German pilots refuse to fly out migrant deportees
German pilots have refused to carry out the planned deportations of rejected asylum seekers.
Published: December 6, 2017, 5:57 am
Not only are pilots helping the deportees, but migrants appealing their deportation orders in record numbers, are winning their appeals.
Since Germany lost WWII, the federal government is not allowed to directly carry on deportations. Such orders have to be passed on to state and then local authorities.
Several pilots have refused to participate in deportations, local media reported on Monday. The majority of the flights, 140, were scheduled to take off from Frankfurt, and 40 others from Dusseldorf, where #WelcomeUnited activists regularly protest against deportation of asylum applicants.
In 2017, German pilots refused to fly 222 chartered flights to repatriate rejected Afghan asylum seekers, according to Deutsche Welle.
The figures were obtained by the Die Linke, commonly referred to as the Left Party.
Some 85 of the cancelled flights were operated by Lufthansa or Eurowings, a decision taken by pilots after a controversial designation of Afghanistan as a “safe country of origin”.
The designation resulted in Afghan asylum seekers losing their entitlement to be granted refuge outside the country.
Lufthansa spokesman Michael Lamberty defended the pilots, citing security concerns. “The decision not to carry a passenger is ultimately made by the pilot on a case by case basis. If he or she had the impression that flight safety could be affected, he must refuse to transport the passenger,” Lamberty told Westdeutsche Allegeimeine Zeitung.
According to Lamberty, Lufthansa pilots interview some passengers who are about to be deported prior to the flight, since “they have a valid ticket after all”.
“Should security personnel at the airports have some sort of information in advance which indicates that a situation could escalate during a deportation, they can decide ahead of time not to let the passengers board.”
Germany issues the largest number of decisions on refugees. It has processed more asylum applications than all 27 other EU countries combined.
According to data from the Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF), the German immigration office, the country has accepted almost 170 000 asylum requests for 2017, and rejected around 210 000.
Most of the rejected cases – one in every two – have been appealed however, and of these, one in four decisions is overturned. Every second ruling made by the BAMF in the first half of the year was brought before a judge, double the number of appeals made during the same period in 2016.
Die Welt, a German daily, reported that the European statistics agency Eurostat, showed that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) decided 388 201 asylum cases in the first six months of 2017.
The public broadcaster NDR, reported that these appeals have cost Berlin about €19 million from January to November 2017, an increase of €7.8 million from the previous year.
In order to reduce the number of appeals and speed up deportations, the government has proposed a program to begin in February 2018 for rejected asylum seekers. They will be given 3 000 euros as an incentive to accept deportation.
But according to Amnesty International, the deportation of asylum seekers back to Afghanistan were putting nearly 10 000 people at risk of death, as the organisation maintains “no part of Afghanistan is safe, they are putting people at risk of torture, kidnapping, death and other horrors”.
Forcible repatriations to Afghanistan include children and minors.
At least one similar refusal was registered the UK earlier this year when British Airways pilot refused to take off while Samim Bigzad was on board, The Independent reported.
Bigzad, an Afghan, faced deportation to the city where the Taliban had threatened to kill him. “You’re not going to take him; I’m not flying,” the pilot said. “Someone’s life is at risk.”
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
Treviso Prosecutor Michele Dalla Costa said on Friday that the explosives planted outside the provincial office of the League in the town of Villorba was "terrorism".
The HagueThe results of the Dutch municipal elections bode well for conservatives. The new nationalist party on the Dutch scene won two seats in far-left Amsterdam, bolstering youthful conservative forces under the leadership of Thierry Baudet.
ParisThe mayors of seven major French cities warned that the continued flood of migrants have them "backed up against a wall". They urged the government of Emmanuel Macron Paris to address the mounting strain on their communities.
Christians are currently one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world. US Vice President Mike Pence addressed the In Defense of Christians' fourth-annual national advocacy summit in Washington, DC this week, promising aid.
Two of Italy’s wealthiest regions will soon hold referendums on whether or not its leaders should push for greater autonomy.
ParisOn Friday morning 2 500 migrants were evacuated from the Port de la Chapelle, in Paris after reports of growing tensions and their squalid living conditions had surfaced.
Bill Gates has warned that Europe's open-door immigration policy is heading for a disaster.
OPINIONOpinion: French Lawyer Dr. Elie Hatem on the latest crisis between Qatar and its neighbours – and the role of Ankara
ParisMarine Le Pen, the French presidential frontrunner, questioned the Pope for pressuring European countries to open their borders to migrants, accusing him of meddling in politics.
ParisAll eyes were on a key election debate broadcast live last night in France between the presidential candidates.