Open letter to Germany Chancellor Scholz decries outsourcing asylum

Berlin, June 19 (IANS/DPA) More than 300 advocacy groups and international organisations have written an open letter to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz opposing the possibility of holding asylum seekers in third countries for processing.

“Please issue a clear rejection of plans to outsource asylum procedures,” the authors demanded in the letter published on Wednesday.

The signatories include Amnesty International Germany, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), and the migrant advocacy group Pro Asyl.

The open letter was released ahead of Scholz’s meeting with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states in Berlin on Thursday, where the issue is expected to be a major topic.

Germany’s Interior Ministry is currently examining the possibility of outsourcing asylum proceedings to third countries outside the European Union.

State-level interior ministers also begin convening on Wednesday evening for three days of talks which are expected to be dominated with talk of migration policy, asylum and deportations. They are meeting in Potsdam, a Berlin suburb.

The killing of a policeman by a knife-wielding migrant in late May in the German city of Mannheim has prompted renewed debate about whether Germany should deport people convicted of serious crimes to countries like Syria and Afghanistan.

The authors of the open letter warn that serious human rights abuses are foreseeable if asylum proceedings are outsourced to countries outside the EU. They argue that receiving asylum-seekers and integrating them into society can work smoothly with greater cooperation.

“Plans to deport refugees to non-European third countries or to carry out asylum procedures outside the EU, on the other hand, do not work in practice, are extremely expensive and pose a threat to the rule of law,” the letter stated.

According to the authors, the current debate about the plan in both Germany and other EU countries is already having an impact.

“Such plans often cause great fear among refugees and increase the risk of self-harm and suicide,” according to the letter.

Scholz announced plans to resume deportations to those countries after the Mannheim attack, despite concerns from advocates about the human rights abuses there. Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, a Green, spoke out in favour of that on Wednesday as well.



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