Press Release: Protest against Detention of People seeking Protection in Saxony

On Wednesday Saxon Parliament decides on Law regulating Custody

The planned custody for the purpose of deportation appalls a great number of civil society. The consequences of detention and custody for the people affected are widely and well known. The supporters of the call for protest want to demonstrate against the expected approval of the law in front of State Parliament, next Wednesday, 12pm. Even though coalition readjusted the bill, many aspects of the law remain critical and unexplained.

Next Wednesday, Saxon Parliament will decide upon the law regulating custody for the purpose of deportation. People seeking protection will find themselves in detention-like situations at the end of the year. Families with their kids as well as unaccompanied minors won’t be excluded. From civil society, fundamental critique is being voiced concerning the enforcement of custody. “This is a step back. Other state governments withdraw from detention and custody. Though, in Saxony, a completely senseless – but in its consequences disastrous – enforcement measure will be established.” argues Ali Moradi, executive director of Saxon Refugee Council. With the Law on the Readjustment of Residence Right and Obligation to Leave, the custody was established. It’s purpose: ensuring deportation. What sounds like a usual act of administration has far-reaching impact on the mental state of health of the people affected. Since they have not committed a crime, the situation of detention is not comprehensible. Jesuit-Refugee Service Europe published a study (English) in 2010 that the incomprehension lets outrightly deteriorate the mental as well as the physical health. Even more so when kids are affected, even more so when they are unaccompanied. “Due to those reasons we call for protest against the custody enforcement in front of State parliament on Wednesday, 12pm.”

Despite a change request, the law remains highly problematic

CDU and SPD tried to improve custody by filing a change request. The concerns of people in a particularly vulnerable state are supposed to be considered now. No definition follows, on the contrary, the general reference to the Penal Procedure Code remains – which is applied to offenders. The particular situation of unaccompanied minors is not explicitly mentioned. Especially the lack of psycho-therapeutic and social advice give rise to concern. Additionally, a newly created advisory board shall ensure control. But it needs to be questioned, why the right to receive visitors was not included instead. The people affected would have had the direct possibility to speak with lawyers and NGO-employees, perhaps filing legal remedies, and to say Good Bye to family and friends. Great doubts exist when it comes to legality of the place of the facility. The accordant paragraph rules that custody shall be enforced in or close to an airport. Only, Dresden airport records almost no Non-European connections. Moradi adds: “Hastily, a deportation instrument is being established that is supposed to be ultima ratio. I repeat the demand of our appeal (German) from last November: do not approve the bill! Such a sloppy law will result in human rights violations, apart from custody being a pure human rights violations by itself.”

A short discussion of the purposed change of law of the coaltion parties can be found here (English).

The supporters of the call are:

Afghanische Kulturgruppe Dresden
AG Asylsuchende Sächsische Schweiz Osterzgebirge e.V.
AKuBiZ e.V. Pirna
Arbeitskreis Ausländer und Asyl Freiberg e.V.
Asylum Seekers‘ Movement
Ausländerbeauftragter der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Landeskirche Sachsens
Bon Courage e.V.
Gefangenen Gewerkschaft / Bundesweite Organisation
Initiativkreis Menschen.Würdig e.V.
Kontakgruppe Asyl e.V. Dresden
Linksjugend [’solid] Dresden
Netzwerk Asyl, Migration, Flucht Dresden
Non-Citizen Council
Peperoncini e.V.
Refugee Law Clinic Leipzig e.V.
Romano Sumnal e.V.
Rote Hilfe e.V.
Sächsischer Flüchtlingsrat e.V.
Zendegi (Leben) – Keine Abschiebungen nach Afghanistan