After the VfGH ruling

Karner examines deportations to Afghanistan

11.07.2024 12:27

After the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, there have been no more deportations there for almost three years. Now that the Constitutional Court (VfGH) has given the green light for them again, Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) wants to hold talks with other EU countries to find out how they can be implemented. 

In addition, he has instructed the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum (BFA) to review further cases from Afghanistan, he said on Thursday. In any case, he would "coordinate closely at European level and continue to work hard on this issue with the experts at the Ministry of the Interior", said Karner.

ÖVP and SPÖ: criminals should be deported 
Neither Austria nor other EU countries have deported Afghans since the radical Islamist Taliban took power in October 2021. However, the ÖVP and SPÖ recently spoke out in favor of deporting criminal Afghan asylum seekers to their home country. In other European countries, including Germany, the resumption of deportations was also discussed following several acts of violence.

Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (Bild: APA/Georg Hochmuth)
Interior Minister Gerhard Karner

FPÖ party leader Herbert Kickl called on the ÖVP in a press release to "not just make grand statements, but to finally get down to implementing them". There are "certainly enough opportunities for deportations to Afghanistan", he said, referring to asylum seekers who have committed crimes. He accused the ÖVP of "total failure across the board".

Afghanistan is one of the least peaceful countries in the world (archive photo). (Bild: AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Afghanistan is one of the least peaceful countries in the world (archive photo).

In a ruling published on Wednesday, the Constitutional Court decided that deportations to Afghanistan are once again permissible - at least in some cases - and justified this, among other things, with an improved security situation since the Taliban came to power. Specifically, the case concerned a young Afghan who had been granted neither asylum nor subsidiary protection by the BFA. The Federal Administrative Court confirmed this decision, against which the man lodged an appeal with the Constitutional Court. However, the Constitutional Court also considers the decision to be admissible.

In principle, however, the proceedings depend heavily on the individual situation of the person concerned. In the current case, for example, the constitutional judges noted that the man had a good family network in his home country as well as a solid economic environment.

Humanitarian situation in Afghanistan remains precarious
According to human rights organizations, the general situation in Afghanistan remains precarious, with the rights of women and minorities in particular being massively curtailed by the Taliban. In addition, arbitrary arrests, including of former government officials, continue to occur. The humanitarian situation has also deteriorated; according to the UN, almost 24 million people in Afghanistan are currently dependent on aid.

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