Monday, July 26, 2021 | Dhu al-hijjah 16, 1442 H
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Another group of Afghan refugees returns to Kabul from Germany

Kabul: Deported after years of living in Germany, more than 20 young Afghans arrived in Kabul on Tuesday with only one thought in mind: fleeing this war-torn country.

Escorted by 80 German police officers, their plane landed shortly after 7.30 am (0300 GMT) — the second batch to be deported under a disputed Afghan-EU deal signed last October and aimed at curbing the influx of migrants.

“What would you have me do here- There is only death!” said 19-year-old Ramid Afshah, returning from Germany after five years — a country it had originally taken him six months to reach.

The German interior ministry said 25 Afghans were on board the flight. Afghan officials had said 26 arrived but at least one was “suffering” and showing signs of psychological distress — suggesting he could be taken back to Germany, where it is illegal for people who are unwell to be deported.

Several of the migrants said they had been arrested on Monday at dawn and sent to Kabul with just a small piece of luggage or a backpack containing their belongings.

Alkozai, who had come to Germany when he was 16, was living in Munich with his family before taking a room in the city. After leaving school he had studied auto repair, all the while learning to speak his adopted tongue “perfectly”.

“I cannot say anything negative about this country that helped me. I respect its decision but now I’m living a nightmare. I’ve left behind my three-month pregnant girlfriend, I won’t find work here and there’s no security,” he said.

Some 250 people staged a protest against the deportations at Frankfurt Airport on Monday night, Sarmina Stuman of the Afghan Refugees Movement said. “Afghanistan is simply at war, which is why we are protesting against expulsions to a country like Afghanistan,” she said.

In December German interior minister Thomas de Maizière justified the expulsion of Afghans in order to preserve the “right” of asylum in the country, the only one in Europe to open its doors wide to refugees.

De Maiziere argued that Taliban attacks largely targeted “representatives of the international community” in Afghanistan and not the civilian population.

A first flight carrying 34 men arrived in Kabul in December, a third of whom had been convicted of crimes ranging from theft to homicide, according to German authorities.

That did not appear to be the case on Tuesday, when the passengers were able to leave the airport freely.

They will be sheltered by the government for at least two weeks. After that they face an uncertain future, with Afghanistan already so overwhelmed by people fleeing fighting that officials have warned of a humanitarian crisis. — AFP

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