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efms Migration Report

May 1995

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Germany signs agreement on minorities

The federal government has signed the European Council"s skeleton agreement on the protection of national minorities. The national groups in Germany which would benefit from such protection are Sorbs, Frisians, Danes and Sinti and Roma gypsies. According to the agreement these groups would be guaranteed the right to equal opportunity, equal legal protection and protection from discrimination. The associations of the respective groups estimate their respective numbers as: 60,000 Sorbs, 10-15,000 Frisians, 50,000 Danes, and 60-70,000 Sinti and Roma gypsies. The fact that the agreement does not contain a binding definition of the term "national minority" may be a source of problems, since each country can decide which minorities it wishes to protect. A Turkish member of the European Council criticized the agreement for not extending protection to guest-worker groups in Germany, for example to the 1,8 million Turks.
taz 10.5.95 // FR 11.5.95 // SZ 12.5.95 // Welt 12.5.95

Expatriation of Turks facilitated

On May 3, 1995 the Turkish parliament passed a bill providing for expatriation of Turks residing abroad while protecting their rights and property in Turkey. Making expatriation easier will aid Turks living in countries such as Germany, Denmark and Sweden, which do not allow double citizenship. The regulations will promote the improvement of the legal status of Turks, and encourage the formation of interest groups. According to Mentese, the Turkish minister of the interior, around 30,000 naturalized Turks live in Germany. In 1993 approximately 6,000, and in 1994 around 30,000 Turks were expatriated.
dpa 3.5.95 // SZ 4.5.95

Criticism of asylum law and practice

UNHCR Representative Kumin and the refugee organisation Pro Asyl complain that deserters and conscientious objectors are not recognized as politically persecuted in Germany, not even when UNO has classified the conflict in their countries of origin as illegal according to international law. UNHCR and welfare groups call on the federal government to grant secure residence status to the 300,000 refugees from Bosnia. The president of the central committee of German Catholics condemned the inhumane implementation of the asylum compromise as demonstrated especially in deportation detention. The Bavarian Council of Refugees demands a reform of deportation methods and improvemnt of the degrading conditions in deportation prisons.
FR 8.5.95 // SZ 10.5.95 // FAZ 12.5.95 // SZ 12.5.95 // SZ 20.5.95

Detention prisons in Romania demonstrate the "domino effect" of German asylum laws

The "Research Institute for Flight and Migration" in Berlin has made disclosures about the existence of a prison for asylum seekers in Bucarest which, according to Pro-Asyl, confirms that Germany"s restrictive asylum policies and chain deportations simply shift refugee problems to other countries. Although Romania is not classified as a Safe Third Country, Asylum seekers who are rejected in Germany are deported to Romania, where they are imprisoned.
FR 6.7.95

Success of Schengen Search Systems

According to Schmidtbauer, minister of state in the chancellor"s office, the number of criminals and illegal visitors apprehended by means of the new cooperative search systems of the Schengen countries has increased by 30% in Germany. The other Schengen states have also recorded an increase in arrests.
SZ 12.5.95 // NN 12.5.95

German police violence and hostility towards foreigners

In an extensive report, Amnesty International has accused German police of maltreatment practices, violence and aggression in their dealings with aliens. According to the organization"s statements, 70 cases have been reported since 1992. Investigations of the accused officers were not initiated at all, or were quickly dropped. The federal minister of the interior, Kanther, dismisses the accusations and characterizes such incidents as isolated cases.
dpa 16.5.95 // FR 24.5.95

Conference of ministers of the interior lifts ban on deportation of Kurds

The federal and Laender ministers of the interior came to an agreement to lift the ban on deporting Kurds in all Laender as of June 12. Decisions on temporary bans on deportation will be confined to the federal government in the future, instead of lying within the jurisdiction of the Laender.
SZ 20.5.95 // FAZ 20.5.95

Deportation to general areas

The federal and Laender ministers of the interior have instructed a commission to examine the possiblities of deporting asylum seekers of unknown origin. Persons with undetermined nationality would be deported to a general region, an option which would require concluding repatriation agreeements with several cooperating states.
taz 24.5.95 // FAZ 24.5.95

Statistics concerning Aussiedler

The number of immigrants of German extraction from central and eastern Europe amounted to 14,810 in May. The number has remained stable in comparison with last year (14,714 in May 1994). The majority of these immigrants originate from the countries of the former Soviet Union (14,078) with additional countries of origin being Romania and Poland. According to a statement of the federal representative of the Aussiedler, Waffenschmidt, limiting admission to 200,000 per year has led to an abatement of application processes. The federal government assures that it will cooperate with Moscow in supporting and aiding Russian regions with German minorities.
FAZ 2.6.95

Asylum statistics

In May the number of asylum seekers rose slightly to 9,396, the same level as last May. Compared to April 1995 there were 900 more applications. Some 2,160 refugees come from Turkey. In second place is former Yugoslavia with 2,107 asylum seekers. Since the beginning of the year, 49,640 petitions for asylum have been submitted, which is 7,9% less than at the same time last year. With a total of 11,445 refugees in this year, Turkey is the main country of origin. Kanther, the minister of the interior, attributes the high numbers to illegal immigration over Italy and calls on Italy to improve control and impose visa requirements for former Yugoslavia
SZ 8.6.95 // NN 8.6.95

May 1995

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