An Iraqi couple went through difficult months fearing deportation to refugee camps in Poland, just before the German authorities decided at the last minute to cancel the deportation and consider their requests for church asylum.
In an effort to obtain protection, the Kurdish family lived under the roof of the Protestant Church, but their lives came to a grinding halt after the immigration authorities came to the place loaded with search warrants and detention orders, according to Germany 100 website.
However, they were relieved as a sudden announcement by the authorities of the town of Versen in Emsland (Lower Saxony, west Germany) that the implementation of the decision had been postponed due to “ambiguity” in assessing the couple’s condition. In the end, the deportation was finally canceled and their asylum applications will be processed in Germany.
Church asylum is a temporary measure to protect migrants threatened with deportation until their claims are processed, but human rights organizations in Germany are still concerned about the harsh measures taken against this and other families.
Under the Dublin Agreement, the couple were to be returned to Poland, but the delay and cancellation of deportation made the family more hopeful that they would remain in Germany.
While the couple managed to avoid deportation, concerns remain about conditions for migrants and refugees in Poland, where they are held in camps that are “worse than prisons” and where human rights violations have been documented.
Experts point out that the increasing number of beneficiaries of church asylum requires Germany and other European countries to consider dealing with the humanitarian issues for asylum seekers and ensuring adequate protection for them.