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Hundreds gather to protest planned deportation Tamil asylum seekers

(Protest in Pforzheim)

Hundreds have gathered in front of detention centres in Büren and Pforzheim, Germany, to demonstrate against the round-up and planned deportations of as many as 100 Tamil asylum seekers.

These protests follow the mass dentition of Tamil refugees across the country, mainly in Nordrhein-Westfalen and Baden-Württemberg. 

As well as raiding homes, authorities reportedly invited asylum seekers to renew their permits to remain but upon arrival at the building, they were detained by police officers, who confiscated their phones and prevented them from communicating with their relatives and loved ones. Many families still do not know the whereabouts of their loved ones who have been detained.

The German authorities are reportedly set to deport the detained Tamils to Sri Lanka on 30 March, despite ongoing reports of torture by Sri Lanka’s security forces. 

(Protest in Büren​)

Demonstrators gathered alongside prominent German politicians in demanding an end to these deportations. They were seen chanting, "Sri Lanka genocide" and "stop the deportations".

Henning V. Stolzenberg, a representative of the German Left Party, spoke at the rally demanding an end to these deportations:

"We demand the release of all other Tamil and non-Tamil deportation detainees. We demand the general right to stay for all people who are now threatened with extradition. It is actually relatively simple. The bureaucratic deportations system simply has no mercy", he stated.

He further highlighted the grotesque human rights violations in Sri Lanka noting:

"It was clearly established (at the UNHRC) that there were war crimes that need to be investigated, that there are systematic human rights violations against the Tamil population, that there is no freedom of the press, no freedom of expression (in Sri Lanka)".

"I think we should now once again use all opportunities to call on all institutions to position themselves to defend humanity and for the right to stay and also for the reality of the Sri Lankan regime. A regime consisting of war criminals and torturers, which belongs to the International Criminal Court, and which is definitely not a negotiating partner", he added.

During his statement, he further noted how individuals were called in for the sole purpose of being detained and deported by the authorities and highlighted that "up to 50 or 60 people were simply taken from their homes with the hope that no one will learn of this".

(Protest in Pforzheim)

One demonstrator who spoke at the rally stated:

I learned from two of my Tamil friends of the situation of the Tamils. It shocked me very much, that people, who had integrated and even graduated from Universities from here, after they had fled the terror in Sri Lanka, are now suddenly being deported overnight on the 30 March 2021. It really shocked me and that’s why I am here to protest against this decision. I cannot understand how Germany can make the same mistake that it once committed. It is really horrible! That’s why I am here with you. Thank you that I can be with you all.

Another demonstrator maintained "this is not a matter that people can shut their eyes to".

"We are trying to make the German government and the world aware of what's happening in Sri Lanka" stated another demonstrator.

Another demonstrator stated:

 

In Australia, similar protests were held in solidarity as demonstrators demanded detainees be released. 

Read more here:  Australian Tamils march against the detention of refugees

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