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Germany plots mass deportation of Eelam Tamils despite threats of torture

According to the People’s Council of Eelam Tamils, German authorities are planning another mass deportation of Eelam Tamils to take place on 10 or 15 February despite overwhelming evidence of the systemic torture.

In the past year, Germany has deported over 50 Eelam Tamils who had sought asylum in the country garnering international criticism from human rights experts. Hugh Williamson, Director, Europe & Central Asia division at Human Rights Watch, noted that despite Berlin recognising the threat of torture at the UN Human Rights Council they continued to plan these deportations.

Footage of protesters forcing protesters aside

If Germany continues with this deportation, it runs a risk of violating EU law, specifically Article 19(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which contains a prohibition to remove, expel or extradite any person to a state where there is a serious risk that he or she would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This right is also protected under Article 1 (A) of the UN 1951 refugee convention.

In April, a landmark British case ruling maintained that Tamils who engage in a range of political activities in the United Kingdom may continue to face “a real risk of ill-treatment or harm” if deported to Sri Lanka

Read more here: How a landmark British ruling may save Tamil activists from deportation to Sri Lanka

The International Truth and Justice Project have highlighted the continued torture by Sri Lanka’s regime, documenting 178 documented credible cases of torture from 2015-2018, excluding 22 individuals abroad who reported torture following the UN special investigation. Those deported to Sri Lanka were from Germany and Switzerland on Tuesday night were handed to Sri Lanka's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

Another report has detailed the testimonies of 15 Tamils abducted, detained and tortured by Sri Lanka security forces since Gotabaya Rajapaksa took office as Sri Lanka's president in 2019. The witnesses have now fled the island and reside in the UK.

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