The head of the Norvind military veterans society was expelled from Latvia to Russia :: Politics :: RBC

The chairman of the Latvian Republican Society of Military Veterans, a citizen of Russia, Vladimir Norvind, was expelled from Latvia to Russia. This was announced on his Facebook page by the Latvian human rights activist Alexander Gaponenko.

According to him, the Latvian law enforcement agencies detained Norvind on October 9 at 15:00. At first, they escorted the Russian to the detention center for illegal migrants in the village of Mucenieki, and then forcibly expelled him from the country.

Gaponenko believes that the official reason for the deportation was the cancellation of Norvind’s residence permit. He added that “the displeasure of the Latvian authorities was caused by the activity of the former Russian military, whose public organization numbered almost 2 thousand people.”

In turn, the head of the Pskov territorial office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Alexander Ivanov, in an interview with TASS, said that at the time of the deportation, Norvind felt bad. Previously, he was preparing for a heart operation, which he planned to carry out in the territory of Latvia.

“He is a military pensioner, our citizen. The man is a core, he was preparing just for heart surgery. Apparently, they should have done there, ”Ivanov explained.

According to him, until now Norvind lived in Latvia. Ivanov added that Norvind had been charged by the Latvian side that he poses a threat to the country’s national security.

“But they don’t explain what it is. Our diplomats don’t even know the explanation, ”the agency’s interlocutor concluded.


Literature: death of Ruth Klüger, survivor of the death camps

Ruth Klüger, who died Monday in Irvine, California, did not believe that we should no longer write poems after Auschwitz, and that the cinema should refrain from any representation of the camps. She herself was a poet, she remained so after the war, she was already so when she was deported at the age of 11, in 1942, first to Theresienstadt, then to Auschwitz and finally to Christianstadt. “I am not telling anything extraordinary, she writes in Refusal to testify, when I say that wherever I was I recited and composed poems. Many inmates in the camps found consolation in the verses they did not know by heart. […] It was above all the form, the quality of the language that supported us. ”

Refusal to testify was published in Germany in 1992 under the title of Live on, “Continue to live”. It was after having had a serious accident in Göttingen that Ruth Klüger began to write this story, very late, therefore, in the language of her childhood, before translating it herself into English. She was born in Vienna on October 31, 1931, she emigrated at the age of 16 with her mother to the United States, where she became a Germanist – a renowned scholar in her field – in the early 1960s. Her father was doctor. Accused of having performed an abortion, he was imprisoned in 1940, released, then he decided to leave Austria to join Italy. “And there, written by Ruth Klüger, he made the mistake of taking refuge from a fascist country in a democratic country, namely France. The French delivered it to the Germans. From the Drancy camp, he was deported in 1944 to Auschwitz and undoubtedly sent to the gas chamber upon his arrival. ”

Thirst in addition to hunger

No swimming pool, no cinema, except to venture into neighborhood theaters where we do not know her: Ruth Klüger describes the life of a lonely and independent little girl, in a Jewish family, middle-class on the maternal side, in the time of the anti-Semitic measures imposed by the Nazis. Living space is more and more restricted, the apartments more and more cramped. She was deported to Theresienstadt with her mother and paternal grandmother, who died quickly, like all the old and sick crammed into a makeshift hospital. Ruth Klüger joins the children’s building, thirty girls in a room where it would have been better to have three.

“In a way, I liked Theresienstadt, and the nineteen or twenty months that I spent there made me a social being, whereas I had until then been withdrawn, cut off everything, complexed and perhaps even inaccessible. “ Which does not mean that the camp was easy: “I hated Theresienstadt, we read the next page, this quagmire, this cesspool where you couldn’t reach out without bumping into someone else. ” She experiences hunger there. “There isn’t much to say about chronic hunger; it’s still there, and what’s always there is boring to tell. “

Auschwitz is different, it’s worse. For example, thirst in addition to hunger. One day, someone asks Ruth Klüger: “What were you kids doing in Auschwitz?” Did you play? ” Reply : “To play ! We were on call. In Birkenau, I was on roll call, I was thirsty and afraid of death. It was all, and nothing more. “ Thanks to a deportee who makes her understand that she must pretend to be 15 and not 13, and thus saves her, Ruth Klüger can leave Auschwitz for a labor camp, always in the company of her mother. “Simone Weil was right, I have known it since that day, the good is incomparable and inexplicable”, she writes about this woman who gave her good advice to the beard of the Nazi selection officer.

“Image ban”

In the title chosen for the French translation (by Jeanne Etoré, in 1997, published by Viviane Hamy), Refusal to testify, you have to hear several things. We cannot speak for the deportees, repeats Ruth Klüger, nor can we expect them to speak. She herself, for example, explains that she hasn’t told her children much. And it is the use of testimony that she questions. The pocket edition of Refusal to testify (Viviane Hamy Bis, 2005) contains a text entitled Misguided memory: kitsch and camps. She expresses in it why she finds “Suspicious” the multiplication of oral history recordings: “We are not witnesses, but raw material. The being who thinks that it conceals and who assumes his life is secondary. Our ability to distinguish facts from memories is called into question. We are no more than documents, living documents that others must read and comment on. It then appears another way of listening which coincides perfectly with its opposite, of not wanting to listen. “

What does she call kitsch? The opposite of s. The “pornography” sentimental, everything that rounds the angles, lessens the horror of reality, «a way around the problems, a complacent lowering». “Inconceivable”, “unspeakable”, “inexpressible” : all the vocabulary used by the generation of baby boomers to qualify what has been called the Holocaust and then Shoah – it is this vocabulary that is kitsch. For Ruth Klüger, it allows us not to try to understand. She rebels against the“Image ban” decreed by Claude Lanzmann, “Joining Adorno’s musical ban, who refuses any euphony about Auschwitz. In full XXe century, astonishing consequence of the Second World War, it is once again affirmed that there are sacred things that we do not have the right to reproduce, nor even to evoke in words ”.

Viviane Hamy editions have also published Lost on the way, where Ruth Klüger recounts and analyzes the double discrimination that awaited her in the United States in the 1950s, and hence the double emancipation, as a Jew and a woman, that she conquered. But it’s mostly for Refusal to testify that it will remain in the history of literature, and in history itself.

Claire Devarrieux


Von der Leyen presents migration pact: EU relies on speed and toughness

The asylum plan of EU Commission head von der Leyen provides for faster deportations of refugees at the external borders. Pro asylum is appalled.

Faster decision, faster deportation – that’s what Ursula von der Leyen wants Foto: Stephanie Lecocq/Pool/reuters

The boss found fine words. In asylum and refugee policy, a “new balance between responsibility and solidarity” is necessary, said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Wednesday. “Our old system no longer works, we need a new start.”

Then came the hard facts – and they don’t look so nice. In future, according to the “New Pact on Migration and Asylum”, everyone arriving on Lesbos, in Sicily or elsewhere in the EU will be recorded and checked (“screened”) within five days.

Anyone who comes from a country from which less than a fifth of the asylum applications are successful ends up in the so-called border procedure: an accelerated procedure that ends with recognition or, more likely, deportation within 12 weeks.

Who will carry out these preliminary asylum checks and on what basis leaves the paper open. In several places there is talk of setting up a new EU asylum authority, but its competencies are not further named.

“Pilot project” Moria

The proposals are coordinated with Chancellor Angela Merkel, who currently holds the EU presidency. The Commission is essentially adopting a concept from the German EU Council Presidency. For the plan to take effect, the European Parliament and the member states still have to give their approval. The German EU Presidency no longer expects an agreement this year.

A “task force” in Brussels is now supposed to take care of the burned down camp Moria on Lesbos, which is to set up a “model project” on Lesbos. This is where the Commission’s new ideas should be the first to apply. Greece has already agreed to a “joint pilot project”, said von der Leyen.

