German right-winger wants ‘final solution’ of the refugee question


This 2015 video says about itself:

In the video, “The Development of the ‘Final Solution'”, Dr. David Silberklang provides an overview of what came to be known as the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question“, which ended in the murder of some six million Jews.

Dr. Silberklang identifies several major steps, sometimes occuring concurrently, including the prewar separation and escalating anti-Jewish measures, exploring a territorial solution, increasing murder during the German territorial expansion, murder in other countries and of other groups, early attempts at mass-murder systems, the “Wannsee Conference”, and the fully mechanized mass-murder of the final years of the War.

Dr. David Silberklang is Senior Historian and Editor of Yad Vashem Studies at theInternational Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem.

Part 1: Introduction 00:00
Part 2: Persecution and Murder Beyond Germany’s Borders 3:32
Part 3: Systematic Murder Begins and Spreads 5:04
Part 4: The “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” 9:58

Archival footage and photographs: Yad Vashem Archive Yad Vashem Photo Archive. Yad Vashem Film Archive. Yad Vashem Museum Collection, The Yad Vashem Visual Center, Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Agentur Karl Höffkes Bundesfilmarchiv/Transit Film GmbH. Footage of Rudolf Bohlmann used with the kind permission of Eginhard Teichmann. Staatsarchivs Stuttgart. The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Music (Beeld en Geluid).

Every effort has been made to locate the copyright holders to obtain the appropriate permissions and apply the correct attributions. If you have any information that would help us in relation to copyright, please contact us internet.education@yadvashem.org.il

By Marianne Arens and Martin Kreickenbaum in Germany:

German politician proposes “final solution” of the refugee question

12 January 2018

The current backroom talks between the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Union parties—the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU)—are aimed at establishing another grand coalition government pledged to carrying out further attacks on democratic rights. In this respect, attacks on the rights of refugees are a linchpin for undermining the basic democratic rights of the entire working class.

To this end, German politicians are reviving the vilest traditions of National Socialism (Nazism). This was confirmed most recently by a statement made by a leading CSU politician, Manfred Weber, who heads the conservative European People’s Party faction in the European Parliament. On January 5, at a closed-door meeting of the CSU parliamentary group, Weber declared, “In 2018, the central European issue will be a final solution to the refugee issue.”

The parallel to the phrase “final solution of the Jewish question” used by the Nazis to describe the murder of millions of Jews was so obvious that several newspapers felt obliged to comment.

In order to “solve” the “problem” at a European level, Weber called for closer cooperation with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who attended the CSU meeting as an honoured guest. Orbán is notorious for his brutal treatment of refugees, who are systematically deprived of basic human rights in Hungary.

Following a massive backlash on social media, Weber responded by claiming that his statement had been subject to “deliberate misinterpretation.”

The projects currently being discussed in relation to refugee and asylum policy testify to a rapid lurch to the right across the entire political spectrum. The CDU, CSU and Greens, in their previous negotiations with the Free Democratic Party (FDP), had already agreed on a tightening of asylum policy. However, the proposals and demands that are now being discussed for a future grand coalition go much further.

To date, the following measures have evidently been agreed:

* A maximum of 200,000 refugees are to be admitted to Germany each year. Thomas Strobl (CDU), deputy to the premier of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens), has gone so far as to plead in a local newspaper for a limit of just 65,000 annually.

* The Maghreb states (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) are to be definitively classified as “safe countries of origin.” This means that all refugees from these countries lose their status as “tolerated” migrants and can be deported immediately. The CDU-CSU is even calling for deportations to Syria and all parties are already organising deportations to Afghanistan, in open disregard of the assessment by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees of the situation in these war-torn countries.

* The suspension of family reunification for refugees with limited protection status is to be extended indefinitely. The previous suspension is due to expire in March.

* For all newly arriving asylum seekers, “decision-making and repatriation centres” are to be set up, in which people are required to remain in one centre until their case is settled. Such centres already exist in Bamberg, Ingolstadt and Heidelberg. The immigrants there receive basic material benefits as well as a social allowance of 120 euros (adults) and 67 euros (children) per month.

