Europe should be ashamed of itself – Expulsions to Kabul

Petition in French and full list of singatories

Next Monday or Tuesday a charter plane will leave London, travel to Paris and finally land in Kabul with at least 60 young Afghans on board who have been denied asylum by France and Britain.

The Interior Ministers of the 5 largest European countries (Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Britain) announced at the beginning of June that they would be organising joint charter flights to increase the number of deportations from their countries in disregard of international conventions and human rights.

The first destination is set to be Afghanistan. Indications are that the expulsion will take place shortly: there has been a sharp increase of the number of Afghans picked up and placed in detention centres and the Afghan consul in France has been asked to confirm identities with a view to issuing travel documents.

To choose Kabul as the first destination for these charter expulsions one must be blind and dumb to the realities of the world and to the failure of previous attempts to suppress irregular migration. The situation in Kabul has never been as explosive as in the last few months. The lethal attacks and their victims have been occurring with breathtaking speed in the run up to the elections due to take place on 18 September of this year.

The provinces of Paktika, Uruzgan, Khôst, Badakhshan, Kounar, Helmand, and the region of Kunduz have experienced an increase in violence. In other provinces such as Takhar, Afghans have risen up against corrupt or incompetent local authorities. Even in Kabul, the so-called secure capital, a girls’ school was attacked in broad daylight on 22 June by the taliban. Furthermore today an epidemic of cholera is raging (by the 14 June 2,000 cases had been reported). On July 7, the NGO Human Rights Watch published a report condemning the actions of warlords and criticising the inaction of NATO forces, theoretically in charge of maintaining security in the country.

It is incredible that the European Union is proposing to return people who have risked their lives to find peace and security to such danger.

These collective expulsions will have serious consequences for Europe. The symbolic value of the charters, which the governments of Europe hope will dissuade people tempted to migrate, serve above all to shame Europe. The images of dozens of people surrounded by dozens of European police will resound in the countries of origin as acts of hostility to the entire populations of those countries

These policies represent a threat to those deported, to democracy and to relations between West and East, North and South and as such, should be abandoned.

We the undersigned demand that the Council of the European Union and the individual European governments involved put an immediate stop to this expulsion.

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