Strong accusations – Were refugees returned to Salzburg?


German and Austrian refugee organizations informed on Tuesday about the suspected illegal rejection of migrants at the German-Austrian border. “Dozens of Syrian war survivors report formalized pushbacks by German officials in the border area with Austria,” the NGOs said in a joint press release. The German Federal Police rejected the accusation.

“Those affected have been stranded in Austria for weeks, although they had previously asked for international protection in Germany,” the Pushback Alarm Austria, Border Violence Monitoring Network and Bavarian Refugee Council broadcast said. “Despite clear national and international regulations prohibiting this, the victims were handed over to the Austrian police only hours after arriving in Bavaria, or simply placed on the street in Salzburgerland exposed.” It is not about individual cases, “but about systematic practice”.

Those affected report threats of punishment
Specifically, the NGOs referred to statements of a total of six incidents documented in detail in November and December 2022. According to them, the descriptions come from Syrians seeking protection who were apprehended during police checks in Freilassing, Passau and Munich. Those affected report that they had stated several times to German officials and also in the presence of an interpreter that they wanted to seek asylum in Germany. “Nevertheless, without the start of a regular asylum procedure, they were usually transported back to Austria the next day,” it said.

Ahmad, a young family man from Syria who had refused military service under the Assad regime, said: “I was stunned when the officials in Freilassing told me I would be fined and even go to jail if I tried to enter. come. Germany again.”

Police: “Legal practice”
An opinion of Salzburger The police were still waiting. The Federal Police Headquarters in Munich referred to the legal practice. “If a request for protection is submitted to the Federal Police, the person will be treated in accordance with the Asylum Law and then forwarded to the responsible first reception center. The examination of the request for protection is the sole responsibility of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF),” a spokesperson said when asked.

For reasons of youth care, unaccompanied minors are not forwarded to the first reception, but handed over to the youth care office. Families are not separated, but like unaccompanied minors, they are treated more quickly in order to keep the stay in the offices as short as possible. “During the handling by the border police, attention is paid in each individual case to whether it can be deduced from the will of the person expressed in writing, orally or in any other way that he is seeking protection from political persecution or international protection in Germany,” said the police spokesperson. Certain words such as B. Asylum are not necessary, but not sufficient in themselves. In case of doubt, an application for asylum should be taken as a starting point.

The NGOs also pointed to a sharp increase in rejections with a simultaneous decrease in the number of asylum applications according to German police statistics. According to this report, 22,824 illegal entries were registered in Germany at the border with Austria last year, with asylum applications received in 12 percent of cases. In November and December 2022, only 0.6 percent of those crossing the German-Austrian border were able to apply for asylum: in numbers, there were 20 asylum applications in November 2022 and 12 asylum applications in December 2022, with 3,077 and 2,107 people apprehended.

clarification required
“How is it possible that thousands of people from the main countries of origin reach the German border and are then pushed back, supposedly without seeking asylum?” Katharina Grote of the Bavarian Refugee Council asks. “Also because of the high number of deportations by the police and the remarkably small number of asylum applications received, we must assume that some of the rejections are not legal.”

Source: Krone


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