CSU parliamentary leader Alexander Dobrindt is also demanding that asylum seekers be restricted to the lowest level of social assistance for three years. Up to now, this restriction has applied to asylum seekers for a period of 15 months. Those refused residency and “tolerated” refugees will be denied any sort of financial assistance.

This last demand clearly contradicts a judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court, which decided two years ago that the resulting 30 percent lowering of payments to refugees was unconstitutional.

The proposals are accompanied by a vicious media campaign. In the first week of January, a study by the Lower Saxony criminologist Christian Pfeiffer, commissioned by the Ministry for Family Affairs, was used to this end. It alleged that there was a “link between refugees and crime”, declaring that there had been an increase in violent crime of 10.4 percent between 2014 and 2016. According to the study, 92 percent of this increase is due to felonies committed by refugees.

The study was promoted heavily by the media to demonstrate that young male refugees were more prone to crime and therefore more likely to be deported. In reality, the study permits a very different interpretation: it is precisely the neglect and lack of prospects for young people vegetating in overcrowded camps and “without any perspective to stay” that leads to desperation and sometimes criminal acts. The causes are social, not ethnic.

The entire political establishment, from the right to the so-called left, is now pursuing a xenophobic course that largely corresponds to the line of the far-right Alternative for Germany. This is confirmed by statements made by leading politicians.

Left Party leaders Sahra Wagenknecht and Oskar Lafontaine recently stated in Die Welt that they did not support their own party’s draft paper on immigration. Any demand for “open borders for all people,” declared Wagenknecht, was at most a “vision of the future,” but “not a demand for today’s world.”

Lafontaine added, “Right of residency and 1,050 euros for all who come to us are unrealistic proposals.” Wagenknecht heads the Left Party faction in the German parliament and Lafontaine is a former chairman of the party.

But it is above all the SPD that has emerged as the advocate of the reactionary asylum legislation. The former interior minister of the state of North Rhine Westphalia, Ralf Jäger introduced a decree in December 2016 whereby asylum seekers or tolerated refugees who cannot be found at a specific time can be hunted down and detained immediately.

In the previous grand coalition government, the SPD launched Asylum Package II in March 2016, which opened the door to the destruction of basic democratic rights for refugees. Today, SPD ministers often boast of their efficiency in carrying out deportations. At the end of November 2017, Berlin Interior Senator Andreas Geisel boasted that 1,500 people had been deported from Berlin since the start of the year.

As for the Free Democratic Party, its refugee policy increasingly resembles that of its fellow neo-liberal Austrian party, the Freedom Party, which is pursuing a blatantly far-right course. FDP Chairman Christian Lindner is now in favour of deporting minors. He hypocritically limits his demand to “underage criminal asylum seekers”, but the deportation of children in Germany sets an abominable precedent.

It is not just the rhetoric of politicians calling for a “final solution to the refugee question” and calls for the “bundling” (the Nazis called it “concentration”) of asylum seekers in “repatriation centres” that recall the criminal activities of the Third Reich. The link is also evident in the reactionary, police-bureaucratic manner with which government authorities act against refugees. Entire families are torn from their beds in the early hours by armed police for deportation. Their entire lives are destroyed.

According to official figures, 22,190 people were deported from Germany between January and November 2017. This corresponds approximately to the number of deportations in 2016, when 25,000 people were deported in twelve months.

The number of immigrants deported to the Maghreb countries of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia has risen sharply since last year. This is especially true for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the new CDU-FDP administration led by Premier Joachim Stamp (FDP) has created a specific “refugee minister.” Stamp bragged that with the deportations, “We have achieved our first remarkable successes.” Last year, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia deported more than 6,000 refugees, almost 1,000 more than in 2016. In addition, there were almost 11,000 so-called “voluntary returnees.”

Many people have been deported to the Balkans. Entire families who have been living in Germany for many years are deported so suddenly that they are unable to say their farewells or properly pack their belongings. This is especially the case in the state of Thuringia … . According to the Ministry of Migration, there were 600 deportations in Thuringia up to November. Over the same period, 582 refugees left the small state as part of its so-called “voluntary” repatriation scheme.

