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10 Aug, 2021 11:41

EU member states urge Brussels to send refugees back to war-torn Afghanistan

EU member states urge Brussels to send refugees back to war-torn Afghanistan

Despite growing levels of conflict in Afghanistan amid the US-led troops withdrawal, six European Union member states have banded together to urge the EU Commission to continue deporting Afghans back home.

Belgium’s Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Sammy Mahdi confirmed that he had urged the European Commission to reconsider blocking the deportation of Afghans back to their war-torn country. Mahdi was joined by Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Greece in a letter which asked the Commission to “continue to guarantee the forced return of certain Afghans.”

“Stopping returns sends the wrong signal and is likely to motivate even more Afghan citizens to leave their home for the EU,” the countries said in the letter, as reported by Reuters.

On Twitter, Madhi argued that “just because regions of a country are not safe, it does not mean that each national of that country is automatically entitled to protection.”

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He added that Afghans who, after a thorough and independent investigation, appear to have “no need for asylum” cannot remain in Belgium.

The letter, and Madhi’s justification for the request, has received criticism online. One journalist responded saying “care for human life is not a marketing ploy” and that asking to send people back to countries at war is “not a well thought out policy.”

Earlier in July, Kabul requested that EU member states put a pause on deporting Afghans back to Afghanistan for three months. The European Court of Human Rights also opposed the deportations, leading Austria to postpone the flights last week.

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Concerns are centered around the rapidly worsening conflict with the Taliban, who on Monday captured their sixth provincial capital in Afghanistan. The militants’ offensive has intensified since the withdrawal of US and European troops from Afghanistan began.

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