Faster registration, faster decision-making, faster deportation, if possible at the external borders – these are the most important innovations proposed by the EU Commission in its “Migration and Asylum Pact”. Von der Leyen relies on speed and toughness and thus comes far towards unruly countries like Hungary or Poland.

Since the first attempt at a binding redistribution of refugees in 2016, which ended in scandal, Eastern Europeans in particular have opposed the admission of asylum seekers and torpedoed a quota system based on solidarity. And they do that, together with Austria, to this day. Instead, they called for borders to be secured and deportation to be expanded.

“Deportation sponsorships”

That is exactly what von der Leyen is now trying to do. There should be no binding quotas in the future either, an obligation to show solidarity only in exceptional cases. And European solidarity à la von der Leyen means: The EU states can voluntarily take refugees from Italy or Greece.

“Not all Member States will accept refugees,” said Migration Commissioner Margaritis Schinas realistically. For them there is now a “viable alternative”. It is called: “Deportation sponsorships”. In future, states will be able to “choose between admission and assistance with deportation,” said Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson.

For these “deportation sponsorships”, the commission calculates how many of those arriving in the EU should theoretically be accepted by each state due to its size. If countries do not take the corresponding number from the external border states, they can take care of the deportation of this number of other people.

If they do not manage to do this within eight months, for example due to illness or the lack of a return agreement in their country of origin, they have to accept the person themselves.

No farewell to Dublin

The EU Commission also wants to accelerate deportations differently. Brussels wants to appoint an “EU coordinator for returns”. External border protection is also to be “improved”. To this end, the Commission wants to further upgrade the border protection agency Frontex.

For Pro Asyl, von der Leyen’s proposal is a “diabolical pact of disenfranchisement”. In an initial reaction, the organization condemns the plan: With it, “the EU Commission betrays the asylum law and the human rights of those seeking protection,” says Günter Burkhardt, Managing Director of Pro Asyl, and calls on the EU parliamentarians to reject the draft.

In the past few years all attempts to reform the common asylum policy have failed. The often announced “Farewell to Dublin” did not succeed either. The Dublin rules stipulate that the EU state in which the person seeking protection first set foot on European soil is responsible for an asylum application. “We have drawn a line under the Dublin system,” explained Schinas. It was designed for a few asylum seekers and no longer fits the time.

In fact, the Commission is now sticking to the Dublin rules. Only the exceptions are slightly expanded: Certain applicants are to be distributed to other EU countries for their procedure in the future – for example if they have siblings there or have studied or worked there in the past. In some cases, however, this is already possible today.

Seehofer “never” against immigration

Von der Leyen also wanted to speak to Turkish President Recep Erdoğan on Wednesday. Merkel negotiated a controversial refugee deal with Erdoğan in 2016. The EU Commission is sticking to this and wants to expand it further.

However, it is unclear whether third countries such as Turkey or Tunisia are involved in the EU plans – and whether Hungary, Poland and other stubborn EU states also agree to the “pact”. Hungary is already signaling its rejection. The Hungarian government is sticking to its position that the “pressure of migration” must be warded off, it was said in Budapest.

Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has already commented on the proposals: “We now have the opportunity to show the world that Europe stands together,” said the Minister. He emphasized that he had “never” been an opponent of immigration, but how it depends.

“We have to make sure that this remains on a manageable scale, which I always call ‘order’. Then that will also be accepted by the population. ”On October 8th, the EU’s Interior Ministers’ Council will discuss the proposals that are now available.

The negotiations are likely to drag on well into next year.


Juliette Gréco: letter to Madame

Singer Juliette Gréco died on Wednesday. We are republishing a portrait published in 2015.

Madam, if I allow myself to write to you, it is because I hope you will forgive me for this audacity. I also hope that you are doing better since that gloomy November afternoon, when the dead leaves were gathered with a shovel. You were in little shape then. I will remember your kindness – “It’s a bad attitude to despise the press” – during the almost two hours that you received me in your house in Oise, which you have owned for sixty years, but where “You fuck yourself” in a village without shops. This is why you plan to come back to live in a house in Paris, a city that you left twenty-five years ago.