Most of the deportations from Thuringia were to western Balkan states, above all to Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. Recently, the Refugee Council of Thuringia drew attention to the deportation of the Rustemi family. Although the young father was involved in a training program and learning German, the entire family, including two small children, was deported to Kosovo.

Another brutal deportation, from North Rhine-Westphalia, was reported shortly before Christmas. Family B. with four children was awakened on December 13 at 5 in the morning and deported from Dusseldorf Airport to Pristina. Only the eldest son (17), who was not at home, was spared deportation. In January, a committee of the North Rhine-Westphalia parliament was formed to decide on the status of the family.

The parents had grown up in Germany but had been denied a residency permit and had to leave for Kosovo at the turn of the millennium, where they experienced the pogroms carried out against Roma in the country. They returned to Germany and, after a year-long odyssey, arrived in Münsterland, where the five children attended school.

Today, the children speak only German and some Romanesque, but not Albanian. Since Kosovo is considered a “safe country of origin” the remaining six family members were expelled to a Roma neighbourhood in the city of Gjakova, where there is no accommodation, work or social benefits.

Refugees can achieve so much if they’re not caged in isolated camps”: here.

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Belgian government lies on sending refugees to torture in Sudan


Demonstration against Francken in Brussels, 30 December 2017, EPA photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Cabinet crisis is threatening in Belgium

Today, 11:45

In Belgium, high political play is being played and there is a threat of a cabinet crisis. It is about the position of junior minister for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken, who has already been discredited.

Francken of the New-Flemish Alliance (N-VA) is under fire because he is said have lied about expelling a group of Sudanese. Other parties want him to resign, but N-VA leader Bart de Wever threatens to pull the plug out of the government if Francken is sent away.

Torture

The N-VA politician as Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration is responsible for a group of Sudanese who were deported from Belgium to their country of birth last year. Francken decided to do so, even though he was warned by a committee that the refugees in Sudan might be tortured. … According to statements by the Sudanese in Belgian media, they were actually tortured after their return.

Other coalition parties charge him with the issue and say he lied to the parliament and the prime minister. They do not want to send Francken away, but believe that he should resign himself.

UPDATE: Francken’s coalition partners swallow their criticism.

More Afghan civilians killed, more Afghan refugees deported


More Afghan civilians killed, more Afghan refugees deported

From IRIN:

Europe sends Afghans back to danger

KABUL, 4 January 2018

Ruchi Kumar

In a cafe in Kabul, Mohammad Elham’s eyes dart back and forth between a steaming cup of tea and the front entrance: the months since his return to Afghanistan have been spent in a state of constant fear.

Elham left Afghanistan on a cold night in 2010, he says, after the Taliban killed his wife and two children. Last year, he returned to the country he fled — this time, in handcuffs, one of a surging number of Afghan deportees ousted from Europe.

“It was hurtful and humiliating”, Elham said of his journey from Germany, where his asylum application was rejected, to Afghanistan, where he says his presence may again jeopardise his family’s safety.

As European countries tighten borders and asylum policies, the number of Afghan asylum seekers pushed out of Europe has soared. But returnees like Elham are being forced back to a volatile country, where conflict has uprooted more than one million people over the last two years and civilian casualties are at near-record levels.

With war, a stagnant economy, and chronic instability continuing to drive people out in droves, refugee advocates warn that Afghanistan faces a revolving cycle of migration that will see more Afghans continue to flee even while others are forced back.

Recognition rates drop

Even European countries seen as relatively sympathetic to refugees are now turning their backs on Afghan asylum seekers.

Germany, Sweden and Finland all saw asylum recognition rates for Afghans plummet in 2017. Germany granted asylum to less than half of Afghan applicants during the first nine months of 2017, according to the European Council on Refugees and Exiles; it had accepted almost three quarters of asylum claims in 2015.

Together, European countries deported almost 10,000 rejected Afghan asylum seekers in 2016 — almost triple the number in the previous year.

At the same time, civilian casualties in Afghanistan have climbed, part of a deepening instability that has seen the resurgent Taliban, a growing so-called Islamic State [ISIS]-aligned militancy, and other armed groups wrestle with the internationally backed government for control of the country. More than 8,000 civilians were killed or injured in conflict through the first nine months of last year, according to the UN mission in Afghanistan.

