Following a recent deportation flight from Germany to Afghanistan, the German government said it will continue with the practice. Critics say Afghanistan is too dangerous and rejected asylum seekers should not be sent back there.
Despite the escalating violence in Afghanistan, Germany's federal government says there is no reason to forgo deportations to the Asian country.
The interior ministry on Wednesday (June 9) said that 42 Afghan men were brought to Kabul from the Leipzig/Halle airport in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday.
A spokesperson of the foreign ministry said that they weren't able to comment on the security situation in Afghanistan given the confidentiality of a report on the current situation.
According to the interior ministry, 40 of the 42 deportees had been convicted in Germany for various crimes, among them assault, robbery, theft, sexual offenses and drugs. In regards to the security situation, an interior ministry spokesperson said general statements couldn't be made. The threat situation needed to be assessed individually each time, they added.
Criticism by the state refugee council
The refugee council of Saxony told the AFP news agency that some 50 people protested against the deportation at the Leipzig/Halle airport. A spokesperson of the council said that the deportees were facing danger to life.
Since 2016, more than 1,000 people have been deported from Germany to Afghanistan. Critics of group deportations continue to argue that Afghanistan is too dangerous for return, with attacks by Taliban militants occurring almost daily. The "Islamic State" militia also remains active in the country.
There are regular clashes across the country, and the rate of targeted killings and bomb attacks in Kabul has been rising. In recent weeks, the Taliban gained control of larger regions of the country. On Wednesday, an attack on a minesweeping vehicle in the Baghlan province that killed ten people became public. The Afghan government blamed the incident on the Taliban, which denied the accusation.
What's more, asylum seeker advocates say that Afghans forcibly returned to the country receive little support when they arrive in the country.
Protection for Afghan translators?
In late April, Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported that the German military would start processing the potentially 520 cases of Afghan translators and their immediate families who worked for the Bundeswehr so they can receive protection in Germany. The Bundeswehr is Germany's unified armed forces.
However, "Berlin is sticking to its criteria that to qualify for relocation to Germany local Afghan staff must prove they are under threat. They must also pay for their resettlement to Germany themselves. The German government also defends that its scheme excludes anyone who worked for the Bundeswehr more than two years ago," Reuters reported.
However, a former German Bundeswehr officer who founded a support network for its Afghan employees, told Reuters that the German government wasn't acting fast enough to get civilians who worked for the Bundeswehr out to Germany. "Many who need help are being left behind," he added.
With AFP, Reuters