Collaboration of the Nigerian Embassy in the deportation of Nigerians from Germany
As we, the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants, Munich, have recently learned, the Nigerian Embassy is coming to Munich, Germany, in order to issue ‘travel certificates’ (TC) for Nigerians living in Munich to the end of their deportation from Germany. The Bavarian Foreigners’ Authorities have sent letters summoning Nigerians to attend this hearing with the Nigerian Embassy taking place on Wednesday, the 8th of August in the Munich refugee camp in Tischlerstrasse, and the hearings may well span over several days. The Nigerians summoned are being told that they have to attend in order to have their identity clarified, which means that if they are identified as being a Nigerian citizen, they will be issued a TC which in turn will allow the German authorities to deport them to Nigeria.
We strongly protest this decision of the Nigerian Embassy to neglect their duty to look after the welfare of their citizens abroad and rather collaborate with the German Authorities in order to tear Nigerians living in Bavaria out of their lives here and help to put them, forcefully, on a plane bound to Nigeria. This is not the first time that the Nigerian Embassy has come to Munich Tischlerstrasse. When they held these hearings in 2004, we observed a large number of deportations of Nigerians afterwards. We also want to state plainly that with this decision, the Embassy is assuming responsibility for the inhuman and degrading practice of deportation, a practice that already has lead to numerous deaths. It is not long ago that the Nigerian citizen Osamuyia Aikpitanhi was killed by Spanish officers while being deported from Spain in June 2007. The list of persons killed during a deportation is however much longer.
Since we were informed of the Embassy coming down to Munich, we have addressed them in a letter urging them not to come. We have not received a reply, but through an official, we heard that the Embassy went to consult the ‘Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge’ (the German authority concerned with the issues of flight and migration, BAMF) to ask them what to do. In our opinion, this shows who is giving the orders. Instead of consulting with the relevant authorities in Nigeria how to tackle the issue of providing welfare to all Nigerians abroad (as it is expected of an Embassy), they rather went to consult a German authority infamous for denying the right to stay to many Nigerians, Africans and migrants in general. The Nigerian Embassy claims that there is a German law forcing them to hold this hearings, however it is known to us that various embassies of other countries have stated very clearly that they are not willing to provide such services to the German authorities. We therefore would like to ask about the real motives behind this collaboration. If they were of a personal and economic nature, or of a similar immoral category, the Nigerian Embassy staff would surely have forefeited their right to represent Nigerians abroad.
Given the Embassy’s intransigence, all that remains is public action. We will state our protest in Munich, but we also urge you to send a protest letter, fax or email to the Nigerian Embassy demanding from them to reverse their sinister decision and not to comply with the wishes of the German authorities, wished that only mean the deportation of Nigerians from Germany. Remind the Embassy of their obligations to Nigerian citizens living abroad and let them know that they are acting in a manner that lacks any respect for the Human Rights globally agreed upon.
What you can do
We have prepared a short text that you can use for your protest letter to the Nigerian embassy. Since we need some kind of feedback, we ask you to send us a carbon-copy of your letter.
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and carbon-copy to: email@example.com
Via fax: ++49 (0)30 21230-212 and carbon-copy to: ++49 (0)89 762236
Via mail: Nigerian Embassy, Neue Jacobstraße 4, 10179 Berlin, Germany and carbon-copy to: Caravane Munich, c/o EineWeltHaus, Schwanthaler Str. 80, 80336 München, Germany
Sample text protest letter
Your Excellency Ambassador Abdul-Kadir Bin Rimdap,
with great distress I have learned of the decision of the Nigerian Embassy to travel to Munich, Bavaria around the 8th of August 2007 in order to issue travel certificates to Nigerians living in Bavaria whose sole purpose is to facilitate the deportation of these people. This is a cruel fate for the victims of such practices, and it in stark contrast with my view that the Nigerian Mission should have an interest in the welfare of all Nigerian citizens living abroad. The dishonourable circumstances under which such a hearing takes place clearly constitute a humiliation of those whose welfare you should have a personal interest in and thus, any kind of such cooperation is prohibitive.
I believe that such an action would have severe consequences which are incompatible even with your interests.
As experience has showed, a large number of Nigerians will be deported from Germany, Nigerians that have established a living here and are often providing vital support to their families at home and their country in general. During this deportation, the people concerned are exposed to the risk of stress, harrassment, maltreatment and even death, as it has recently occured during the deportation of Osamuyia Aikpitanhi, who was gagged and choked to death by Spanish officers, an event that sparked outrage of Nigerians all over the world. If the Embassy were to engage in this activity, you become an accomplice in the inhuman practice of deportation and assume co-responsibility for the death and sufferings of those being deported.
Please do also consider that the relations between Nigerians living in Germany and the Embassy will suffer. Already in the years prior to 2007, Nigerians have experienced the Embassy as a mere extension of the German government because of such activities. As a result, the reoccurence of distrust and fear can be anticipated if such a delegation were to come to Bavaria for said purpose. This consequence can clearly not be in your interest.
I therefore ask you to reconsider your decision and to rather care for the welfare of all Nigerians living in Germany. Don’t send the Embassy delegation to Munich. Refuse to collaborate with the German authorities whose sole aim is the forceful deportation of so many Nigerians living in Germany, a decision taken by many embassies in Germany.
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