Sunday, 12 May 2019

Germany to return Iraqi refugees to Czech Republic

ČTK |
6 April 2016

Prague/Berlin, April 5 (CTK) - Germany wants to return a group of 25 Iraqi Christian refugees, who refused asylum in the Czech Republic and moved to Germany on Saturday in order to apply for it there, the public Czech Television (CT) reported on Tuesday, citing the German Interior Ministry.

The German authorities are now identifying and registering the refugees and they will send an official request for their readmission to the Czech Republic, CT said.

The Iraqis were part of a resettlement programme, within which Christian refugee families would find new homes in the Czech Republic. More than half of the 153 refugees have already arrived in the country and they were going through the initial stage of their integration.

Last week, 25 of the refugees decided to leave the country. In reaction, Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec suspended the resettlement project, organised by the Generation 21 Endowment.

The Czech government will deal with these latest developments within the resettlement project on Thursday. Chovanec said the cabinet should decide whether to suspend the project or continue with it. He told CT previously that it should be either suspended or cancelled.

The German police detained the 25 Iraqis after they crossed the border last weekend. According to the original agreement, the German authorities were to return the refugee group to the Czech Republic on Monday. However, they finally withdrew the readmission request because all the Iraqis wanted to apply for asylum in Germany, arguing they had family members there.

Chovanec said the refugees left the Czech Republic illegally. By not returning the refugees to the Czech Republic, Germany confirmed that the EU mandatory quotas for the redistribution of migrants made no sense, he said.

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