The German Foreign Office acknowledged that parts of Afghanistan will harbor severe dangers for some parts of the population following the Taliban takeover of power in August. It said in a report that some people will have to expect oppression, persecution and even death under the rule of the militant Islamist group.
The most recent government "Report on the Situation in Afghanistan" concluded that safety and security for the Afghan population had declined dramatically. The confidential document was viewed by the dpa news agency in Berlin.
While the Foreign Office did not acknowledge the document, it tweeted the previous day that the situation in Afghanistan remained "precarious," adding that it was going to spend another €600 million to help the people of Afghanistan using intermediary, international organizations.
The document itself meanwhile highlighted that people living in urban areas as well as former government employees and security forces were likely to experience a "massive curtailment of their fundamental rights and freedoms" and that they are prone to witness retribution by the Taliban for cooperating with the Western-backed government of the past 20 years.
The report said there were instances of house searches, arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances and even non-judicial executions against these demographics in particular, as well as against any political opponents of the Taliban, including former representatives of civil society and their relatives.
Safety for 'some'
The paper added meanwhile that since some rural areas had effectively been under Taliban control for years already, there would be little change to the daily lives of those people following the Islamists' power-grab. However, with harsh winter months around the corner, even remote parts of the country might indirectly be affected by the overthrow of the central government and the Taliban seizure of power, as the country is prone to experience a severe supply shortage.
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The Foreign Office made clear in a preliminary note to the paper that the current report only delivered a "snapshot" of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, stressing that since the German embassy in the country had to close after the Taliban had seized power, it did not have direct information from German representatives there.
The authors of the report relied on information shared by various human rights groups, international organizations and media reports, among other sources.
The paper repeatedly stated that this information in its entirety was "difficult to verify" and hard to "substantiate."
Influence on Afghan asylum cases
While the findings of the paper may sound obvious, the Foreign Office' reports are important in informing other German government departments on the situation in key countries of origin of asylum seekers coming to Germany.
There Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in particular benefits from these documents, while courts and other authorities also refer to the reports as an aid in their decision-making processes, ranging from decisions on asylum applications to deportations.
Reports like this may also help in informing how Germany should approach evacuations from Afghanistan, as the emergency airlift of people from Afghanistan associated with the German government in any form has come to a virtual standstill.
This particular report, however, is not expected to have any influence on any BAMF decisions for the time being, as various government agencies and the European Union as a whole are still deliberating their future approach to dealing with Afghanistan under Taliban control.
According to a BAMF spokesman, the government department is still waiting for guidelines to be drawn up by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) to ensure "a pan-European approach."
According to the latest figures from September, there were nearly 300,000 Afghans living in Germany. Of those, 2,564 have neither refugee protection nor a tolerated stay permit. In addition, many Afghans whose asylum applications have been rejected in the past are now filing follow-up applications: 2,000 in September compared to 330 in August and 130 in July.