About 200 German citizens gathered in front of the “Matthäuskirche” Church in the city of Darmstadt in the state of Hessen in central Germany, to protest against the Immigration Service’s decision to deport a Syrian refugee to Malta, carrying banners calling for “protection for all,” expressing their support for the Syrian refugees to remain in the city.
The city’s mayor, Hanno Benz, from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), expressed his rejection of attempts to deport the young Syrian man, Abderrahman G. (35 years old), who took sanctuary in the church for fear of being deported to Malta, stressing the city’s commitment to the right of church asylum for those in need, which enables a refugee to remain inside the church until they can apply for asylum in Germany.
In an attempt to overcome the crisis, the Director of the Immigration Office, Stefan Claudius, handed the Syrian refugee “Abderrahman” documents confirming the continuity of asylum application procedures and suspending the deportation process, which had a positive impact on his morale, according to the “Almanya-Arabic” website.
The 35-year-old Syrian young man, Abderrahman G., had taken refuge in the “Matthäuskirche” Church since the beginning of August with the aim of hiding inside, for fear of the decision to deport him to Malta, whence he came to Germany.
Experts point out that the increasing number of beneficiaries of church asylum requires Germany and other European countries to consider addressing the humanitarian issues of asylum seekers and ensuring adequate protection for them.