I activated the bronze hand that serves as a doorbell on the front door. After a few seconds, the glasses stuck in your jet black hair, you slid your sweet face into the cold and invited me in. “Shall I settle into that one?” I said pointing to one of the two sofas in your living room. “You have better!” you replied, brandishing a falsely vindictive right index finger. Provocative (per game), you found it useful to specify: “I have a bad temper, I am intransigent.”

In the fireplace, logs warmed us and tried to do the same with your heart that you had big that day. You told me you were sad. The fault of a malicious visitor who, you say, stole a painting by Serge Gainsbourg dating from the early 1960s and replaced it with a copy. It was the last one he had painted and he had given it to you when he saw you, as usual at your address.

Gainsbourg, as you called him, with whom you spent a – wise – night in 1962, locking champagne while listening to music. Then you started dancing “Like a moth”, but without undressing. However, “Serge was handsome, with magnificent eyes and hands”. You like to say: “There are people who have nothing behind their eyes.” Besides, blindness is your anxiety, the augury of no longer seeing you “Fuck off”.

The next day, Gainsbourg came back to you. He had arrived with a sheet of paper, had sat down at the piano to sing you a song he had written and composed before dawn when he returned home. Javanese, Madam, you inspired her Javanese ! Pretty kid, your beauty had stunned him. Still, you make sure you never liked your body bark. “I don’t look at myself, I’m not in love with myself, I find myself ugly, you say. I might be my worst customer, j I am terribly demanding of me. I prefer to love others. ” The others, you cherish them, without wanting to make special efforts, “If not to be polite”. “I would hate to be rude and hurt others.” Fame ? You don’t care: “I live the life, the lives that have been offered to me. And I had plenty. ”

This existence, I listened to you humbly tell it to me, confide in me your wonders, the encounters that have marked your rich journey. Artistic as in love. Vian, Prévert, Ferré, Béart, Brassens, Trenet and even Sartre, etc. All of them have written songs for you. Your repertoire has between 500 and 600, you don’t know exactly how many, because you don’t know “Not count”. None have your preference, because “Each was a choice”. You have never written texts yourself and do not play any instrument. “I play with myself, you say, because I am an instrument in my own right. “ Olivia Ruiz, Benjamin Biolay, Miossec – “I love” -, Abd al-Malik – “He says I’m a rocker” -, Christine and The Queens – “She’s amazing, that one” – and Etienne Daho – “His talent and his proud humility touch me” – are the current actors of the French music scene who have your favors. Just like, in another genre, François Hollande, because you have “Always interested in politics”. In 2012, you voted for the socialist with “A lot of enthusiasm” and you have “Difficulty in thinking badly about it”. You say : “I am not defeatist and, as he is intelligent, all hopes are allowed.”

Madam, I delighted in the story of your meeting in 1949 with Miles Davis in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, then in your love story. You were 22 years old and have “Immediately succumbed” with the charm of the American jazzman. “I hadn’t seen he was black. I had only seen her beauty, and he had not seen that I was white. Fortunately, because he was a racist. And he was flirtatious as a girl. “ For fear that you would suffer from racism by moving to the United States with him, he refused to propose to you in marriage. One day Sartre asked him why he wasn’t marrying you. Miles Davis replied that it was because he loved you. “Anyway, I would have refused to marry him!” assert yourself, admitting that you continued to love yourself in your own way until her last breath. You were married three times thereafter. The first, with actor Philippe Lemaire, “To acquire freedom”. Your only daughter will be born from this union. Here you are now “grandma”. In 1966, Michel Piccoli also put the ring on your finger, before you left him in 1977. “I was very happy in love, but I always left before it got bad.” Bravery ? “Not really. It is better to preserve friendship. I have remained friends with all my guys. ” For twenty-seven years, you have been married to Gérard Jouannest, who composed some thirty songs for Brel and has been accompanying you on the piano on stage since 1968. Because, with you, there have always been afterwards.

