Thousands of illegal pushbacks to Austria

June 7, 2023

Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Unlawful refoulement of refugees does not only happen at the EU’s external borders.

The right to protection and asylum is also being trampled on at Germany’s southern borders:
For example, several NGOs have now jointly highlighted six meticulously documented cases of Syrian war survivors who were apprehended during police checks in Freilassing, Passau and Munich and subsequently illegally repatriated to Austria.

The cases date back to November and December 2022, and without exception all of the persons concerned report that – in the presence of interpreters – they announced their intention to apply for asylum in Germany to the officials. This was coldly ignored and the people were either simply abandoned on the streets of Salzburg or handed over to the Austrian police.

According to a report in the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, based on a Bundestag inquiry by @clara.buenger of the Left Party, more than 25,500 people were denied entry to Germany last year. By far the most cases are said to concern Bavaria, where border controls have been reintroduced since 2015.

The NGOs Border Violence Monitoring Network, Pushback Alarm Austria and Bayerischer Flüchtlingsrat, which together uncovered the untenable conditions, speak of a systematic practice. “Due to the high number of police deportations and the strikingly low number of asylum applications received, we have to assume that some of the deportations are not legal,” says Katharina Grote of the Bavarian Refugee Council.

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