By refusing to follow “illegal” deportation orders, did Lufthansa pilots manage to perform a so-called “Christmas Miracle” in the course of 2017?
By: Ringo Bones
According to Deutsche Welle – in the course of 2017, German pilots stopped 222 planned flights whose purpose were to repatriate Afghan asylum seekers back to their home country they are fleeing from, Last year, the European Union signed a so-called deal with Kabul – which many saw as “Hitlerian” – to start deporting asylum seekers back to so-called “safe areas” in Afghanistan, which instantly drew criticism from human rights groups such as Pro Asyl. Amnesty International said nearly 10,000 Afghans are at risk of torture, kidnapping and death in their home country.
The majority of the stopped flights, 85, came from Germany’s main airline Lufthansa and its subsidiary Eurowings. Around 140 refusals occurred at Germany’s largest airport – Frankfurt Airport. Some 40 took place at Dusseldorf Airport where Pro Asyl and other campaigners staged the #WelcomeUnited protest against deportation of asylum seekers. A spokesman for Lufthansa Michael Lamberty, told local Westdeutsche Allegeimeine Zeitung that pilots sometimes had to cancel flights due to security reasons.
In 2017 so far, Germany had processed more asylum applications to a total of 388, 201 – more than any of the other EU countries concerned, according to the German immigration office Bundesamt fϋr Migration und Flϋchtlinge. About 210,000 of these requests have been rebounded, but they usually are accepted in appeal case. Given that this all happened in the course of 2017 but the news report only came out about 20 days ago, many had labeled the actions of the German pilots refusing such “Hitlerian” deportation orders as a “Christmas Miracle”.