The bloody conflict has stretched across Afghanistan: from Kabul, where dozens were killed in an attack on a Shia Muslim cultural centre in late December, to provinces like eastern Nangarhar, where a bomb blast at a funeral reportedly killed at least 15 on the eve of 2018.

The scale of the bloodshed hasn’t stopped the rise in European deportations, says Abdul Ghafoor, director of Afghanistan Migrants Advice and Support Organisation, which works with deported asylum seekers in Kabul.

“Why they would decide to send someone back into the danger is beyond understanding,” Ghafoor told IRIN.

A controversial agreement between the European Union and the Afghan government paved the way for the near-unlimited deportation of rejected Afghan asylum seekers.

Negotiated in 2016, the agreement allows for the EU to put failed asylum seekers, including “non-voluntary returnees”, on flights back to Afghanistan. Rights groups claimed heavily aid-dependent Afghanistan was pressured to sign off on the deal — an arrangement one called “a new low” for the EU.

“No part of the country can be considered safe,” Amnesty International said in an October report, which called on European governments to suspend deportations of Afghan asylum seekers.

European governments have seen the carnage firsthand: in May, a massive truck bomb struck near the German embassy in the heart of Kabul, killing more than 150 civilians.

An international Organization for Migration (IOM) programme helps people who have returned to Afghanistan voluntarily — although rights groups point out that many returnees are faced with little choice. This aid includes linking returnees to family networks, transportation to home provinces and short-term shelter in Kabul. But returning is hard.

“A lot of individuals invest a lot in going to Europe and if it’s a family, the cost is so high that it is likely they have sold and invested everything they have into making that journey,” said Masood Ahmadi, a programme manager with the IOM in Kabul. “Coming back to nothing can be a very difficult thing.”

Meanwhile, there are bigger mass returns of Afghans from neighbouring countries: more than half a million Afghans returned from Pakistan and Iran last year, according to UN agencies.

Combined with the frequent displacement of people already living in the country, Afghanistan finds itself trying to reintegrate massive numbers in the middle of a war.

“Returns have… come to dominate Afghan migration patterns at one of the most insecure and unstable times in its recent history,” the Migration Policy Institute stated in a November report.

But even as deportations and returns surge, many Afghans are still looking for the exits.

Data from the European Union shows that more than 38,000 Afghan citizens made new asylum claims in EU countries in the first 11 months of 2017. And in a recent survey of Afghan returnees from Europe by REACH, which researches humanitarian issues, most respondents said they planned on making another attempt at returning to Europe — as soon as they find the money.

“[European countries] pool in all these resources to send Afghans back”, said Ghafoor. “But in my experience, many of these Afghans leave again, because there is nothing but threats and insecurity for them here.”

Elham, howver, says he’s tired of running from one country to the next.

But there’s little for him in Kabul, where he leads a discreet existence — Elham is not his real name. Few people know he is in Afghanistan, yet he says the Taliban have gotten wind of his return. His family in the provinces recently received a threatening letter.

“I can’t go home. I can’t stay here. I can’t go back,” Elham said. “I really don’t know what to do with myself.”

rk/il/bp

US suspends security aid to Pakistan as part of Afghan War push: here.

More refugees, less admitted to the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

31 December 2017

The United States State Department has informed refugee agencies to downsize their U.S. operations despite the massive on-going refugee crisis. Cenk Uygur, Hannah Cranston and Mark Thompson, of The Young Turks, break it down.

“The U.S. State Department has told refugee agencies it will sharply pare back the number of offices across the country authorized to resettle people in 2018 as President Donald Trump cuts the number of refugees allowed into the United States.

The announcement was made at a Dec. 1 meeting in Washington with State Department officials and representatives from nine major refugee agencies, several executives of the agencies said.

Advocates said the decision is likely to lead to the closure of dozens of resettlement offices around the country, potentially leaving some refugees without access to services that help them integrate into American life. Several state refugee coordinators said they had also been made aware of the closures.”

Read more here.

