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Claiming To Be A Former Terrorist Could Actually Help You Get Asylum In Germany

2017.REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

An increasing number of Afghans in Germany are trying to boost their chances of getting asylum by claiming they used to be members of the Taliban, the German office for migration and refugees (BAMF) reports.

Germany is in the process of deporting thousands of Afghans after reaching an agreement with Kabul last year. Oddly, people identifying themselves as former members of the Taliban have a chance to remain in the country. Once a person confesses to being a part of the Taliban, an investigation into their backgrounds block their immediate expulsion.

“It will then be the federal public prosecutor’s duty to prove that he was a member of a foreign terrorist organization,” Daniel Sprafke, the attorney of confessed Taliban member Wajid S., told Deutsche Welle Wednesday. “And in my view, the federal public prosecutor has relatively little evidence at his disposal.”

If the former Taliban member claims he will be subject to torture or death penalty upon his return to Afghanistan, human rights laws in Germany will in many cases grant him protection from deportation.

“Membership of the Taliban as such cannot lead to a positive decision on the asylum application,” a spokesman from BAMF, the German office for migration and refugees, told Die Welt Thursday. “However, in the event of imminent human rights violations due to a previous membership, a grant of protection may be considered in individual cases.”

German authorities are currently investigating more than 70 cases of alleged Taliban fighters, DW reports. The federal prosecutor has so far pressed charges against four of them.

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