The deportation ban for Syria ends at the end of this year. Although the security situation there is still considered poor, this general regulation is likely to expire in Germany. The plans are met with criticism.
Ahead of the deliberations of federal and state interior ministers, it became clear that the blanket ban on deportation to Syria, in force since 2012, will expire at the end of the year. The assessment of the Federal State Department does not change that, which writes in an internal situation report: “Despite the relative decline in fighting, massive human rights violations by various actors continue to take place in all parts of the country, according to the United Nations.”
Particularly in areas under regime control, but also in all other regions of Syria, “individuals are exposed to risks that could pose a threat to life and limb,” continues the report presented to the German news agency. .
Debate is necessary
“There will be no decision to further extend the deportation stop to Syria. The Union’s interior ministers agree on this,” said Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU), who is also the spokesman for the Union. department heads of the Union, before the conference of the interior ministers started Wednesday evening. .
The Minister of the Interior of Brandenburg Michael Stübgen (CDU) also considers the debate on the issue of the deportation of frequent offenders to Syria necessary. “The coalition in Brandenburg agrees that intensive offenders who are forced to leave the country should be deported as a matter of priority,” he said.
“I think that’s inappropriate”
Herrmann and Stübgen thus support the direction of the Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU). He had announced his intention to argue at the conference of interior ministers that in the future, at least for criminals and risk groups, it would be checked on a case-by-case basis whether deportations to Syria would be possible.
The SPD’s interior ministers reject this. The head of the Conference of Ministers of the Interior, Georg Maier (SPD), said on Deutschlandfunk on Seehofer’s position on Wednesday: “He starts a discussion but has no solution. I think that is inappropriate.” Maier, the interior minister in Thuringia, called Seehofer’s behavior “populist”.
The Union’s internal political spokesman Mathias Middelberg accused the SPD’s interior ministers of making things too easy for themselves when referring to the practical difficulties of deportations to Syria. These repatriations actually remained difficult for the foreseeable future, but there still shouldn’t be a “free pass” for everyone to stay. That would send the wrong signal to all radical Islamists and criminals from Syria. There are also Syrians in Germany who are loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. If you return, you will not be automatically prosecuted.
Deportation of violent Islamists practically impossible
It is clear that other EU countries, such as Sweden or Denmark, as well as the EU authorities, have long come to much more differentiated assessments than the federal State Department, Herrmann said. For example, Syrian criminals of Kurdish ethnicity can be returned to Kurdish-controlled regions. “Here, the Foreign Office refuses to give a differentiated consideration.”
According to a legal opinion, a deportation of violent Islamists to Syria is still practically impossible. “It would be extremely difficult to return to Islamist threats often threatened with torture or inhumane treatment,” said the report by international lawyer Daniel Thym, requested by North Rhine-Westphalian Integration Minister Joachim Stamp (FDP). . For Syrians, who have committed many crimes in Germany, this does not apply so unconditionally, according to Thym, if, for example, they can be deported to the capital Damascus.
Don’t extend the deportation stop for everyone?
Because of the differing views, Maier believes a compromise is likely – an extension of the deportation stop by just six months. According to information from dpa, there is also the idea of extending the deportation stop – but not for everyone. Threateners and perpetrators would then be explicitly excluded, so that each individual case would have to be re-examined for people from these groups.
Due to the corona pandemic, the conference of interior ministers will not take place in Weimar as planned, but some participants will meet in Berlin, the others will be linked by videoconference. After a confidential preliminary meeting on Wednesday evening, the consultation starts on Thursday morning. The decisions will be announced on Friday morning.