Just when Afghan asylum seekers thought hope was lost, support came from the very people tasked with flying them back to their war-torn country.
In a demonstration of solidarity and dislike toward the government’s immigration policy, German pilots refused to fly asylum seekers whose request to remain in the country had been denied. As a result, more than 200 flights were grounded in protest.
Although Afghanistan still struggles with widespread violence after years of occupation and invasions by the United States and other Western countries, it is deemed a “safe country of origin.”
Still, many Afghan individuals flee the country because they fear for their own lives.
In order to show they did not want to be involved in sending asylum seekers back to Afghanistan, flight crews went on a strike between January and September, during which 222 flights were canceled.
German pilots have grounded 222 flights so far this year to prevent government deporting rejected Afghan asylum seekers back to spiralling violence and destitution in their country https://t.co/ndpGZL1HtB pic.twitter.com/3qR7GsgClX— Gerry Simpson (@GerrySimpsonHRW) December 5, 2017
According to advocates fighting for Afghan refugees in Europe, the Taliban as well as the ongoing U.S. war in Afghanistan make the country unsafe for asylum seekers.
Many locals fear being killed in bomb attacks while others flee out of fear of being targeted by the Taliban, and yet, German authorities continue to see the country as “safe.”
However, Germany remains one of the few countries that aid asylum seekers, being the one European nation to have processed more applications than all other 27 countries combined. Unfortunately, there are too many civilians seeking better places to live outside of Afghanistan.
If the U.S. was consistent, it would take responsibility for the mess it created in the country. Alas, that’s not the case, as the American public remains unaware that the current crisis pushing millions of Afghans out of their home was ignited by the U.S. invasion of the country.
Thankfully, there are still good, moral people out there showing solidarity and doing all they can to avoid sending these war-weary folks back to where they are fleeing from.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach