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Anything but a single case

April 2001

Achmed was in deportation detention in Kassel for three weeks, before he was collected very early on a Tuesday morning and transported to Düsseldorf airport, his hands tied behind his back during the whole journey. There, the Central migration police (BGS) locked him up in a big hall where two dozen people were already waiting and more continued to arrive during the following hours. There was a family and three young men from Romania, two from Lebanon and about 50 were Turkish nationals. Among these were men who had already been in jail for several years and were rather glad to be deported on half of their time. Then there were people like himself who were in deportation prison for weeks or even months because of missing residence permits. There were also three families with small children who were pounced upon in their hostels in the early hours of the morning, arrested and taken to Düsseldorf. One family was totally in despair, they had no money, mother and children cried the whole time. Achmed was more than surprised as one of the Turkish men took the initiative and collected about DM 300.00 from all the deportees for this poor family. It is almost unbelievable that in spite of the highly tense atmosphere shortly before deportation and the random line-up of the group, such solidarity was achieved.

At around 3.30 p.m., after Achmed had been locked up in the hall for more than 5 hours, the door was opened. A plane waited. About 30 central migration police (BGS) formed a double row from the exit of the hall to the entrance of a bus. Some metres away were more central migration police (BGS) armed with submachine guns. The message was clear: No chance to escape. The bus took the almost 60 deportees to the plane, same scenario - a double row of central migration police (BGS), plenty of racist "good bye's" before the deportees disappeared inside the plane of the Romanian Airline Tarom.

Inside the plane the Romanian security men seemed friendly, but there was nothing to eat. About two hours later at Bucharest airport, everybody had to disembark, escorted by heavily armed Romanian police the Turkish nationals were locked up in a big hall. The Romanians and Lebanese were taken away in different directions. Another hour of waiting in the hall. Communication with the Romanian police was impossible. No food. Even the request for a telephone call to Turkey was denied. The second flight was shorter. At about 8 p.m. the plane with the deportees landed in Istanbul where questioning and interrogation began...

Apart from the man's name not being Achmed, the report states almost accurately the kind of ordeal, as previously described in an interview, that refugees and migrants have to go through every week. Regularly, every Tuesday, such a charter deportation leaves Düsseldorf for Bucharest and often continues to Istanbul, Beirut, Amman.

During the last two to three years more than 10,000 people were thus deported with the Romanian airline Tarom.

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