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Asylum-seekers protesting against deportation in Munich, 2017 / Photo: Bayerischer Flüchtlingsrat

Deportations illegal if torture likely, rules Germany’s top court

Germany’s top court has ruled that a person cannot be deported to their country of origin if at risk of torture. A German-born Turkish Salafist had appealed his return, saying he would be tortured in his home country.

Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe on Tuesday ruled that a person may not be deported to their country of origin if they are in danger of being tortured following arrival.

The court said that authorities needed “appropriate assurances” from the country of origin that “effectively excludes torture and inhumane treatment” of the person in question in order to follow through with a deportation.

From Berlin to Karlsruhe

The ruling stems from an appeal from a German-born Turkish national:

  • In 2015, a Berlin court sentenced a German-born Turkish Salafist to three and a half years in prison for supporting a Syrian terrorist organization.
  • Germany’s immigration office in 2016 threatened the 30-year-old convict with deportation.
  • However, the Turkish man took the threat of deportation to court, saying that Turkish authorities have initiated a criminal case against him on terrorism charges.
  • The convict argued that he would be tortured – like other terror suspects – if he were deported, and backed his argument with a letter detailing such claims from Amnesty International.

Is Turkey likely to torture detainees: In the wake of a failed coup in 2016, Turkey launched a major crackdown, arresting journalists, teachers and judges? That year, Amnesty International said it gathered “credible evidence that detainees in Turkey are being subjected to beatings and torture, including rape.”

What happens next: German authorities will have a tougher time carrying out deportations now. They will be expected to receive assurances from a person’s country of origin that the returnee will not be subjected to torture by authorities after arrival.

ls/rt (dpa, ARD)/DW

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