Things seemed badly off from the start. As a child, do you remember that your mom didn’t love you, that she never loved you, that she “Almost everything refused”, that she hit you one day when you were “The fruit of rape” from her husband. Your father, then. “For her, I was just a bad memory. On the other hand, she loved my sister. ” So you fought. “The child is tenacious. He is still in me. And this child tells me that I have done a good job. ” You were raised in convents and escaped deportation in 1943, unlike your mother and sister. And if you hadn’t been a singer, you would have been “In helping others”, “To give everything [votre] love potential ”. I can easily believe you. Lately you have “worked a lot” to revise the texts of the titles that you will sing until April 2016, before leaving: “At a certain age, you have to know when to stop, out of courtesy and politeness.” If you say so, Madam… Yours truly.

1927 Birth. [1945 Discover Saint-Germain-des-Prés. 1948 Beginnings as a singer. 1949 Debut in the cinema. December 18 La Cigale in Paris. December 19 Champs-Elysées Theater. 17 avril 2016 End of tour at the Casino de Paris.

Philippe Brochen


Deportations from Germany: situation reports under lock and key

They are the basis for asylum policy decisions. But the federal government does not want to publish reports on the security situation in other countries.

What people who are supposed to be deported in Afghanistan can be found in the status report of the Federal Foreign Office Foto: Michael Trammer/imago

BERLIN taz | The federal government wants to keep status reports on the situation in other countries under lock and key. Much depends on the content of the documents – on the basis of which, for example, it is decided which countries Germany will deport to. The attitude of the federal government is also questionable because activists ultimately force the release of the documents again and again.

“The public has a right to know how the federal government assesses the security situation and the threats in countries to which people are deported,” says member of the Bundestag Ulla Jelpke (left). In a written request to the federal government, she asked for an explanation as to why the reports are not being made available to the public.

It is a matter of “safeguarding foreign policy interests and protecting sources of information,” writes the federal government in its response, which the taz has received. “A general publication of the management reports” is therefore still “not intended”.

The documents that are drawn up by the Federal Foreign Office are primarily the basis for the major asylum policy decisions, such as the question of whether a state is classified as a safe country of origin. Judges and lawyers who are involved in legal asylum disputes are also given access.

The reports are officially withheld from the general public, but they mostly reach the public anyway – albeit via a detour. The non-profit internet platform FragDenStaat requests most reports to be published on the basis of the Freedom of Information Act, and the federal government is then obliged to comply. The documents can be viewed on; only individual sections remain blackened for reasons of confidentiality. Usually it is only about a few lines.

Does the federal government want to stall discussions?

From Ulla Jelpke’s point of view, all this speaks in favor of publishing the reports directly and separately listing the passages that actually need to be kept secret. Jelpke hopes this will provide greater transparency about the fundamentals of German deportation policy. Your assumption: The fact that the situation reports remain under lock and key prevents the discussion of their content.

In fact, there is always criticism of what is in individual reports. For example from Pro Asyl. Its managing director, Günter Burkhardt, says: “The reports are sometimes euphemistic and too generalizing.”

Because reports can only be viewed indirectly and thanks to FragDenStaat, it is difficult to express well-founded criticism, said Burkhardt. At the last two interior ministerial conferences there were, for example, considerations of deporting to Syria – without the public being even aware of the relevant Syria situation report. “The facts have to be on the table,” says Burkhardt. That is also a question of the principle: “In a democracy it should be a matter of course that the government’s assessments are understandable.”

Arne Semsrott from FragDenStaat has a similar view. He is also certain that the reports would be discussed more widely if they were officially published by the federal government. The current situation also discriminates against helpers who work for refugees. “Small initiatives in particular, such as those that conduct initial counseling for refugees, often have no access to the reports,” he says. That makes their work more difficult. Semsrott believes that the government can black out passages that actually have to remain secret – as already happens when FragDenStaat forces their publication.


