Germany lifts ban on deportations of Syrian refugees involved in terrorism and crimes

BERLIN – As of January 2021, Germany will start deporting Syrian refugees believed to be threatening the country’s security, Deputy Interior Minister Hans-Georg Engelke announced. The deportations will especially aim those involved in terrorism, war crimes, and criminal acts.

The decision was announced after a telephone conference of 16 Länder Interior Ministers. The lifting of the ban was only rejected by Coalition partner the Social Democratic Party. The SPD sharply criticized the lifting saying that merciful Germany, which received more than a million refugees at the height of the Syrian crisis between 2015-2016, would become the first country in the European Union to cancel the ban on deportation.

The current ban on deportations to war-torn Syria, introduced in 2012 after the outbreak of the Syrian war, is set to expire at the end of this year.