German minister’s ‘joke’ on forcibly returned suicided Afghan refugee

This 12 July 2017 video is about German minister Seehofer, facing calls for resignation after the suicide of a deported Afghan refugee.

Another video from Germany used to say about itself:

Horst Seehofer faces calls to resign after deportee suicide | DW | 11.07.2018

It’s a joke that may come back to haunt Horst Seehofer. On Tuesday, while presenting his so-called master plan for migration, the interior minister crowed: “It just so happens that on my 69th birthday, without any orders from me, 69 people were sent back to Afghanistan.”

Little did Seehofer know when he made this remarks that one of those people had hung himself in a temporary camp in the Afghan capital some hours before. The 23-year-old Afghan Jamal Nasser Mahmoudi’s suicide was announced by Seehofer’s own Interior Ministry on Wednesday and confirmed by refugee workers in Afghanistan.

‘Little did Seehofer know’; is that true? The refugee’s suicide was probably before Tuesday 10 July; Seehofer’s ‘joke’ was late on the 10 July 2018 afternoon.

… Seehofer, who is also the leader of the Bavarian conservative CSU party, was already a controversial figure in Germany after leading opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming policy toward migrants. Many feared his rebellion could bring down the government. The governmental crisis was defused last week thanks to a compromise with Merkel’s CDU and their junior coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD).

Seehofer’s approval ratings plummeted because of that public spat, and now voices demanding that he go are growing ever louder – even within the governing coalition.

SPD members tweet outrage

Some Social Democrats, already irritated by what they consider the Interior Minister’s posturing, took to social media to call upon him to stand down. “Host Seehofer is a pathetic cynic and unequal to his office in terms of character”, wrote the influential leader of the SPD youth wing, Kevin Kühnert, on Twitter. “His resignation [is] overdue. Anyone home, coalition?”

The SPD chapter in Germany’s most populous federal state, North Rhine–Westphalia, concurred, tweeting: “An Interior Minister so lacking in humanity damages our democracy to which we owe so much.” And Berlin SPD member of the Bundestag Cansel Kiziltepe called upon to German Chancellor to dismiss her interior minister. “Cynical, inhumane and misanthropic!” tweeted Cansel Kiziltepe. “Seehofer has human lives on his conscience and can no longer be tolerated as a minister, Mrs. Merkel!”

Seehofer has made himself into a burden for the grand coalition

Opposition fury at ‘constitutional minister’

The chairman of center-right Free Democrats in the state of Rhineland Palatinate, Volker Wissing, tweeted: “As interior minister, Horst Seehofer is also the constitution minister and as such the guardian of free democratic fundamental order and our values. He has conclusively shown that he is not up to the challenge.”

“An interior minister who publicly expresses his happiness at people being sent back to a country at war not only obviously lacks basic human sympathy, but also the qualifications for the job”, Left Party Internal Affairs Spokeswoman Ulla Jelpke wrote in a statement on her website. “In my opinion, Seehofer deserves to be fired.”

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

‘Joke’ by German minister about expelled Afghans criticized

“I did not order it like that, but on the occasion of my 69th birthday 69 people were sent back to Afghanistan”, said the German minister of Home Affairs Seehofer, smiling, yesterday. Today that remark and smile are criticized strongly. One of the 69 expelled Afghans committed suicide shortly after his forced return to Kabul.

According to a human rights organization, he was a 23-year=-old asylum seeker who had gone to Germany as a minor eight years ago. Eventually, his asylum application was rejected and he was expelled along with 68 other Afghans.

Seehofer was very pleased with that, he said yesterday while laughing, especially because the majority of the expelled Afghans came from his CSU political party ‘home state’ Bavaria. In the coalition with sister party CDU of Federal Chancellor Merkel, Seehofer fought a fierce battle over migration policy. The CSU wants a much stricter admission policy than Merkel her supporters, … in the hope of taking votes from the anti-immigration [neo-fascist] AfD party [in the Bavarian election soon].

Call for resignation

His mirth about his ‘birthday present’ led to much criticism of him on social media, now that it has become clear that one of the expelled Afghans has committed suicide. There are calls for Seehofer to resign, including from the youth section of the social-democratic SPD, the coalition partner of CDU-CSU in the Berlin coaltion government.

Seehofer himself has not yet responded in public.

Afghanistan conflict: Civilian deaths hit record high, says UN: here.


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