With the help of the European Union, Austria wants to set up deportation centers in countries around Afghanistan, where it could send rejected asylum seekers. Vienna will present the proposal at Wednesday’s meeting of EU interior ministers, the APA agency reported.
The government of conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz thus continues with plans to deport Afghan citizens, despite the radical Islamist Taliban movement taking control of practically all of Afghanistan.
Austrian Minister for the Interior Karl Nehammer said that if deportations of Afghans back home are not possible because of the European Convention on Human Rights, an alternative must be found.
“Deportation centers in the Afghanistan area would be an option. That requires the strength and support of the European Commission,” Nehammer said in a joint statement with Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.
They announced that they would present the proposal at Wednesday’s meeting of EU ministers.
Austria was among the six EU states that warned the European Commission last week against stopping deportations to Afghanistan. It would send a wrong signal to other Afghans seeking EU membership, Austria pointed out. Three signatories of the letter — Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands — have meanwhile made a turnaround and suspended the deportation of Afghans due to the rapidly deteriorating security situation in the country.
However, deporting unsuccessful asylum seekers does not have the support of the Austrian Greens, a coalition partner of the Kurz People’s Party in the government.
“All of you who are now talking about deportations instead of acute help and support for people on the run should be ashamed,” wrote Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, a spokeswoman for the Greens on foreign policy on Twitter.
The Czech Republic does not intend to stop the deportation of unsuccessful Afghan asylum seekers. On Friday, the Minister of the Interior, Jan Hamáček, said that the Czech authorities approach all asylum applications individually.
Title image: Hundreds of people gather near a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane at a perimeter at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. On Monday, the U.S. military and officials focus was on Kabul’s airport, where thousands of Afghans trapped by the sudden Taliban takeover rushed the tarmac and clung to U.S. military planes deployed to fly out staffers of the U.S. Embassy, which shut down Sunday, and others. (AP Photo/Shekib Rahmani)