The first deportation flight of 2019 took place Monday evening - in total, it was the 20th deportation flight of rejected asylum seekers back to Afghanistan. Pro-asylum groups have called for an end to the controversial flights.
Germany deported 36 Afghans back to their home country, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) said on Tuesday.
The Afghans' attempted to seek asylum in Germany, but all of them were rejected. Of the 36 on the flight to Kabul, 23 last lived in Bavaria and the remaining 13 lived in seven other states. Bavarian authorities said there were 12 convicted criminals among those on the flight.
This is the first such deportation flight to Afghanistan in 2019 and the twentieth overall. More than 430 Afghan asylum seekers have been deported in this manner since December 2016. This flight landed in Kabul on Tuesday morning.
The deportation flights have been controversial since the beginning due to the security concerns in Afghanistan. Among those on the flight to Kabul Tuesday morning was a man who had converted to Christianity. The Bavarian Refugee Council criticized the German authorities of giving him a "death sentence."
Human rights organization Pro Asyl accused the federal government of continuing the flights "in spite of a catastrophic security situation" and must accept "danger to the life and limb of the deportees." Pro Asyl has repeatedly called for an end to these flights, AFP reports.Bavaria states that according to the federal government, these flights are generally allowed without restrictions.