10 July 2009 – After the deportation, last Thursday, of Semsi R., a 41-year old Roma man, whose family went into hiding, the Land Niedersachsen is now obviously set to deport another Roma family to Kosovo. According to the regional refugee organisation, Flüchtlingsrat Niedersachsen, family B. from Wolfenbüttel has been informed by the local immigration service, that it will be deported next Tuesday.
So far, only a few cases have become publicly known, where Roma have been forcibly deported from Germany to Kosovo, but according to the UNHCR in Berlin, there are many. Moreover, several hundreds of Roma in Niedersachsen and Hessen and probably also in other parts of Germany, have received letters from the competent authorities dealing with immigration asking them to return to Kosovo on a voluntary basis.
Behind this invitation is the threat of being forcibly returned to Kosovo in case of non-compliance. This threat has become more real, since the Kosovo authorities have taken over the responsibilities in the field of readmission from UNMIK, in November, last year.
While UNMIK used to oppose to the readmission of Roma on the basis of the UNHCR position, according to which the security of Roma in Kosovo is still at risk, the Kosovo authorities have recently agreed to readmit any forced returnee from Germany provided the person can be assumed of Kosovo origin.
Refugee organisations in Germany expect a growing number of forced repatriations of Roma in the coming weeks.
See also: Flüchtlingsrat Niedersachsen: Offener Brief an Innenminister Uwe Schünemann: Abschiebestopp für Roma, 10 July 2009 (in German)
Roma-Familie steht vor der Abschiebung, Newsclick, 11 July 2009
Gericht: Familie darf abgeschoben werden, newsclick.de, 14. Juli 2009
P.S.: After the negative decision of the Supreme Administrative Court of Niedersächsen in Lüneburg, which rejected the appeal of their lawyer, who pointed out at the severe handicap of the 17-year-old son of the family, on 13 July 2009, (see Gericht: Familie darf abgeschoben werden), family B. was deported via Frankfurt to Pristina, the next day.