Violence against opponents of deportation: Pain attacks only with announcement

Lower Saxony’s higher administrative court has confirmed a police operation against deportation opponents as unlawful. The reason seems bizarre.

Announced irritant gas is okay Foto: Christian Spicker/imago

GÖTTINGEN taz | An extremely rough operation by the Göttingen Evidence Preservation and Arrest Unit (BFE) in the spring of 2014 against opponents of deportation was illegal. The Lower Saxony Higher Administrative Court found this in a judgment announced on Thursday. It thus confirmed a decision by the Göttingen Administrative Court in May 2019 – and dismissed the police’s appeal (Az 11 LA 359/19).

In the early morning of April 10, 2014, several dozen people protested against the deportation of a man from Somalia ordered by the city of Göttingen. They temporarily blocked the stairwell of the apartment building in which the refugee lived. The Göttingen police evacuated the stairs using considerable force.

More than a dozen people were injured by punches, painful attacks, dog bites and the use of pepper spray in the closed stairwell, eyewitnesses reported to the taz. “The police not only penetrated the house through a ground floor apartment, but they also dragged dozens of partially injured and unconscious people out through the window of the children’s room, where both mother and child were present at the time,” said Rote Hilfe, an association that supports left activists.

The Green Youth in Göttingen described the mission as “frightening and completely unscrupulous”. Protesters who had hooked themselves under were “pushed, beaten, tortured with painful attacks and in several cases thrown down the cellar stairs”. Several protesters suffered bumps, bruises and bruises. The deportation was canceled immediately after the deployment.

Irritant gas and strokes

The lawsuit of a 28-year-old man, initially negotiated by the Göttingen administrative court, was directed against the direct and unannounced use of irritant gas in the stairwell and the use of disproportionate violence in the form of painful attacks and fist blows to his head. Due to the use of irritant gas and the beatings, the young man had lost consciousness and had to be treated by paramedics.

According to the administrative court, the police must separately and specifically threaten the conscious and willful infliction of considerable pain in the context of the use of direct coercion. This had not happened, so that the mission was illegal for formal reasons.

The Higher Administrative Court has now expressly confirmed this legal classification and instructed the police department in its decision. The police had spoken of formalism in their appeal against the administrative court’s decision.

No judgment on the proportionality of the use

The administrative court no longer had to comment on the actual question of the proportionality of the use of irritant gas in closed rooms against a larger group of people and the use of painful attacks and fist blows to clear the blockage of a stairwell. For the Higher Administrative Court, this was therefore no longer relevant to the decision.

“We would have been happy if the question of the proportionality of the violence of the Göttingen BFE could have been decided on that day,” said Sven Adam, the 28-year-old’s lawyer. However, this will now probably have to be recognized by the Göttingen regional court in the planned compensation claim.


German refugee policy: deportation numbers rise again

Germany is sending back significantly more refugees. The authorities have no concerns about Corona.

Kabul, May 2020: No deportation to Afghanistan since mid-March Photo: Mohammad Ismail / reuter

BERLIN taz | German authorities are deporting more refugees again. After significantly fewer people were initially forced back to their country of origin or to third countries in the corona crisis, the number of “repatriations” has since risen again. According to figures from the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), 406 people were deported from Germany in June. While that is significantly less than in January and February – when the corresponding numbers were over 1,500 – but much more than in April (30) and May (92).

This U-curve in the deportation statistics can also be found if you break down the figures for the individual federal states: after a low point in April and May, almost everyone is now rising steeply again. And the incomplete data available for July so far indicate that the number has continued to increase. In Hamburg, for example, significantly more people were deported between July 1 and 23 than in June as a whole.

The federal states are thus implementing what was decided at the Interior Ministers’ Conference (IMK) in Erfurt in June: At that time, a spokesman for the Federal Interior Ministry told taz that the “repatriations” should “slowly start up again”.

