Asylum seekers in Saxony are increasingly confessing membership terrorist groups, possibly in hopes this will prevent them from being deported to home countries where they could face execution.
Saxony Minister of Justice Sebastian Gemkow said this week that the number of asylum seekers who boast of being members of terrorist organisations has greatly increased since last year. He says there have been 36 cases of individuals saying they were members of groups like the al-Nusra Front or Islamic State so far this year, MDR reports.
According to Gemkow, investigations have revealed that migrants have spread messages on social media telling other migrants that if they claim to be terrorists they will not be deported: terrorism is a capital crime in many countries, and European Court rulings make it extremely difficult for EU countries to deport or extradite people to countries where they could face the death penalty.
German law states that any claims of membership of a terror group must be investigated by police, which could potentially strain the ability of investigators to examine all of the cases without creating a large backlog.
A similar situation has been ongoing in German administrative courts which have seen thousands of appeals to negative asylum decisions. Last year it was revealed that up to one-third or more of the cases in the administrative courts involved asylum claims.
Asylum seekers have also been admitting to other crimes like murder in order to avoid deportation, according to a report from earlier this year.
German Police Chief Claims Asylum Seekers Using Christian Conversion to Avoid Deportation https://t.co/JmlHEbMSbP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 8, 2017
The most controversial method to avoid deportation has been the rise in conversions to Christianity among asylum seekers.
Authorities believe that while there are some who convert for legitimate reasons, many are doing so because leaving Islam is punishable by death in their home countries.
Last year German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed to increase the number of deportations, but the government has faced stiff resistance from leftist activists and left-wing regional governments.
Germany halted deportations to Afghanistan altogether after a terror attack in Kabul earlier this year, but the government resumed the deportations this week, sending back eight asylum seekers who had all committed serious criminal offences.