For most migrants, the journey to Europe has taken months.The road back to Afghanistan is complete in a matter of hours.These migrants were flown back to Kabul from Munich, Germany earlier this year.
Between 2015 and 2016, EU figures show the number of Afghans returned by European countries almost tripled,from just more than 3,000 to 9,500.
Amnesty International says they (the migrants) are being sent back to a country still in the grip of war.
“2016 was the deadliest year on record in Afghanistan since monitoring began.And in 2016 there were 11,000 casualties, thus far in 2017 the UN has recorded more than 16,000 security incidents.So people are being sent back in greater numbers as the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates.”
Mohammed Jamshidi was deported to Kabul from Germany last month. Like many other Afghans, he feels unfairly treated.
“In every corner of Europe, the priority is given to the people of Syria.They need only three months to get registered, but Afghans are deported after years of staying in Germany.”
Amnesty highlighted cases of returned Afghans who were killed or injured in bomb attacks,others left in fear of persecution for their religion or sexual orientation.Several were sent back to parts of Afghanistan they had never known.European governments justified these returns by claiming there were safe areas in the country.
“That’s just not true. You are not safe in Afghanistan in any province. But in addition to that, people are being returned to Afghanistan to places they’ve never seen before, that they don’t know anything about.”
Germany paused the return of Afghans in May, following a bomb attack in Kabul that killed 150 people and damaged the German embassy.Deportations resumed last month.
A spokesperson for the German Interior Ministry told VOA that each returnee is assessed on a case-by-case basis,adding that the government disputes Amnesty’s assertion that there are no safe areas in Afghanistan.
A spokesperson for the European Union said deportation decisions are made by member state governments, not by Brussels.
Henry Ridgwell, for VOA news, London.