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1ST LEAD Germany to deport first group of Afghans since Kabul embassy attack By Friederike Heine, Claus Haffert and Peter Zschunke, dpa

Europe
12.09.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - Germany is set to deport the first group of Afghans more than three months after the practice was temporarily suspended due to a truck bombing outside the German embassy in Kabul in which 150 people were killed.

At least 12 failed Afghan asylum seekers are set to be flown from Dusseldorf to Kabul late Tuesday, according to a refugee advice centre in the western state of North Rhine Westphalia. The state‘s Interior Ministry declined to comment on the plan.

Some 180 human rights activists gathered at Dusseldorf airport on Tuesday evening to protest the group deportation, according to police estimates.

The demonstrators held up signs that read "Stop Deportations" and "No Deportations to Death."

There were no incidents during the protest, a police spokesman said.

After the terrorist attack in Kabul on May 31, the German government suspended the regular group deportations of Afghans, which began in December as Berlin sought to show it was tackling the high number of migrants by removing those who do not qualify as refugees.

Refugee rights group Pro Asyl denounced Tuesday‘s planned deportation as a campaign tactic by the government just 12 days ahead of a federal election in which Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a fourth term.

"This is an effort to send a signal of strength shortly before the election in order to fish for votes in anti-immigrant circles," said Pro Asyl‘s chief executive Guenter Burkhardt.

North Rhine Westphalia‘s integration minister, Anne Spiegel, of the opposition Green party, criticized the fact that the situation for the deportees was not safe in large parts of their home country.

"What plagues me with great concern is the high number of victims in the civilian population," Spiegel said on Tuesday in the city of Mainz.

The most recent report from Germany‘s foreign and interior ministries on the situation in Afghanistan had too little about the security situation for the civilian population, Spiegel complained.

 

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