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Gambian refugees in Europe issue a deportation alert

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The Gambia Refugee Association in Europe said on Wednesday that it has received information that one of its members was arrested in Munich while trying to renew his document (Aussweiss).

Germany has resumed deportation of Gambian this month. The European country has already returned at least 8 Gambians last Saturday, Kerr Fatou has been informed.

The Association said the unnamed irregular migrant is currently being detained in Munich and will be taken to court before Friday, 15th November 2019.

“According to him, based, on the court’s decision, he could be deported to The Gambia on that same day,” said the Association.

They have attached what they said was a picture of the migrant who was handcuffed by the police and his legs shackled. Similar picture of the same boy surfaced on social media on Tuesday.

“Our association denounced this form of humiliating and inhumane treatment and calls for an immediate stop to it. We also received information that the scheduled flight for some of the targeted persons for deportation this week, will arrive on the 16th November at the Banjul International Airport in The Gambia,” said the Association.

“Earlier, on the 25th October 2019, we received information that some Gambians were also deported and just few days ago, there was another scheduled flight which took some deportees. The rate at which the German authorities are deporting our Gambian migrants is alarming and we are deeply concerned about the fate and perspective of our brothers and sisters.”

“Already, Germany has planned to deport 3400 Gambians whose asylum claims were rejected. This is a huge number and we don’t think deporting them will be a good idea.

Our association has done a lot of efforts and will continue to do so for the interest of Gambian migrants and asylum seekers. We will continue to engage both the governments of Germany and The Gambia to find a peaceful solution to this problem.

The Gambia Government on the other hand must understand that there are better options than accepting the deportation of its citizens especially people who are law abiding, well integrated and are working and paying tax in Europe. We therefore urge The Gambia Government to quickly intervene and take positive steps that will re-prioritize or minimize deportation before it is too late.”

From last week, Kerr Fatou has learned that at least 8 people were deported from Germany. Meanwhile, on October 20, a German online newspaper Presse Augsburg,  has reported that Gambia has changed its initial position of refusing to accept its citizens from Germany.

According to Presse Augsburg, a spokesman of the Germany Federal Ministry of the Interior said he could “confirm that the Gambian government has informed the EU that the previous moratorium on returns has been lifted”.

“Repatriations to the Gambia are therefore possible on scheduled flights from now on,” the newspaper reported the German authorities as saying.

In the failed negotiations of the EU Commission in May 2019, Gambia was required to receive one charter flight per month with a maximum of 25 people to be deported, according to an internal EU document.

Gambia could not be convinced on the content of the EU Good Practice Document for Returned Procedure until today, according to German media.

Besides Italy, the highest recipient of irregular migrants from the Gambia is Germany, especially its South Western region of Baden-Württemberg.

Since 2015, 9,478 Gambians have applied for asylum in Baden-Württemberg until the middle of the year.

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