Protest against Deportations to Afghanistan in Munich

After a massive bomb attack on the diplomatic district of Kabul, violent scenes going viral of police deporting a pupil from school in Nuremberg and protest by politicians and the public, deportations to Afghanistan have been – partially – paused since the evening of June 1st. The past two days protestors had been taking it to the streets all over Germany – and also in Munich, showing solidarity with refugees in danger of deportation.

Demonstration on Wednesday, May 31st

More then 400 people attended, of whom many were refugees themselves to stand up against deportations to Afghanistan. The event was very peaceful, only when riot-police showed up the atmosphere got worse. Also smaller scuffles with police broke out when a bystander showed a Hitler salute towards the demonstration walking down Ludwigstrasse in downtown Munich. Police arrested the bystander.

Rally by Bellevue di Monaco on June 1st

Many politicians and celebrities from Munich joined a rally in front of the ministry of education and cultural affairs on Wednesday night to especially protest against deportations out of schools – but also deportations to Afghanistan in general. Munich Hip-Hop/Brass band Moop Mama played a few songs.

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Public Friday Prayer in Munich Cancelled in Fear of Neo-nazi Disturbance

On Friday May 19th some members of the Muslim community wanted to hold their Friday prayer on Marienplatz in Munich, to draw attention to the fact that more and more mosques have been closed during the past years in the Munich downtown area. In fact in the area around the city center there is no place left for muslims to gather and hold their worship. After neo-nazis announced on Facebook to disturb the event, the public prayer was cancelled. Police guided people to a close-by jesuit church. The prayer was then held there. Neonazis and regular PEGIDA attendants showed up and mocked people from the other side of the street. As a local activist asked police why those people are allowed here the policeman answered him that they were only having a walk and not disturbing. So after all neo-nazis managed to force people of other belief to not be able to hold their demonstration and display their faith. At the Jesuit church the local priest pushed out press even though the Muslim community said that pictures before the prayer were completely allowed and wished.

Forced Journey – MUC to KBL Nonstop [Multimedia]

Video-report

15 Afghan refugees were deported on March 27th at Munich airport. It was the fourth mass-
deportation conducted at the airport. Currently the deportation practice is discussed highly
controversially in society. Many people criticize the German asylum policy because Afghanistan is no safe place for anybody.

Protests against deportations to Afghanistan

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On the evening of March 27th an aircraft took off at Munich airport. Inside the plane there were 15 Afghan refugees who got deported to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. While the refugees were taken to the airplane people gathered and rallied on the airport’s grounds. The demonstrators criticized German asylum policy and claimed to stop the deportations immediately.

Those mass deportations are taking place because of the German government’s assessment: the islamic republic is partially secure. People working with refugees or coming from Afghanistan think differently about the situation there:

„ … For refugee-people, for german- people, for the whole world Afghanistan is not safe. This is not a situation [that will be lasting] for one or two years. Afghanistan will be unsafe and at war for 4 or 45 years. And all the people [should] know [that]….“

… commented a protester in front of the deportation jail in Mühldorf.

Afghanistan – a safe country?

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A day before the deportation the demonstrators also took a stand against the current asylum policy in Mühldorf. 400 or 500 people surrounded the jail forming a human chain. The purpose of their protest was to support the deportation prisoners. On sunday night two detainees hurt themselves and had to be taken care of. They were probably commited to the psychiatric ward.

The fear of being deported bribes refugees into desperate deeds. That is, because in Afghanistan they are exposed to far greater danger. Coming back most of them don’t have any chances to earn money or find shelter. Also terror attacks can happen at any time in the islamic republic and civilian victims sadly are no exception. The number of civilians killed reached a record high in early 2016 for the first time since 2009. According to the most recent UNHCR report the situation worsened compared to 2016.
Despite those facts the German government doesn’t stop deporting people into the state, it even raises the number of deportations: While in 2015 78%% of the applications for asylum were granted, in 2016 only 60% of the Afghan refugees were granted asylum.

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Thomas Nowotny, Pediatrician & Activist

„It is against human rights, german, international and bavarian law to deport people to war- and crisis-areas. We do no tolerate this and stand up for the refugees.“

Thomas Nowotny, initiator of the protests in Mühldorf, states. Maybe his and other people’s protest will move people to think about the justness of deportations to Afghanistan.

 

PEGIDA Munich March 6th – Spraypainted Swastika & Thirteen Arrests

On March 6th the Munich branch of the racist PEGIDA movement gathered for a rally on Karlsplatz, Status in the city-center of Munich. Only 40 participants had come to join the protest. PEGIDA Munich has already shown in the past that they have no problem with confessing neo-nazis amongst them. A swastika was freshly spray-painted only a few meters off the demonstration. Opponents were arrested for approaching a group of neo-nazis standing a little off the rally.

Thirteen Arrests

Minutes after the PEGIDA rally began a group of neo-nazis that attend the demonstrations on a very regular basis showed up. Instead of joining the rally surrounded by a cage the group stood a little off. Soon the neo-nazis were discovered by counter-protestors. Those then approached with banners and shouted slogans. As the groups got into contact three of the neo-nazis pushed into the banners. Police forces intervened. Thirteen opponents were arrested and charged with breach of the peace. The neo-nazis were accompanied to the PEGIDA rally. This is especially precarious because members of exact this group have run into counter-protests of PEGIDA with banners several time. This led to clashes.

