German Interior Minister rules out deportations to Syria

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German Interior Minister rules out deportations to Syria
Horst Seehofer. Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has ruled out the notion that Germany could start deporting criminal refugees to Syria. The idea had been proposed within the conservative CDU party.


“At the moment there can’t be any deportations to any region in Syria, that is also the case for criminals,” Seehofer told Spiegel on Friday.

Several of Seehofer's’ colleagues in the CDU party have called in recent weeks for Syrian refugees who break the law is a serious manner to be deported back to their home country.

In the wake of the gang rape of an 18-year-old woman in Freiburg earlier in November, the influential interior minister of Baden-Württemberg, Thomas Strobl, called for his colleagues to consider lifting the ban on deportations to the war-torn country. Several of the suspects in the case were Syrian refugees.

SEE ALSO: Why Freiburg has been rocked by protests after shocking crime

State interior ministers will meet Seehofer in Magdeburg at the annual interior minister conference next Wednesday and one topic of discussion will be the extension of the ban on deportations to Syria.

The idea of lifting the ban has met with fierce resistance from the Social Democrats and opposition parties.

The Foreign Ministry last week released a report which stated that Syrians deported to Syria would face the risk of reprisals and violence. The report concluded that no part of Syria provided protection from persecution or arbitrary justice,.

Seehofer told Spiegel that he found the Foreign Office report “plausible.”

The refugee NGO Pro Asyl welcomed Seehofer's statement, but said that he should also ensure that no refugees can be deported to Afghanistan or Iraq.

Germany currently deports asylum seekers to Afghanistan, a policy which is controversial within German society due to the fact that the central Asian state is still affected by internal violence.


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