A Syrian refugee, who has been in trouble with German police multiple times, was sent back to Syria at the end of March. His return to Damascus has been fervently discussed by the Syrian community who see it as a repatriation despite a block on sending anyone back to Syria. The German authorities have denied it was a forced return.
At the moment, there is a block in Germany on repatriating anyone to Syria, even if they have committed several crimes in the country. So when a 38-year-old serial offender was sent back to Damascus at the end of March, his case quickly caught the attention of the Syrian community who were discussing it furiously on social media.
The moratorium on reaptriation was due to end in December 2018 but so far it has held in to 2019. The refugee council in the southern German state of Bavaria, however, has a notice on its website warning that some 7,000 refugees could face repatriation in the near future. They say the German government has already signed an agreement with the Syrian government in order to start this process.
The Syrian man who recently returned to Damascus came to Germany in 2015 and had already accumulated a total of 13 police investigations against him, many for violent outbursts. He was sentenced to a year and a half in prison after he attacked a nurse in the eastern German city of Lübben.
In January, the police were called after he allegedly threw stools and shouted at workers in an office. Following this incident, the German press agency dpa reported that an independent MP from the local council in Oberspreewald-Lausitz had already called for him to be repatriated. In spite of that though, the German authorities have insisted that this was not an official repatriation. “This was a voluntary return” said the spokesperson for the regional interior ministry, Ingo Decker.