Via The Conversation – Liza Schuster critically writes about her experiences during a flight from Istanbul to Kabul where she spoke to some of the thirty men being deported or “voluntarily returned” to Afghanistan. It was their second deportation after having been sent back to Turkey from the EU as part of the EU-Turkey deal. The article addresses not only the particular cruelty of deporting people to a war-torn country – it also shows the absence of the IOM that was supposed to support the arriving refugees:
Thirty young men were deported to Kabul on June 6, on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul. The deportation comes as Afghanistan is again wracked by violence. Less than a week ago, a bomb in the Afghan capital killed around 150 civilians and injured 500 more. Two days later, on June 2, the police opened fire on a demonstration, killing seven. Another three explosions then cost the lives of at least 22 people. Despite this, the men were being deported – by Norway, Sweden and Turkey.
Those being deported from Turkey were being sent back as part of the EU-Turkey deal, which sees Turkey getting paid to maintain Europe’s frontiers. The men are deported as undocumented migrants, with no chance of having an asylum claim examined, let alone granted. Those being deported from Scandinavia may well have had their claims examined and rejected, though even those who have claims accepted are told Kabul remains safe. One of the officials from Norway told me that he had faith in his system. But given the volatility of the situation, such assertions need to be re-examined. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, for example, responded to the attacks by suspending all deportations from Germany.