Asylum seekers ‘denied Christmas celebrations’ at accommodation centre in Ireland. Families living in Limerick asylum accommodation centre ‘locked out’ of communal living space and prevented from hosting family Christmas celebration, says local councillor: here.

Human Flow, Ai Weiwei’s refugee film, review


This video says about itself:

Human Flow Official Trailer

18 August 2017

A ground-breaking new documentary about the global refugee crisis from Ai Weiwei.

About Human Flow: Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II.

Human Flow, an epic film journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. The documentary elucidates both the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact.

Captured over the course of an eventful year in 23 countries, the film follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretches across the globe in countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and Turkey. Human Flow is a witness to its subjects and their desperate search for safety, shelter and justice: from teeming refugee camps to perilous ocean crossings to barbed-wire borders; from dislocation and disillusionment to courage, endurance and adaptation; from the haunting lure of lives left behind to the unknown potential of the future.

Human Flow comes at a crucial time when tolerance, compassion and trust are needed more than ever. This visceral work of cinema is a testament to the unassailable human spirit and poses one of the questions that will define this century: Will our global society emerge from fear, isolation, and self-interest and choose a path of openness, freedom, and respect for humanity? Amazon Studios, Participant Media and AC Films present Human Flow, a film directed by Ai Weiwei.

On 30 December 2017, I went to see the film Human Flow.

Its first words are lines from a poem by Nazim Hikmet. The lines, claiming the right to live in dignity, are:

I want the right of life, of the leopard at the spring,
of the seed splitting open
I want the right of the first man

Nazim Hikmet, this famous poet, was a refugee. The government of his native NATO country Turkey took away his passport and he had to flee to Warsaw Pact countries in eastern Europe.

The film’s director, Ai Weiwei, is a well-known Chinese visual artist. He paid attention to refugees before this film came out, like in an exhibition in Berlin and as organiser of a pro-refugee demonstration in London.

A positive, though not uncritical, review by Eric London from the USA is here. It says that the film does name the causes of why people become refugees; but hardly names individuals and organisations responsible for these causes.

The film, correctly, names two main causes of scores of millions of people fleeing their homes in desperation: inequality and war.

A Mexican human rights activist names inequality as causing refugees towards the end of the film. Here, it might have been mentioned that the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, became so rich, eg, by oppressing and exploiting the workers of his Amazon business. That Bezos and the two other Top Three richest men have as much money as the poorest 50% of the United States people together. That Bezos and the seven other Top Eight richest men have as much money as the poorest 50% of the world’s people together. However, part of the money of producing the film is from Amazon Studios, part of Bezos’ empire. The movie does not mention the Amazon empire. Self-censorship because otherwise there would have been no money to make this important and moving film? I don’t know.

The other cause of the refugee crisis which the film mentions is wars. It names the war on Iraq (of George W. Bush, not named). It mentions that oil was and is a main factor in that Iraq war. It mentions that ISIS terrorism is a consequence of (Bush and Blair’s) Iraq war. It mentions that the war made four million Iraqis refugees. It mentions that war killed many Iraqis. It says 268,000 people (other, credible, estimates like in British medical review The Lancet say over a million).

Like all people, and even more so than other people, humans fleeing the horrors of wars need love and compassion. Yet, they often get hatred from the extreme right in rich countries. Causing ‘centrist’ establishment politicians, scared of losing supporters to neofascists, to crack down on refugees. The film mentions that when the Berlin wall fell, only 11 countries in the world had borders with fences and walls. In 2016, it was 70.

The film says that for a long time in the second half of the twentieth century, in western Europe there was a relatively humane refugee policy. Feeling shame about the often bad treatment of Jewish and other refugees from Adolf Hitler during the 1930s played a role in that, I add. The film mentions the role of the cold war in this. Like Nazim Hikmet fled from NATO country Turkey to Warsaw Pact countries, other people fled the other way, to the west. Usually, stating ‘I went here because I don’t like communism’ was enough to be officially recognized as a refugee in a country like the Netherlands.