Freshly Spraypainted Swastika

Just minutes later two journalists discovered a freshly spray-painted swastika near were the neo-nazi group stood earlier. The paint was still wet. After reporting this to police officers standing by the two journalists were searched for spray cans. In a later given statement by press officer Markus Da Gloria Martins this lead to a discharge of the two. The swastika was later-on removed. During the same time the group of neo-nazis participated in the rally. Only one hour later two of them were controlled. If this search and interrogation is in connection to the clash or the spray-painting is unknown.

Short reportage about March 6th at PEGIDA Munich

All in all a freshly spray-painted symbol of hatred close to a PEGIDA rally seems very revealing.

#FreeDeniz -Motorcade through Munich

As journalist Deniz Yücel has been taken into investigative custody by the Turkish state solidarity rises. All over Germany colleagues, friends and family of Deniz gathered on February 28th to hold motorcades. In Munich around 30 cars participated.

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Deportation to Afghanistan from Munich – Protestors Gather at Munich Airport

Today the so far third deportation flight from Germany to Afghanistan was held. Between fifty to sixty people According to officials and press reports 18 men, together with police forces, were put on a charter plane of Meridiana. The plane left the spot at the airfield approximately at 9.30 PM. The procedure was conducted under exclusion of media and the broad public. Colleagues with strong tele-photo lenses were not able to display the faces of the humans transported back to Afghanistan with this flight. Protestors gathered in the area between Terminals 1 and 2. At least 350 participated in the rally and demonstrated through the terminals.

Munich BAMF Offices  Closed for the Past Weeks ?
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Archive Picture – BAMF in Nuremberg guarded by police during demonstration of Refugee Struggle

Talking to activists supporting refugees that want to stay anonymous 24mmjournalism was told that the Munich local office of the BAMF – ministry of migration- has been closed during the past two weeks. This was one of the first times one could expect something like this flight happening from the Bavarian capital. Asylum seekers were not able to reach the office or had to go to Nuremberg to have their papers either renewed or checked.
Activists also told us that the last pick-ups for the deportation flight happened in the late afternoon of February 22nd.

Deportation from Terminal F
Germany deports to Afghanistan from Munich airport - activists rally at Munich airpor
Entrance to Terminal F blocked by police.

According to a federal police spokesman the procedure for people getting deported is equal to the procedure for a normal passenger – besides they are not flying by their own will. Papers are reviewed luggage is checked, people go through security and then board the plane. This all happens behind closed doors. No possibility to accompany the situation as a journalist. To enter high security terminal F at Munich airport one had to show boarding passes checked by police officers already far in advance. The entrance was blocked by police forces with dogs on site.

Even though too late to take a picture we can report from having a look at other photographers pictures that the plane was parked so the boarding took place on the other side of what can be documented from outside the airport area. This makes the whole process seem distanced. The ones deported have no face. On February 23rd we tried to get a hold of press officials of Meridiana. The Italian airline seems to have conducted the deportation flight as pictures displayed in mayor german news magazines such as Spiegel Online suggest. Trying to get in contact with the airline asking on their Facebook Fanpage for contact to a press official they blocked 24mmjournalism’s reporter:

We will keep trying to reach their press office and if we get a statement this might answer our questions:

Did you conduct a flight deporting 18 male asylum seekers to Kabul on February 22nd from Munich?

How much did the german government pay you for this flight?

Does your company stand behind the deportations and sees no ethical problem in this controversial discussed topic?

Why did you block our reporter on your Facebook page?

Do you think this will damage the way your company is seen by the public?

Will you conduct more deportations if the german government pays you?

The company has answered 24mmjournalism’s reporters e-mail sent, after trying to get in contact via different social media channels and a phone number handed out by their call-center, stating:

Dear Michael,

Meridiana works with many brokers. No information on services performed for third parties is divulged.

For your kind information, we didn’t get any phone call or email from you, before your one below.

Best regards

Protest in the Area of Munich Airport

Germany deports to Afghanistan from Munich airport - activists rally at Munich airpor

Several political groups mobilized for a demonstration in the late afternoon just before the deportation would take place. At least 350 participated in the rally. First speaches by refugees were held and then a demonstration throughout the area of the airport followed. Several passengers looked surprised as they did not know what was going on while they were boarding their flights. One hissed passing by: “Put them on the plane too!”.

All in all February 22nd marks a sad mark in german history with deportations to a war-zone departing from Munich. After deportations in December, January and now February one can guess that this will become a monthly thing to happen.

PEGIDA Munich’s 2nd Anniversary

On Monday January 16th PEGIDA gathered on Marienplatz in Munich for the racist group’s second anniversary. Antifascists gathered on Odeonsplatz to hold a counter-demonstration. At least 500 participated in the loud rally. Arriving at Rindermarkt, close to Marienplatz where the PEGIDA rally was held, a flare was lit.
Participating in the racist PEGIDA rally with the party’s banner, jackets and flags were activists of neo-nazi party ‘Der III. Weg’. During the rally p
olice ripped away banners of counter protestors  declaring those are not necessary for democratic protest. This ended in commotion.

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