Taliban open to cooperation with Germany in deportation of Afghans


Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers said Friday they are open to cooperation with the German government in the deportation of Afghan criminals to their homeland.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday he wanted to see a rapid deportation of criminals to countries considered unsafe by the government in Berlin, including Afghanistan and Syria.

The initiative comes after outrage following the recent killing of a police officer by an Afghan. The attack took place during a meeting of an anti-Islam group in the western city of Mannheim.

“Such criminals must be deported – even if they come from Syria and Afghanistan,” Scholz told the Bundestag or the House of Commons.

Kabul responded to the German leader’s comments on Friday.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on the German authorities to take action through normal consular engagement and an appropriate mechanism based on bilateral agreements,” Abdul Kahar Balchi, spokesperson for the Taliban’s Foreign Ministry, wrote on X.

Germany has not sent anyone back to Afghanistan since the Taliban took over in August 2021. Even before then, the agreement was that only men – mainly criminals and those considered terrorist threats – would be forcibly returned due to the difficult security situation.

Critics warn against talks with the Taliban, who are currently internationally isolated.

According to Afghanistan expert Thomas Ruttig, co-founder of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, the Taliban could benefit from deportations by using them as an opportunity to collaborate with a Western state, which could be seen as a boost to their reputation.

The German refugee organization Pro Asyl has condemned Scholz’s initiative.

“International law clearly prohibits any deportation to Afghanistan and Syria,” Karl Kopp, director of Pro Asyl, told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper in a comment published Friday.

Kopp described Scholz’s proposed plans as unlawful, because “both countries are known for their use of torture and inhumane punishment.”

A diversion via Afghanistan’s neighbors such as Pakistan is also currently being considered by the German government.

However, the Taliban reject this possibility. Extraditions to third countries would be a violation of current treaties, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized in his statement.

So far, no country has officially recognized the Taliban government. Western states require that human rights, especially women’s rights, are respected in the country before recognition is granted.

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