Brussels (Brussels Morning) The German Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, sees nothing wrong with continuing deportations to Afghanistan despite the rapidly worsening security situation there. His stance has drawn the ire of the German Greens and harsh criticism from a number of rights organisations.
Speaking to the German tabloid Bild am Sonntag, Seehofer said that the German government is currently in talks with Afghanistan so that it can continue “deporting criminals” there, even as the insurgent Taliban fighters are gaining more and more ground in the country.
Germany’s Interior Minister insisted that Afghan criminals in Germany should continue to be “returned to their home country”, and said he supported finding ways to “further strengthen voluntary departure”, even for Afghan nationals who have broken no laws in Germany.
Seehofer faced a backlash from the country’s largest pro-immigration NGO, Pro Asyl, which maintains that the Interior Ministry has been deporting more than criminals, claiming that it has also targeted migrants who were well-integrated into German society but who were deported nevertheless.
Greens’ co-leader Robert Habeck said on Sunday that the Foreign Ministry’s assessment of Afghanistan’s safety status needs to be urgently revised, and that all deportations should be suspended until the situation changes. He said that the government “continues to act as if nothing is happening in Afghanistan”.
The party’s human rights spokeswoman, Margarete Bause, denounced the government’s deportation practice as “a scandal”, accusing the federal government of downplaying the seriousness of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan so that it can “continue its irresponsible deportation policy”.
Most NATO forces recently withdrew from the peace mission in Afghanistan, which lasted for almost 20 years. All of Germany’s 1,100 or so troops departed the country by the end of June, with the KSK special force operatives leaving last on 29 June.
Coinciding with the withdrawal of NATO troops that was initiated when US President Joe Biden’s decided to end the mission by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Taliban forces have begun a fresh offensive, so far overwhelming the local, Afghan forces with surprising ease in rural areas.