After the end of the Vietnam war in the 1970s, the Dutch navy sailed all the way around the globe to pick up boat refugees from the new Vietnamese communist party government and bring them to the Netherlands. Today, NATO warships often let boat refugees drown in the Mediterranean. Or they help to forcibly return them to Libya where they may become slaves.

Refoulement of refugees is illegal according to international law. Yet, rich countries like the USA and in western Europe do it. The film mentions the disastrous consequences of the deal between the Turkish Erdogan regime and the European Union, forcibly returning refugees to Turkey. There in Turkey, the film shows, they don’t get the protection of refugee status. The Turkish government may return them any time to war in Syria, Afghanistan or elsewhere. It often does so.

Ai Weiwei shows that the Erdogan regime also wages war within Turkey itself. It destroyed the homes of over half a million, mainly Kurdish, civilian people in eastern Turkey, making them refugees.

After the initial Nazim Hikmet poetry lines, the film depicts the sea between Turkey and the Greek island Lesbos. An inflatable boat full of refugees manages to finish the perilous journey, landing on Lesbos. I myself made the journey between Turkey and Lesbos on a safe passenger ship. I enjoyed seeing shearwaters fly and bottlenose dolphins jump. How soothing it might have been for these fugitives from bloodshed to forget for a moment the horrors of ‘humanitarian’ war, while safely watching birds and dolphins!

Then, the film shows some improvement for refugees. Some of them can travel in a safe passenger ferry ship from Lesbos to continental Greece. One can see some of the adults and children smile, looking more relaxed.

However, once they arrive at the border between Greece and Macedonia, the horrors start again. As part of a chain reaction of many European governments, the Greek-Macedonian border is closed. Idomeni refugee camp becomes a hell on earth. A Greek government minister compared it to the nazi camp Dachau. A comparison also made by Pope Francis I.

The movie also pays attention to refugees outside Europe, like in Africa and Asia. A victim of the anti-Rohingya genocide in Myanmar talks about the violence by the military junta. He says the Rohingya don’t retaliate with violence, as their Islamic faith does not allow that. An interesting remark, as Islamophobes claim that supposedly all Muslims want to kill all non-Muslims, confounding violent groups like ISIS with the non-violent majority of Muslims.

The film continues to Palestinian refugees in Gaza. A tiger lives in Gaza in a bad situation. Animal lovers manage to get the animal out of Gaza to a better life in South Africa. To do that, they get cooperation of Palestinian, Israeli and other authorities. Unfortunately, there is not yet such cooperation for improving the lives of the millions of Palestinian refugees as there is for this one big cat.

For more hope for the 65 million refugees in the world, governments that care only for billionaires and for making war need to go.

How European Union xenophobia kills Africans


This video says about itself:

The EU Silently Welcomes Slavery In Libya

1 December 2017

The European Union was awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize “for over six decades [having] contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”

At the same time, EU officials know that once refugees can’t make it to Europe—whether because they become enslaved in Libya or are too fearful to make the trip—they are no longer a problem for the Union.

Translated from Bram Vermeulen, Dutch NOS TV correspondent in Africa:

“You must forgive me”, words to never forget

Today, 09:36

The story of 2017 that stays with me the most was told to us on the floor of one of the ghettos in the caravan city of Agadez in Niger.

Thermo Amadou from Guinea and Diallo Mamdou Djulde told about the day when the Toyota Hilux left them and 23 others in the vast desert near the border between Niger and Libya. The driver had deviated from the route that smugglers have been using for decades between Agadez and the Libyan border.

On that route, since the beginning of the year, there are roadblocks and policemen trained by the European agency Eucap, which settled in Agadez to stop the migration to Europe. The consequence of this pressure from Brussels is that the smugglers now prefer the unpaved roads through the Sahara.

The driver of Amadou and his travel companion after a day of driving lacked petrol. In order to refuel he would drive back to the official route, but with 25 migrants in the trunk, he would certainly be arrested. So you wait here, he said. “I’ll be right back.”

Most of them got out of the trunk. Thermo Amadou remained seated. Until Pappi, the muscular Congolese persuaded him to trust the driver. “Otherwise we will all die here.” The driver never came back. They waited for him a full day.

