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Voluntary Returns as a farce! Report on charter deportation Germany-Nigeria on the 10th December

via refugees4refugees

16th December 2020

Humiliating state violence during collective deportation, deportees and relatives treated like criminals, no interest to control corona infection

In early December 2020, 43 people were deported to Nigeria. The charter flight took off from Munich on December 10, with 24 people from the Germany, 17 from Austria, one person from Slovakia and one from Poland. They arrived in Lagos – Nigeria at 1:45 hours in the afternoon. There were more than a hundred security personnel on board. In each row of seats (2, 3, 2 rows of seats) in the plane there were 3 refugees and 4 policemen* (these in the seats along the aisles). The deportees were on hand and foot cuffs. Some were also fixed to the seat, or their arms were fixed to their body. Some were “immobilized” with helmets.

We have already contacted some of the deportees and received important information. Among the deportees were so-called “well-integrated”, “voluntary returnees”, fathers of families, 3 women and 2 children.

A deportee from the district of Rosenheim reported on his situation: “When my asylum application was rejected, I received information about the possibility of voluntary return. I went to the Central Return Counseling (ZRB) in time. I accepted the offer for voluntary return and was taken through the 3 months preparation course of the “Social Impact” project (reintegration project). I had cooperated with all the requirements, including obtaining my passport in time. Nevertheless, I was brutally arrested and deported. My passport was stamped with “deported”. This also means that the Nigerian Immigration kept my passport and I no longer have a passport. Because when you are deported, the Nigerian Immigration has to keep your papers.”

A conversation with staff of the responsible return counseling center (ZRB) confirms the statements of the deported person concerned. All information concerning the preparation of the return was transmitted to the foreigners authority. This means that the foreigners authority, although aware of the measure, carried on with the deportation. Employees of the counseling center are shocked by the incident. It was the first time something like this had happened. Refugees would also lose confidence in the federally funded return program. Another man was deported from the Rosenheim district who had already started the preparatory course. Despite the voluntary return program, he has now been brutally deported.

This is nothing new. Already in 2018, a refugee from Nördlingen was to be deported during his preparation course for “voluntary return”. The arrest for the deportation failed only because the police could not find him in the night of the planned arrest.

The federal government’s “voluntary return program” has nothing to do with “voluntary” anyway, it is just an embellished form of deportation – especially since the “start-up aid” in the home country has now been reduced to fifty euros.

In addition, families have been separated by deportation. For example, on December 9 in Nördlingen, a family father was arrested and deported onboard this flight. During a small private birthday party of his eldest son, the police came. The family lived in a container accommodation with three children born in Germany. They had separated their room into two areas with a closet. While the wife had gone to sleep in one area with the children, the father was still sitting in the other area with two friends from the shelter. The police came and ordered the friends out of the room. Later it turned out that the friends were lucky, because one of them was also to be deported. The father was given only 5 minutes to put his things together. Because he was not allowed to join his wife in the area separated by the closet, he called her on the cell phone. The wife got up but was not allowed to touch him, was not allowed to give him anything or see him off. The father was also not allowed to go close and say goodbye to his sleeping children. The father did not accept this and managed to wake the children up. With sleepy eyes, they watched their father being taken away in handcuffs by the police. The family is traumatized. The youngest son still does not believe that his father has been deported. He still thinks, even after two days, that his father is not coming home after work. The two-year-old does not understand the situation and is angry with the father. To this day, he refuses to talk to his dad on the phone.

Presumably, most of the deported persons were from Bavaria. The current situation could confirm that the CSU-led Bavaria is leading in the brutal deportation practice. The racist measures and demands of the Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer seems to be implement in an exemplary manner in Baveria. Bavaria has always been putting pressure on asylum seekers even during the first lock-down. Many refugees were pressured to apply for their passports or establish their identity, even when embassies and also the borders were closed down because of the Corona situation. Some, including families, were issued “border crossing certificate” and ordered to leave Germany, although this was not possible due to the current Corona situation.

For any deportation to Nigeria, a corona test has to be undertaken about 3-5 days with a negative result before departure. Some of the deportees received requests for corona test in connection to preparation for their deportation from Germany. Others were compelled to undergo a corona test during appointments at the District Office without any given reason. One deportee from Wasserburg was arrested three days after quarantine in his camp and then deported.

Based on Nigeria corona entry regulation, travellers to Nigeria are required to have a corona test certificate undertaken in about 72 before entry. Travelers are mandated to register online for a corona test upon arrival. This registration are not made in the case of deportations and a corona test upon arrival in Nigeria is not done. For the deported persons on December 10, only fever was measured.

With our network (DERS) we are able to organize volunteering persons who receives the deportees on the spot at the Lagos cargo airport and support them with a first accommodation, contact mediation, etc. depending on their needs.

The German government exports Corona. The people in Nigeria are not protected like the German population. The German government, Angela Merkel, shows her contempt for the people of Africa. Their lives do not need to be protected. When some people in LEA Ellwangen were infected with Corona in April, everyone was locked up. No one was allowed to leave the camp to protect the German population. Even people with negative tests were not allowed to leave the camp. It was all about protecting the Germans. Now Germany has become a Corona hotspot. A negative test is enough for deportation to Nigeria.

It is possible that the next deportation to Nigeria will take place at Christmas.