01 Jun [EN] FILE: Joseph Koroma in Germany 2006 – 2013
Joseph Koroma, a citizen of Sierra Leone, was deported to Nigeria in October 2013. He had been identified as a Nigerian citizen in a MOBILE EMBASSY HEARING* of the Nigerian Embassy in Karlsruhe in June 2012. The Embassy issued him a Nigerian emergency travel certificate for deportation. After seven years in Germany he landed in Nigeria, a foreign country, without money, papers or belongings. In May 2014 the activists Rex Osa and Kin Chui visited and interviewed Koroma in Freetown, Sierra Leone. They where looking for evidence on the deportation collaboration of the Nigerian Embassy in Berlin. The embassy had been occupied in October 2012 in protest against MOBILE EMBASSY HEARINGS*. The ongoing case against over 20 activists also required proof on what was going on.
Summary: Seven years in Germany under deportation threat
Joseph Koroma arrived in Germany in April 2006 from Sierra Leone. He wanted to work in Germany, but asylum application was his only possiblity to enter the country. He sought asylum as Santigi Kamara from Sierra Leone. According to his testimony, using another identity was the recommended strategy to resist immediate deportation as Germany rarely recognised asylum claims of African nationals (or of others for that matter). Koroma’s application was rejected one month later in May 2006 as unfounded. He was threatened with deportation to Sierra Leone. After appeals and a second application his asylum claim was incontestably rejected in February 2008. Koroma was again threatened with deportation, but as he did not have neither a passport nor a passport replacement he was issued with a DULDUNG*, a temporary suspension of deportation.
Koroma was denied a work permit. He was obliged to stay in a special accommodation for people pending deportation. In July 2009 the Stuttgart government council (Regierungspräsidium) expelled Koroma (AUSWEISUNG*). Not having a passport still protected him deportation.
In October 2011 Koroma was invited to a MOBILE EMBASSY HEARING* in Karlsruhe by a Sierra Leonean „expert delegation“. The delegation could not identify him as a national of Sierra Leone and presumed that he might be Nigerian. In March 2012 Koroma was interrogated in a MOBILE EMBASSY HEARING* or the Nigerian Embassy, also in Karlsruhe, and was identified as a Nigerian. In April the Nigerian Embassy confirmed to the foreigners’ authority that it would issue an emergency travel certificate for Koroma after a renewed hearing. This took place in June 2012. Around the same time a dubious language test was conducted on Koroma. The test confirmed him as Sierra Leonean. In August 2012 Koroma received a letter from the Federal Administration for Refugees and Migrants (BAMF) that his nationality had been confirmed as Nigerian. In October 2012 his DULDUNG* was revoked and he was threatened with deportation to Nigeria. Through his lawyer he took legal action against the threat, but finally remained unsuccessful. The Nigerian Embassy officials had identified him as Nigerian only because he looked like someone from Ogun State.
* see GLOSSARY