Afghanistan refuses to accept deported migrants from Europe amidst coronavirus fears

Claiming that it is a measure to combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Afghanistan has declared that it will no longer accept Afghans who are deported from Sweden. It is asking all other European countries to suspend deportations as well.

The Swedish police announced on their website that deportations of Afghans will have to cease due to the Afghan government’s decision, according to a report by Fria Tider. They also announced that deportations are becoming more challenging as the number of available international flights are rapidly decreasing as a result of quarantine measures.

Negotiations with the Afghans are continuing regarding when deportations may resume. However, in the meantime, Sweden may be forced to consider releasing detained Afghan migrants back into the public.

“Afghanistan’s decision means that the [Swedish] police will have to reconsider whether there is still legislative support to keep returnees in custody,” the Swedish police’s statement read. “If there is no longer any legislative justification, this may result in the release of some detainees who are now in custody.”

Denmark, Finland, and the United Kingdom have already halted deportation flights to Afghanistan at the government’s request. Kabul claims that there are currently over 10,000 Afghans returning daily from Iran, where the coronavirus outbreak has been heavy, and that they therefore no longer have the resources to accept citizens returning from Europe as well. They are requesting that all European countries halt deportations.

Germany has not yet made such an announcement, but it may also halt its flights, according to a report by Deutsche Welle. Germany is currently harboring more than 24,300 Afghan citizens whose asylum applications have been rejected. Only approximately 40% of applications by Afghan refugees are approved by the German authorities. Bavaria has the highest incidence of deporting Afghan asylum-seekers, whereas Bremen has yet to deport any.

On March 12, a German flight carrying Afghan deportations was sent to Kabul, carrying 39 men, including 22 who had been convicted of a criminal offense. The men had been brought from nine different German states.

Even if Afghanistan were to resume accepting deportations, however, the German authorities no longer have the resources to deal with them as the coronavirus crisis continues to unfold. “Given the priority protection tasks of the state police and the federal police for the population in connection with preventing the regional spread of the coronavirus, further restrictions on return measures may occur,” the Interior Ministry told Deutsche Welle.

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Voice Of Europe
Afghanistan refuses to accept deported migrants from Europe amidst coronavirus fears Afghanistan refuses to accept deported migrants from Europe amidst coronavirus fears Reviewed by PostDiscus on March 22, 2020 Rating: 5

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