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[] Deportations to Afghanistan – Information against the fear

Information against the fear: Germany will not easily change everything for refugees from Afghanistan – No mass-deportations are to be expected!

Within the last two weeks a lot of rumours have circulated concerning a worsening treatment of Afghan refugees in Germany. The biggest rumour is that there will be mass-deportations or even rumours that deportations already started. This is simply NOT TRUE. There was NO deportation of 25 families from Berlin to Kabul or hundreds of people deported from other cities – it is FALSE INFORMATION!
The idea of the German government was very simple: they counted numbers. 60.000 asylum applications of Afghans in Germany this year. 30.000, so half of it only in the months of October. Many people on the way from Greece to here. So they had the simple idea to create as much fear as possible to make people change their routes – or even to run away when they are already in Germany to go forward to other countries. We would like to join hands to not let them win with this idea to create fear to terrorize people who have anyway enough problems. And we are very sure: maybe it gets more bad, but the chances to get a right to stay as an Afghan in Germany are very high.

Very important information: Before a deportation to Afghanistan happens the first thing will be a letter (“Abschiebebescheid”). No one will be deported to Afghanistan before the asylum procedure is finished and never ever before the interview was taken. So no deportation in the night without a warning before! In case you have fear because you have already only “Duldung” (without having been in a Dublin-procedure before), please come for counselling.

Some information useful for the asylum procedures for Afghan refugees:

1)      Finally (when we count also those who get protection via the court or after a Dublin-procedure) the rate of people who get a right to stay (refugee status or humanitarian protection) is for Afghans in Germany still quite high: about 80%. It can be that this goes a little bit down. If this happens there is mainly the young and healthy man without family here, from regions like Kabul for example that are considered to be relatively safe, who will be most affected. Especially for them there are a few hints what to do to get through the procedure successfully.

2)      It was and is always good to prepare for the asylum procedure and that is very easy, because you have to wait anyway long time for the interview. A few hints can help to get a better result:

a)      Don’t use a special “case” in the interview which is too far away from your own reality. Mostly these are “cases” well known by the person who will do your interview. When you are accused to have lied it is very complicated to correct afterwards!
b)      It is always good to first of all talk with someone before, who knows how it works and to go through your real case – most of you have experiences that can at least lead to a humanitarian protection!
c)       Concerning family members: for young healthy men and also for unaccompanied minors who will turn 18 soon, family members in Kabul or other “safer” regions of Afghanistan, who are regularly in contact with you can be seen as people who could have enough money to support you after a possible return.
d)      It is very important from the beginning on to document health problems with taking certificates from doctors. This concerns especially all kind of psychological problems that can be a result of bad memories from Afghanistan or also from your journey to get out of there. Many of you know the symptoms: sleeplessness, bad dreams, headache-attacks, problems to concentrate etc. This is called “traumatisation” or “posttraumatic stress disorder” and it can help you in your asylum procedure, if you get medical/psychological certificates about this suffering.
e)      Afghan Passports and IDs: it is always good to present a passport only after you have a decision about your asylum case. A deportation in case of a negative decision is only possible when there is a travel document. Up to now the afghan embassies seem to be not willing to give passports against your own will. This might change at one point of time, but up to now we didn’t hear that this happened. Before presenting a passport it is always good to check for counselling and/or a lawyer.

3)      The asylum procedures are very long in Germany in the moment. That is a big problem, because waiting makes tired – and especially for people who wait for the chance to reunite with family the waiting time is very hard to stand. But for those who have maybe a less good chance to win the right to stay already in the first round by the migration office (Bundesamt BAMF) this waiting time can be very very useful. If you use it for both, integration (learning language, finding jobs or education) and building a network of friends who will fight for your right to stay together with you, the longer it takes the better it is. There is a second way: even if the asylum procedure fails and you have negative until the end, there is also the option via “Petition” and “Härtefall” to get a right to stay based on integration. Complicated to defend a person from deportation it becomes especially if he is accused for criminal offences and this can close the way to “Härtefallkomission” if the sentence is too high. So: be careful with drugs (dealing) and with all kind of things that can lead to higher sentences/fines.
4)      What we can imagine is that in very few cases the authorities could try to set an example to create more fear for all others. That is why we would propose to stand close together and to talk with each other in case you face problems like a negative decision, to be able to plan the next steps and to defend the person who is most threatened. We have the experience that we can stop deportations and if we stand together it takes sometimes long, but finally a right to stay is something you can fight for – and we should stand close together.
5)      In case you think about leaving Germany and going to another country it can be very helpful to think about it twice to avoid to come into an even worse situation. There is a lot of information and useful contacts here: and it is very useful to ask for advice BEFORE going, what is maybe important to have in mind. In many cases especially when people are already some time here and registered, it will be much easier and quicker to fight for a right to stay in Germany than in a second country – especially as there can be also Dublin-deportations to Germany.

We would propose the following:

1)      Everybody should help to stop the rumours and the false information. If you can, please inform your friends and relatives. There are also translations in Dari, Pashto and Urdu available (see below).
2)      Prepare for your asylum case.
3)      Let’s join hands to ask for better integration-options – like more and better access for language courses also for those who have not yet found the possibility to learn.

Against the fear: right to stay for everybody

PDFs from all translations (Dari, Pashto, Urdu):