The German government returned a group of 31 failed Afghan asylum seekers to their country, the sixth mass deportation of Afghan citizens from Germany since December 2018. The arrivals made up the 27th such group to be deported since December 2016, with 645 people sent back on previous flights. Germany has been organizing charter flights to fly those who have been refused asylum back to Afghanistan.
The forced deportations have been deeply controversial in Germany, with critics saying the war-torn country is too dangerous to send asylum seekers back due to the bomb attacks, kidnappings and the number of unregistered weapons in circulation. Civilians are regularly the target of attacks by the Taliban and the Daesh terrorist group and a total of 1,366 civilians have been killed in the Afghan conflict between January and June, according to the U.N. Around two weeks ago, at least 80 people were killed by a Daesh suicide bomber in a wedding hall in Kabul. More than 180 others were injured in the incident, officials said.
According to reports from the German federal government, around 11,500 people were deported from Germany in the first six months of this year. The reports also reveal excessive use of police force during deportations while the degree of physical resistance by asylum seekers was on the rise during forced deportations.
Afghans made up one-fifth of all migrants entering Europe, the second-biggest share after Syrians. The deportations are taking place under an agreement reached between Germany and Afghanistan in October 2016. Their expulsion is in line with a tougher approach from the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has faced domestic criticism for letting in more than a million migrants
since the start of 2015. In 2017, more than half of the 1.6 million arrivals had been granted permission to stay in Germany, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said. About half of those were from Syria with 455,000, 191 from Afghanistan and 156,000 from Iraq, it said. The number of new arrivals in Germany has fallen sharply since the start of the year after European Union member states stepped up action to stem the flow of refugees and migrants into the EU.
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