After all: No one has been deported to Afghanistan – a controversial destination even before Corona – since mid-March, the Federal Ministry of the Interior announced on request. In Afghanistan, corona numbers rose dramatically in June. The fact that it will not be deported there seems to be less due to concerns on the German side than to the urging of the Afghan government. The BMI announced in writing that “collective returns” were suspended “at the request of the Afghan government against the background of the corona pandemic”.

Also, deportations to other countries were probably not called off because the German authorities would have suddenly felt guilty about sending people back during a global pandemic to countries that often only have rudimentary health systems. The BMI simply states that many states have closed their borders. “In this respect, the BMI takes the situation in the countries of origin into account,” writes a spokeswoman. She also writes: “The BMI is urging the countries of origin to return to their homes soon.”

Günter Burkhardt calls all of this “irresponsible”. However, the managing director of Pro Asyl is not surprised. Affected people are often “before nothing” in the countries to which they are pushed. This also applies in part to people who are sent back to other EU countries via the Dublin procedure. Even before the corona crisis, the humanitarian situation for refugees in Italy and Greece was dramatic, according to Burkhardt. This has been even more the case since the outbreak of the pandemic.


Deportations from Germany: Twitter storm towards Lufthansa

Lufthansa and subsidiaries have carried out every fourth deportation so far. A “Lufthansa deportation-free” campaign is starting this week.

So far, Lufthansa has carried out a quarter of all deportations Foto: Bayne Stanley/dpa

BERLIN taz | The Lufthansa #Abschiebefrei – #SayNoToDeportations campaign started on Monday with a Twitter storm. More than 20 civil society initiatives and organizations, including the refugee councils from Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt and Hamburg, are calling on Lufthansa to stop deporting its aircraft. “Lufthansa must finally stop transporting people against their will and take a clear stand against racism,” says Nadija Martin of the No Border Assembly group that initiated the campaign.

22,097 people were deported from Germany in 2019, including 3,806 minors. At 5,885, more than 25 percent of the deportations are on Lufthansa and its subsidiaries. “As part of its restart after the corona break, Lufthansa has the choice: to make serious about taking on global social responsibility or to continue to send people into misery,” Martin told taz.

Not every airline carries out deportation flights. The British airline Virgin Atlantic has been refusing to sell tickets for deportations from the UK and Australia since 2018. In 2019, six U.S. airlines, including United, Delta and American Airlines, declared that they would no longer carry children who were separated from their families at the U.S. borders.

According to Section 12 of the Aviation Security Act, pilots are allowed to take the necessary measures to avert an existing danger for people on board the aircraft or for the aircraft itself. Lufthansa Group pilots exercised this right in 309 cases in 2019, refusing to transport deportees. This results in a small request from the left in the Bundestag.

More violence in deportations

The request from the left also makes it clear that the use of “physical violence aids” increased massively in 2019 compared to the previous year. In 1,764 cases, police officers used hand and ankle cuffs, steel cuffs or so-called body cuffs to enforce deportations against the will of asylum seekers – compared to 1,231 cases in 2018 and 135 in 2015. “This brutalization of the deportation policy is worrying and must be stopped as soon as possible, ”demands the political spokeswoman for the group, Ulla Jelpke, and is thus responding to the Federal Government’s response.

As their answer shows, not only the use of restraint means, but also the number of accompanying police officers has increased significantly. While 8,100 civil servants were still deployed to provide “security escort” in 2017, the figure was 14,074 in 2019. At the same time, the total number of deportations accompanied decreased slightly. “Similar to the increased use of restraints, this is also an indication that certain deportations are being enforced with increasingly ruthless violence,” Jelpke fears.

Contrary to the accusations of the federal police, the pilot association Cockpit last stood behind flight captains in 2019 who prevent deportations of rejected asylum seekers. One is convinced that a transport would only be refused if there were any signs of a threat to the safety of the flight or other passengers, Cockpit told the editorial network Germany. Lufthansa declares to taz that deportations against the will of those affected are fundamentally rejected. You don’t comment on individual campaigns. Meanwhile, the initiating group No Border Assembly is happy about the success of the Twitter storm. “Many users have already picked up on our hashtags #Schiebefrei and #SayNoToDeportations,” explains spokeswoman Martin.


