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efms Migration Report

October 1996

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Signing of repatriation agreement between Bonn and Belgrade

On October 10, 1996 the interior ministers of Germany and Yugoslavia sign an agreement which regulates the repatriation of some 135,000 citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. These citizens are presently staying in Germany without a residence permit. Repatriation, which is scheduled to begin on December 1, 1996 and to last an estimated three years, will affect mainly rejected asylum-seekers. Approximately 80% of those to be deported are Kosovo-Albanians. Belgrad has pledged to repatriate Yugoslavian citizens and to adhere to human rights which means that no discriminatory distinctions are to be made in regard to the ethnic origins of those nationals being repatriated. In return, Bonn pledges to help Yugoslavia improve its international standing. The Society for Endangered Peoples accuses Bonn of surrendering the Albanians to the Serbian minority and thus provoking an escalation of the Balkan conflict.
FAZ 11.10.96 // SZ 11.10.96 // FR 11.10.96

Bayern: deportation of Bosnian refugees begins

The Bavarian ministry of the interior arranges the first deportation of a Bosnian refugee, an imprisoned delinquent, on October 10, 1996. According to a resolution of the interior minister conference in September, the return of Bosnian war refugees to their home countries begins officially on October 1, but the Länder may decide themselves if they wish to delay implementation of the measures until the coming spring. Bayern"s decision to begin deportation of the first Bosnians at the beginning of October has met with fierce criticism by the opposition parties and the Federal Commissioner for Foreigners Schmalz-Jacobsen (FDP), who regards the rapid deportation of refugees irregardless of their safety and despite the imminence of winter as rash and unreasonable. In general, the Bavarian government assumes a tougher stance on rejected asylum seekers and refugees. Following several deportations of persons who had found asylum in churches, the government has become involved in conflict with the churches.
FAZ 10.10.96 // Welt 10.10.96 // Spiegel 14.10.96

New Bundesländer: violence of rightwing extremist youths

A wave of attacks carried out by extreme rightwing youths against foreigners alarms the Brandenburg interior ministry. Most of the cases involve youths under the influence of alcohol attacking foreigners or businesses run by foreigners. In October there were several serious injuries (including an Italian construction worker still in a coma, whose skull was fractured, two French citizens and two British students). In Leipzig a Syrian grocer was stabbed to death. Brandenburg"s Interior Minister Ziel hopes that swifter punishment of offences and large-scale preventitive measures will prove effective in reducing foreigner-related criminality among youths.
FAZ 17.10.96 // NN 17.10.96 // taz 25.10.96 // dpa 28.10.96

Romania and Germany sign agreement on joint combat against criminality

Germany and Romania sign on October 15, 1996 an agreement to cooperate in fighting organized criminality. The police authorities of both countries will take joint action against immigrant smugglers.
dpa 15.10.96

Bundestag committee approves of amendments to alien law

During arguments between the coalition and oppostion parties on plans to reform the alien law the SPD unsuccesfully attempted to modify the severity of the measures planned for deportation of delinquents. On October 16, 1996 the Bundestag committee approved the proposed changes which include a series of measures intended to improve conditions for acquiring residence permits for such groups as wives in "unusual hardship cases" who would be entitled to residence after one year and retired persons who would be able to travel freely between Germany and their country of origin.The tougher regulations concern delinquents and PKK sympathizers. In the future foreigners sentenced to three years imprisonment or involved in simple breach of the peace will be deported. Furthermore, those in deportation detention will not be allowed to leave prison if they have submitted a petition for asylum. The amendment proposals will be dealt with soon in the Bundestag and Bundesrat.
dpa 16.10.96 // Welt 17.10.96 // taz 18.10.96

CDU convention delays discussion of citizenship-law reform

Due to the urgency of other items on the agenda at the CDU-party convention in Hannover, the naturalization law reform proposal initiated by three young CDU Bundestag representatives was not brought up for discussion. The reform proposals will be considered next year.
FR 16.10.96 // taz 17.10.96

Head of immigrant-smuggler gang arrested

The Croatian police has apprehended one of the biggest immigrant smugglers active in Germany. The internationally hunted Turkish citizen Pinarbasi is said to have brought more than 90,000 Kurds illegally into Germany and to have more than 500 helpers in Germany and support bases in several (mainly Eastern European) cities. The Baden-Baden district attorneys have formally requested Pinarbasi"s extradition to Germany where he faces a sentence of up to ten years.
SZ 19.10.96 // taz 19.10.96

Bayern: investigation of priests involved in church asylum

The Regensburg district attorney"s office is investigating three priests and two parish commissioners on charges of "aiding and abetting illegal residency". The priests have been giving shelter since last spring to six persons from Togo awaiting decisions from the administrative court on their petitions for asylum. The "offence" is punishable by up to nine months imprisonment or high fines. Neither the ministry of justice nor the church-asylum network has exact information about the number of investigations conducted in Bavaria in the context of church asylum. Several of these investigations have, however, been discontinued.
SZ 26.10.96

Increased assistance for Russian Germans in Russia

In order to prevent continued emigration of Russian Germans to Germany, the German government has granted 84 million DM in assistance for 1997 to areas in Russia with heavy German populations. The Russian minister of nationalities who is in Bonn for a meeting of the bilateral commission, states that Moscow will contribute 103 billion rubles to the "integrative measures". Russia is expecting the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Germans from the Asian regions of the ex-USSR. The most important objective of the financial assistance is the German language. Furthermore, Bonn intends to support efforts to establish German-Russian meeting centers, housing construction and new businesses.
SZ 26.10.96

Negotiations on repatriation agreement with Bosnia

Although the resolution passed by the interior ministers allowed the repatriation of civil-war refugees to begin on October 1, there have not yet been any deportations of refugees. Only in Bayern were a few delinquent Bosnians deported. The federal ministry of the interior is awaiting the results of negotiations with Bosnia about a repatriation agreement.
FAZ 31.10.96

Asylum statistics

In October 1996, 11,677 persons applied for asylum in Germany. This is 5.7% less than in October of the previous year (12,389 persons), but the numbers of the last months show an increasing trend. The largest refugee group continues to come from Turkey. The acceptance quota was 7,2%.
taz 8.11.96

October 1996

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