The German Foreign Ministry has issued a report on the security situation in Syria, saying that there was ”no area in Syria today where returning refugees could feel safe.”
According to the report, published by the German Deutsche Welle website on Monday, the return of refugees to their country is still “extremely dangerous”, especially for opponents of the Assad regime. It said that they were “subjected to repression and direct threats against their lives.”
The report added that the German Foreign Ministry, which submitted the report to the Interior Ministry, said that the Assad regime could carry out airstrikes on all parts of Syria with the exception of the areas under the control of Turkey or the Kurds, or the areas where American forces were present.
It also said that arbitrary arrests were ongoing in areas under the control of Assad’s forces, adding that, “prisoners are gathered in extremely tight areas, and sometimes bodies are not cleared from areas until days later, while there is rarely medical care.” It described the health conditions related to cleanliness in the regime prisons as “shocking.”
The Foreign Ministry report comes after calls from German politicians for Syrian refugees to be deported, especially “dangerous” ones, on the argument that military operations have “abated” in most areas there.
In Germany it is usual to extend the prevention of Syrian refugees every six months, in accordance with permissions granted by the German government to Syrians on its territory, in the event that there is no change in the security situation in Syria.
Commenting on that, Interior Minister for the state of Bavaria, Joachim Herrmann, told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur that, “the situation in Syria is still without a doubt as difficult as it was, and I expect that the Interior Ministry will extend the prevention on deportations there for another six months.”
It is expected that the interior ministers of German states will hold a conference on Wednesday to discuss the extension of the ban on deportation of refugees to Syria.
What about Assad regime loyalists?
The German government’s decision to ban deportations of Syrian refugees has been criticized internally, especially given that it includes returning “dangerous” refugees or those who have committed crimes on German territory, which has created controversy among German politicians.
Herrmann told DPA that, “those who have committed dangerous crimes in our country or it has been made clear are dangerous cannot expect to find aid or protection with us.”
With regards to Syrian refugees who support the regime’s President Bashar al-Assad, Herrmann called for them to be subject to different standards than other Syrian refugees, saying that “these people are not threatened with any persecution and for them, returning is possible.”
The German interior ministers a few months ago discussed the matter of deporting Syrian refugees who have committed crimes on Syrian territory, in addition to refugees who support the Assad regime, but they have not taken any decisions so far.
More than 745,000 Syrians live in Germany, including 551,000 who have claimed asylum, according to government statistics at the end of 2018.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.