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Germany is considering the deportations

Jun 8, 2024 | Studies & Reports

European Centre for Counterterrorism and Intelligence Studies, Germany & Netherlands – ECCI

Taliban open to cooperating with Germany on deportations

DW – Afghanistan’s Taliban leadership have said it is open to working with Berlin on accepting deported Afghan criminals. However, there are doubts within the government about how feasible the plan might be.Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban on Friday said they were open to cooperating with the German government on the return of Afghan criminals to their home country.

Berlin has said it is considering the deportations after the killing last week of a police officer by an Afghan national on the sidelines of a rally held by an anti-Islam group in the southwestern city of Mannheim.However, Germany’s Foreign Office has expressed doubts about the plan, which is backed by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser.

What did the Taliban say?

The Taliban’s Foreign Ministry said such an arrangement might be possible but appeared to suggest that Germany would first need to recognize it as Afghanistan’s legitimate government. Since the armed militants took back power in Afghanistan in 2021, Berlin has refused to do so.”The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls upon the German authorities to address through normal consular engagement and an appropriate mechanism based on bilateral agreement,” Taliban Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Kahar Balchi posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Germany did send some returnees back to Afghanistan before the Taliban takeover. Before that, there was an agreement that only men — especially criminals and individuals judged to be terrorist threats — would be forced to return.German Chancellor Scholz on Thursday said he wanted criminals to be quickly deported, even to countries that are deemed unsafe like Afghanistan and Syria.

The comments follow national outrage over the killing of a 29-year-old police officer by an Afghan national who arrived in Germany in 2013 with his brother at the age of 14. He was initially refused asylum but, because of his age, was not deported.

Foreign Office voices doubts

The German Foreign Office remains skeptical about the discussion about deportations to Afghanistan, given the absence of recognition for the Taliban. Germany’s embassy in Kabul was closed until further notice in 2021, and its diplomatic staff were withdrawn.A spokesman for Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said initial statements by the Taliban show that they want to be paid for any repatriations “at least through international recognition.”

The spokesman stressed that there are very clear international regulations for the normalization of relations, which would involve the implementation of Afghanistan’s international obligations. Western states are demanding that human rights, especially women’s rights, are fully respected in Afghanistan before recognition is granted.

Meanwhile, the German refugee advocacy group Pro Asyl has condemned the deportation plan.”International law clearly prohibits any deportations to Afghanistan and Syria,” Pro Asyl’s managing director Karl Kopp told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.In his remarks published on Friday, Kopp described Scholz’s proposed plans as unlawful because both Syria and Afghanistan “are known for their use of torture and inhuman punishments.”

European Centre for Counterterrorism and Intelligence Studies, Germany & Netherlands – ECCI


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