Brussels (Brussels Morning) Six EU member-states have sent a letter to the European Commission urging that the Union retain the practice of deporting Afghan national migrants back to Afghanistan despite the worsening security situation in their homeland.
Belgium’s State Secretary for Asylum and Migration, Sammy Mahdi, revealed on Twitter late Monday that the letter had been sent, and that Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Greece were the other five countries seeking to preserve the practice of repatriation of Afghan nationals once their asylum requests were denied.
Mahdi noted that it should not automatically follow that all of a country’s nationals are entitled to protection just because some “regions of a country are not safe”. He insisted that Afghans found not to need asylum, “after a thorough and independent investigation”, cannot remain in Belgium.
Earlier this month, Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer also refused to end the practice of deportations back to Afghanistan, over the strong objections of German rights groups and the Greens party.
Seehofer maintained that he sought to return Afghan criminals back to their home country, even as rights groups warned that not all the Afghans who were deported were lawbreakers, pointing out that some had been well-integrated into German society at the time of their deportation. The Greens accused the German government of ignoring the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan in order to continue implementing its deportation policy.
Following the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan, Islamist Taliban insurgents have quickly regained control over much of the country’s rural areas, and they are now making steady progress towards achieving control of regional urban centres.
The issue of deporting Afghan nationals back to their home country from EU countries currently accommodating them is likely to come up in an online meeting of the Union’s domestic affairs ministers, which is scheduled for 18 August. The meeting had been arranged primarily to discuss the surge in migrant arrivals crossing from Belarus into Lithuania.