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Ban on Deportations from Germany to Syria Remains

Ban on Deportations from Germany to Syria Remains

Saturday, 24 November, 2018 - 08:00
Migrants queue in the compound outside the Berlin Office of Health and Social Affairs (LAGESO) as they wait to register in Berlin, Germany, October 7, 2015. Reuters
Berlin - Asharq Al-Awsat
Germany's interior minister, Horst Seehofer, has said that Syrian asylum-seekers convicted of crimes aren't currently being deported to their home country, as demanded by some German politicians.

Seehofer made the announcement in remarks to Der Spiegel as interior ministers of German states are set to decide end of November whether they would extend the deadline for deportations to Syria until after December 31.

He told the magazine that his decision was made after publication of a Foreign Ministry report detailing dismal conditions in Syria.

The report stated that Syrians deported to Syria would face the risk of reprisals and violence. It concluded that no part of Syria provided protection from persecution or arbitrary justice.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a hopeful to replace German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the head of the Christian Democrats, had called for Syrian refugees who commit crimes in Germany to be deported despite persistent fighting in some parts of the country.

Last week, Seehofer said the Interior Ministry was "looking very closely" at the possibility of deporting rejected asylum-seekers to Syria.

Official figures show more than 1.8 million people have applied for asylum in Germany in the past five years.

The figures, first reported Friday by German daily Bild, show a sharp rise in asylum requests from 123,581 in 2013 to 723,938 in 2015. This year to date, figure has returned to about 2013 levels.

The government said almost a third of asylum-seekers — about 573,000 — originated from Syria.

The second and third most numerous groups were Afghans and Iraqis, with about 203,000 and 176,000 applicants respectively since 2013.

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