: “We called the ambulance, he was half-sleeping when they took him away.” Fortunately, he survived.

NGO workers worry that the conditions are poor in order to stop migrants from wanting to come to Germany. One resident agreed, saying: “They have these type of camps so fake refugees would not want to come. But if that is the point they should just make it official that they don’t want refugees and not make our lives a living hell in Germany.”

Fürstenfeldbruck is one of the AnkER centres, which were created last year to streamline the asylum process. The name AnkER is an acronym which means “arrival, decision, return.”

Along with the employees and residents, only charity workers and local authorities are allowed to enter the camp, which make the claims of the refugees hard to verify. Despite complaints, local authorities insist: “The inhabitants of Fürstenfeldbruck are housed according to the appropriate guidelines.”

TMP – 04/06/2019

Photo credit: Jazzmany / Shutterstock.com

Photo caption: Passau, Germany – August 1st, 2015: Hands of refugee men in the registry. 

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