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Germany is criticized for considering the deportation of Afghan and Syrian citizens

Germany is criticized for considering the deportation of Afghan and Syrian

Germany's efforts to assess whether it is possible to use third countries to deport Afghan and Syrian refugees and to process asylum seekers' claims abroad have been sharply criticized by human rights groups.

This issue was the main topic of talks between the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and the leaders of Germany's 16 states in Berlin on June 20.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said during a meeting of regional interior ministers on the same day that "concrete talks" had begun and that she was "convinced" that a way would be found to deport the Afghan migrants. and Syrians convicted of serious crimes.

Faeser said the decision would affect only a small number of people and that in the case of Afghan nationals, deportations would be carried out through third countries, such as Uzbekistan.

Ahead of the meetings, which were held on International Refugee Day, more than 300 organizations sent an open letter to Scholz in which they strongly criticized the initiative.

"Please unequivocally oppose plans for overseas review of asylum procedures," reads the letter, which bears the signatures of Amnesty International Germany, Doctors Without Borders and the German immigrant advocacy group Pro Asyl.

"Plans to deport refugees to non-European third countries, or to carry out asylum procedures outside the EU... do not work in practice, are extremely costly and pose a threat to the rule of law," the letter states.

Conservative and far-right politicians have stepped up criticism of the refugees after a 25-year-old Afghan man was accused of stabbing a German officer to death in late May.

Germany stopped deporting Afghans after the Taliban seized power in Kabul in August 2021.

Germany is also a major destination for Syrians seeking to escape Syria's civil war and the rule of leader Bashar al-Assad. Syrians are the largest group of refugees in Germany, with hundreds of thousands allowed into the country since 2015.

The security and human rights situation in Afghanistan and Syria is described as serious by monitoring groups.

Scholz has in the past supported lifting Germany's ban on deportations. On June 19, his spokesman, Robert Habeck, said he supports deportation at least in cases where individuals are suspected of terrorism, or convicted of serious crimes such as murder.

Supporters of this idea are assessing whether it is possible to carry out such deportations through third countries such as Uzbekistan, without violating international law.

The Ministry of the Interior is looking for ways to carry out asylum procedures in third countries outside the European Union, similar to the agreement between Italy and Albania.

During the three-day talks, which will end on June 21, the interior ministers of the countries are reported to have considered the termination of benefits paid to Ukrainian refugees./REL

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