Europe
Germany resumes deportation of Afghans
Last Updated: 2017-09-14 07:53 | Xinhua
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Germany restored deportation of Afghans on Wednesday after a suspension was introduced in May in response to a terrorist attack on the German embassy in Kabul on May 31.

The suspension was imposed due to the perception of a general security deterioration in Afghanistan.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in a statement that the eight men flown to Kabul International Airport had all been convicted for crimes and had been unsuccessful in their asylum applications. The individuals were brought to Duesseldorf airport directly from prison ahead of their flight's departure.

The arrival of eight returnees was confirmed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Bavaria's regional interior minister Joachim Herrmann said three of the eight inmates had been deported by his state.

"Two were convicted of rape, one of grievous bodily harm," Herrmann said. He criticized non-governmental organizations such as Pro Asyl for attempting to prevent the deportation of serious offenders through protests at Duesseldorf airport.

Herrmann said he had "zero understanding" for such activism, arguing that someone who came under the pretense of seeking protection from persecution and war, only to commit such a heinous crime as rape, had no place in Germany.

Several NGOs have voiced opposition against a resumption of deportations to Afghanistan over fears that the growing incidence of terrorist attacks by the radical Islamist Taliban has made the country unsafe.

In total, Germany has deported more than 100 rejected asylum seekers in six flights to Afghanistan.

In what may be a further sign of a trend towards stricter asylum policies on Wednesday, Christian Social Union (CSU) leader Horst Seehofer, whose party forms part of the ruling government, specified his demand for an upper limit of 200,000 asylum seekers to be admitted to Germany each year. Having skirted the issue repeatedly in the past, Seehofer said that migrants brought in under the right to family-reunification were "of course" also included in the figure.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly rejected the idea of an upper limit on refugees allowed over the border, describing the measure as "impractical".

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