EU border protection agency Frontex: help with deportation

On request, Frontex pays charter flights to bring refugees back to their countries of origin. Germany makes extensive use of this.

Paid by Frontex? Deported by charter plane from Leipzig / Halle Airport Foto: picture alliance/Michael Kappeler/dpa

BERLIN taz | The EU border protection agency Frontex plays an increasingly important role in deportations from Germany. Since Frontex was given the opportunity to pay for charter deportation flights from Germany in 2016, the frequency of these flights has increased significantly in relation to the number of refugees. This emerges from the Federal Government’s response to a request from the left.

In 2016, 214 such deportation charters took off from German airports; in the following years there were 159, 169 and 168, most recently a flight about every other day. Refugee arrivals in Germany fell by about four fifths between 2016 and 2019. The German authorities therefore use the charter flights much more proportionally.

“Return Support” is what Frontex calls its support – and, if requested, can cover the cost of the chartered plane, accommodation for accompanying persons, meals on the ground, costs for medical personnel and interpreters. The agency can also finance the cost of obtaining passports for those to be deported – all tasks that the Member States had to take on until 2016. Frontex was allowed to spend 63 million euros on this in 2019.

Group charters are likely to be significantly more expensive than deportations by scheduled flight. From the point of view of the authorities, however, they offer a decisive advantage: in contrast to scheduled flights, there are no third parties who can interfere or testify afterwards. And so it is probably much more robust, which is also evident from the figures of the federal government: in 2019, around a quarter of the deportations were carried out with charter flights. However, these collective deportations accounted for only 0.3 percent of the deportations that were canceled due to resistance from those affected.

Pool of “deportation experts”

“Reports of massive use of violence in the course of deportations are published again and again,” said left-wing MP Ulla Jelpke. In retrospect, however, it is almost never possible to clarify such acts and hold those responsible accountable. In order to take effective action against police violence on deportation flights, collective deportations, in particular, would have to be observed across the board by independent bodies.

Frontex has ensured that all deportation flights from Germany no longer have to be accompanied by the federal police. The EU agency finances an average flight every three weeks, in which countries of origin pick up their citizens to be deported from Germany with their own aircraft and police officers. In these “collecting return operations” campaigns, Frontex not only pays the countries of origin the airfare, but also some daily allowances for the police officers. Since 2017, around 2,800 people have been deported with 59 such flights, primarily to Georgia, but also to Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine.

At the same time, Frontex is building a pool of so-called forced return escorts. These are police officers and border guards from the EU countries from whom deportations start and who can be used flexibly within the EU. There are now 690 such “experts”. Four federal police officers are currently deployed as “escort officers” to Lesbos in Greece – apparently to carry out deportations to Turkey from there.


US has chartered hundreds of flights to deport infected immigrants

The research released shows that the overcrowding conditions in some immigration detention centers, the scarcity of evidence and the deportation that has continued since March have resulted in the spread of the new coronavirus by the ICE, inside and outside the United States’ borders.

According to news agency EFE, the investigation confirmed that hundreds of covid-19 deportees have been returned to their countries of origin since March.

The ICE has already deported more than 40,000 immigrants, most of them from Central America, where cases of patients with covid-19 have been transferred to their countries of origin despite the risk of contagion.

At least four deportees interviewed tested positive for the new coronavirus shortly after returning to their countries, such as India, Haiti, Guatemala and El Salvador.

To date, ICE has confirmed about 3,000 positive cases of covid-19 in its civilian detention centers across the country, although research shows that in many cases people tested positive later, or were not tested despite demonstrate obvious symptoms of the disease.

The New York Times newspaper investigated more than 750 national ICE flights, in addition to another 200 to other countries, between March and June, most to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.