Amnesty International Warns Germany Over Deportations

Human rights group Amnesty International has warned the German Federal government that deporting migrants to “crisis countries” could be a clear violation of international law.

Amnesty International has long been a proponent for migrants staying in the European Union (EU). In the aftermath of the terror attacks in Bavaria, several conservative politicians across Germany have begun advocating for stricter asylum rules and a hastening of deportations.

The issue of deportations is now high on the agenda after it was revealed that the Ansbach bomber had been scheduled to be deported for over a year. Amnesty claims that sending migrants back to their home countries could be a breach of international law and has warned the German government against it, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports.

Andrea Berg, head of the asylum department of Amnesty International in Germany, said: “No one may be deported to a country where his life or freedom are at risk,” with the group insisting that many countries in North Africa were unsafe, in contrast to the German Federal government who have declared them safe countries. “Whoever says that we should deport refugees to war zones, should be aware that such deportations would be a clear breach of international law,” Ms. Berg said.

What Amnesty has defined as a “crisis country” may vary wildly from EU governments and politicians. Last month the organisation claimed that the EU migrant deal with Turkey was both “reckless” and “illegal”. According to Amnesty, Turkey is not a safe country for migrants to return to from the EU because the asylum seekers don’t receive “effective protection” from Turkish authorities.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann of the Christian Social Union (CSU) is one of the main proponents for faster and more streamline deportations of illegal migrants and failed asylum seekers. He claimed that the German government should no longer be bound by the taboo that prevents them from deporting migrants to countries like Afghanistan where he said there were stable regions in which migrants could live peacefully.

Prime Minister of Bavaria, leader of the CSU, and coalition partner of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Horst Seehofer also wants to see action on deportations and background checks for migrants. After the Ansbach bombing Mr. Seehofer declared: “Islamist terror has arrived in Germany,” and vowed to keep the Bavarian people safe by every means necessary. 

Mr. Seehofer has been a long time critic of the migrant policies of Ms. Merkel and expressed a desire to take the Chancellor to court over lax border enforcement. Chancellor Merkel waited months to reply to the Bavarian Prime Minister and ended up dismissing his claims outright, something that some believe could be repeated once again.