Last Update 23:29
Thursday, 22 August 2019

Germany divided over expulsion of convicted asylum seekers

AFP , Thursday 7 Jan 2016
Christian Social Union Party , CSU, party leader and Bavarian governor, Horst Seehofer, left, German Chancellor and head of the German Christian Democrats, CDU, Angela Merkel and the CSU top lawmaker in Berlin, Gerda Hasselfeldt, right, attend a meeting of the CSU, the Bavarian-only sister party of Merkel's CDU, in Kreuth , Germany, Wednesday Jan. 6, 2016 (Photo: AP)
Views: 1873
Views: 1873

German politicians waged a heated debate Thursday over whether to make it easier to expel convicted asylum seekers, after a series of sexual assaults on New Year's Eve blamed on men of foreign origin.

Authorities have said there is no concrete proof that the perpetrators of the attacks in Cologne were asylum seekers, but critics of Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door approach to those fleeing war have seized on the opportunity to draw a link.

Victims described their attackers as being "Arab or North African" in appearance, and 16 suspects are being investigated, but no one has yet been charged.

As outrage grew in Germany over the assaults, which included two rapes and several accounts of gropings, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said foreigners who commit serious crimes "must assume they will be deported".

German law requires a conviction of at least three years in prison before an asylum seeker can be forcibly returned while his or her application for refuge is being examined.

The individual must also not face threats in his or her country of origin.

But de Maiziere said: "We will have to discuss if we should change" these rules that are in line with the UN Geneva Convention and European Human Rights Convention.

Stephan Mayer, a senior politician in the Christian Social Union -- the Bavarian sister party of Merkel's CDU -- demanded that foreigners who receive a prison term, regardless of its length, be expelled.

But the Social Democrats, junior partners in Merkel's left-right "grand coalition", argued against any changes to the law.

The SPD's deputy chief, Ralf Stegner, told Die Welt newspaper that "we need neither changes to fundamental rights for asylum nor to the Geneva Convention on refugees."

He also warned that constantly "reacting to current public moods is not a responsible manner of governance."

In a bid to calm tensions, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said that asylum seekers with convictions of one year can already be expelled -- although a grace period must be given to the individual to leave German territory on his own accord, failing which he would be forcibly returned.

Germany took in nearly 1.1 million refugees last year, with refugees from war-torn Syria making up almost 40 percent of arrivals.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

07-01-2016 10:42pm
this government is using its last days to dance...
AND this refugees together with 98% of the total,which are in fact illgeal migrants,will follow suit on their way back home germany is NO new home for run aways from their own conflicts if a treacherous government told otherwise,since 1.1 2016 it might be only a matter of time,untill this situation gets changed
Comment's Title

© 2010 Ahram Online.