Pakistani and Afghan refugees fear backlash after Berlin attack

20 December 2016; Siegfried O. Wolf

The Berlin terrorism attack has raised concerns about violence against Germany’s asylum seekers. DW spoke to several refugees from Pakistan and Afghanistan about their impression of the situation. On Monday night, a truck slammed into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin, killing at least 12 people and wounding 48. The suspected driver was detained near the scene while a passenger – reported to be a Polish national – was found dead in the truck. The attention for the first day of investigations, however, was focused on the origins of the suspect: Some news agencies are suggesting that the driver was a 23-year-old Pakistan refugee, who came to Germany last year. He could well be an Afghan or Afghan-Pakistani. By Tuesday evening, police had released the suspect due to insufficient evidence. Continue reading “Pakistani and Afghan refugees fear backlash after Berlin attack”

It’s Not Only about Illegal Migration & International Law: The Uighur Conundrum

21 July 2016; by Siegfried O. Wolf

Image by mike.benedetti

There is much media attention on Thailand’s latest deportation of more than 100 Uighur back to China, which was officially confirmed on 9 July 2015. The asylum seekers which entered the South East Asian country illegally got subsequently detained by the Thai immigration authorities and held in custody for over a year. In order to find a solution, the Royal Thai government finally decided to hand them over to China ‘under the agreement that their safety is guaranteed according to humanitarian principles’. Nevertheless, Bangkok had to face immense criticism by the international community, especially through human rights organisations and the United Nations. UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Türk, proclaimed he is considering the deportation of the Uighurs as ‘a flagrant violation of international law’. Additionally, in several countries such as Turkey and Germany, remarkable protests broke out not only to express solidarity with the Uighurs but also to formulate grievances about the manner in which deportation was carried out.

Continue reading “It’s Not Only about Illegal Migration & International Law: The Uighur Conundrum”