Then they started walking. With two jerry cans containing 5 liters of water, connected to a rope that he had wrapped around his neck. Back to Agadez. Following the tracks of the Toyota Hilux. On the seventh day the Senegalese Pap Djah gave up. “Leave me behind here”, he begged the others. They had already carried him forward on his shoulders for a day. “Il faut me pardonner”, he said. “You must forgive me.”

Thermo Amadou had never forgotten those words. “Il faut me pardonner”. He sat on a stone in Agadez’s ghetto, and Diallo sat next to him with hollow eyes. They were crying. They walked nine days to tell this story. Two others did not survive the journey on foot. They buried them in the Sahara sand.

While I listened to their story together with colleague and cameraman Sven Torfinn, I told myself to never forget those words of the Senegalese Pap Djah. Every time migration from Africa to Europe is discussed again by policymakers, angry tweeps, and opinion makers at the talk show tables far from Agadez. Those apologetic words from the Senegalese minutes before his death. “Il faut me pardonner”.

Child, LGBTQ refugees deported to Afghan, Ukrainian war zones


This video from Britain says about itself:

Children Deported to Afghanistan, BBC 2015 Documentary

Deported to Afghanistan. Over the past ten years, thousands of unaccompanied children have fled to the UK from war-torn Afghanistan, but when they turn 18 …

On 21 December 2017, the Dutch parliament voted on some motions about refugees.

First, the motion by Socialist Party (SP) MPs Ms Sadet Karabulut and Mr Jasper van Dijk, against forcibly deporting Afghan children to Afghanistan, where a war is going on. Apart from the SP, some other parties like the Party for the Animals (PvdD) voted for this.

That was unfortunately not enough. A majority voted against. That included the two most xenophobic parties: Geert Wilders‘ PVV and Thierry Baudet‘s FvD. That included also the MPs of the new Dutch four party coalition government, with its just one MP majority: VVD, CDA, D66 and Christian Union. The right-wing VVD and CDA parties are scared of losing votes to PVV and FvD. D66 and Christian Union used to be less anti-refugee than CDA and D66, but now go along with them because of the government coalition.

Then came the motion by Van Ojik and Kuiken of the GroenLinks party, against forcibly deporting LGBTQ refugees to Ukraine, where there is a war as well and violent homophobia, including by people with high level government jobs.

Exactly the same parties (SP, PvdD, etc.) voted for this motion as voted for the Afghanistan motion. Exactly the same parties voted against. One might expect that from the religious fundamentalist Christian Union. But it is somewhat unexpected for D66 who claim they support LGBTQ rights.

Finally, a motion by Van Ojik of the GroenLinks party, to designate refugees from Iraq (also a country at war, dangerous for returning any refugees to) who have converted from Islam to another religion as an especially at risk group, who should have special guarantees against deportation. Again, roughly the same parties voted for and against.

Not completely the same: this time, the fundamentalist protestant SGP party voted in favour, as they favour converting to Christianity.

That the Islamophobic PVV party voted no is not so surprising if one knows that this party basically hates all foreigners, including from mainly Christian countries like Romania and Poland. However, the PVV in the past claimed to love ex-Muslims. There was a committee in the Netherlands calling itself a committee of ex-Muslims. Its most prominent member Ehsan Jami was not an ex-Muslim. His father was atheist, his mother Christian. The other members of that short-lived committee were not ex-Muslims either: a man who had never been a Muslim, and a Muslim woman who wanted to stay Muslim but considered reforms were needed.

Geert Wilders’ Islamophobic party then employed Jami as a parliamentary aide.

As a reaction to the Ehsan Jami committee of ‘ex-Muslims’ who had never been Muslims, another Dutch committee of ex-Muslims was founded. This time by people who had really grown up as Muslims, but later did not consider themselves as such. And who rejected Jami and PVV Islamophobia. That other, real, ex-Muslim committee did a press conference in a Dutch Moroccan mosque; disproving the propaganda by Jami and the PVV that supposedly all Muslims virulently hate and want to kill ex-Muslims.

So, Wilders’ PVV proclaimed their platonic love for ex-Muslims. In practice, they want to deport them to war zones in Iraq.