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KLM assists in deportations to Congo

On Wednesday the 21st July 1999 KLM and Kenya Airways will be taking part in the deportation of a group of Congolese refugees from Germany to Congo. Of the Congolese people who are resident in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein some 60 are threatened with deportation. 4 of them live in Kiel, 5 in Lubeck, 50 in Pinneberg and one or two others in Neumunster.

The refugees will be deported on flight KL1784 from Hamburg to Amsterdam(arrival 18.25 hours at Schipol) and Kenya Airways flight KQ 117 (departure 22.00 from Schipol). This deportation is remarkable when the situation in Congo is considered. The unstable situation there makes it impossible to guarantee a safe return to the country. The Interior Ministry of Schleswig-Holstein has sent a letter to the Mayor and councillors of various local concils concerning the deportations. In the letter the insecurity of the situation in Congo is reported. A special investigator on human rights from the United Nations has reported random arrests, ethnic cleansing and arbitrary justice. Germany is not the only country that is sending refugees back to Congo.

In both Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg refugee groups are considering protesting against the imminent deportation. In the Netherlands the Autonoom Centrum is directing its activities towards KLM. A poster called 'Outrageous return flight' that refers to the airline's role in deportations from the Netherlands has been produced and is available from the Autonoom Centrum and is also to be found on it's website.

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