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Hundreds of students clash with police over deportation of Afghan classmate

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Hundreds of students clash with police over deportation of Afghan classmate
Protesters clash with police outside a vocational college in Nuremberg, where they demonstrated against the deportation of their Afghan classmate. Photo: ARC/Nürnberger Nachrichten/DPA
15:27 CEST+02:00
Around 300 students at a vocational school in Nuremberg staged a spontaneous demonstration to protest the deportation of their 20-year-old Afghan classmate on Wednesday.

The demonstration resulted in a large deployment of the police, resulting in tumultuous scenes lasting for several hours, reports Spiegel.

The police intended to take the 20-year-old away during a morning class, but students sat down in front of the police car to obstruct it from leaving, a spokesperson for the police said.  

The police also stated that the 20-year-old was aware of his imminent deportation, and that asylum seekers would be informed of deportation in advance. 

"That was the case today. And so it was no surprise for the 20-year-old student of the vocational school," emphasized the Nuremberg police committee in a Facebook post on Wednesday evening. 

Police told Spiegel that the 20-year-old was at first cooperative and went with them to the police car. However, when the other students obstructed the vehicle, the 20-year-old became “increasingly aggressive” and more and more people came to the protest.

An appeal encouraging people to take part in the students' demonstration spread on Facebook and Twitter, with police reporting there being around 300 demonstrators. 

Students sit down in the street, obstructing police vehicles in protest of the deportation of their Afghan classmate. Photo: Michael Matejka/ARC/Nürnberger Nachrichten/DPA

The police had a bicycle and numerous bottles thrown at them, with one officer having a tooth knocked out. The police used pepper spray, deployed muzzled dogs and also used batons as defence from attacks.

Nine officers were injured, and five people were arrested. None of the demonstrators were injured.

Spiegel reports that the 20-year-old was eventually taken away by force, but the demonstrations in front of the vocational college continued, with some protesters marching in the direction of Nuremberg town centre.

Police deployed muzzled dogs during the demonstration. Photo: Michael Matejka/ARC/DPA

The 20-year-old will not be detained before deportation, reports Spiegel. 

Bayerische Rundfunk was told by a teacher that the 20-year-old was well integrated and a “hard-working student” who had set his sights on an internship. The police say the Afghan man is “currently being investigated for criminal offences”, according to Spiegel.

Parties such as the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and Die Linke (Left Party) criticized the police for their response to the demonstration.

Deportations to Afghanistan have been an increasingly controversial topic in Germany as opponents argue the country is not safe, especially after the massive vehicle bomb attack on Wednesday near the German embassy, which killed at least 90 people and left at least 460 others wounded.

According to Spiegel, the 20-year-old in Nuremberg was meant to board a plane to Afghanistan on Wednesday evening, but the flight was cancelled due to the bomb attack in Kabul. 

Though Germany said it would postpone scheduled deportations for the time being after the bombing, Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted that the country will later continue to deport more rejected Afghan asylum seekers back home.

SEE ALSO: States delaying Afghan deportations due to security fears

Teen girl born in Germany taken out of class to be deported

On Monday in North Rhine-Westphalia, a 14-year-old girl - who reportedly was born in Germany - was taken away by employees of the foreigner registration office during a lesson at her school in Duisburg. She was to be deported with her parents to Nepal.

 A teacher took her out of the class and into a staff room to inform her of the reasons for the deportation, said a spokeswoman for the town of Duisburg on Wednesday. Afterwards, she was given the opportunity to say goodbye to her classmates. 

The family was then taken to the airport in Frankfurt where they were delivered to the federal state police, said the spokeswoman. On Monday evening, the parents and their daughter left the country by plane.

According to the spokeswoman, the family had first applied for asylum 15 years ago, but were rejected. They were able to gain permission to stay, but this expired at the end of 2013. 

The family's last court appeal was dismissed in March 2016, and shortly afterwards a hardship case commission in North Rhine-Westphalia rejected their application. 

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