Deportation by any means - How the authorities in Bavaria were defeated by the resistance of a refugee

You will have to admit that Abdallah Fathelrahman is a special case. And, the minister of the interior in Bavaria is known to take challenges personally, especially when the incidents take place in his home town. That somebody who fights against his/her deportation should have success is beyond common comprehension in Bavaria.

Abdallah Fathelrahman, who is a rejected refugee from Sudan was able to prevent his deportation with Lufthansa for three times. At the first attempt it was enough for him to resist his deportation. At the second time, a small fight broke out on the plane with the escorting officers and the deportation was stopped after one of the officers fell on another passenger. The third deportation attempt ended in November 1998 at the airport in Frankfurt/Main, following the vehement resistance of Abddallah. He fought against his deportation, despite being tied up and wearing a helmet. After 6 more months in detention, he had spent 11 months in detention alltogether and was released on 30 June 1999. The Aministrative Court had stopped the deportation order, following medical certificates that Abdallah was suicidal. Also, at that moment in time, no more accompanied deportations to Sudan were possible. Consequently Abdallah received his temporary residence permit.

But the ministry of the interior in Bavaria did not give up. They chartered a private jet for 19 November, together with several escorts and one doctor, so as to go ahead with Abdallah's deportation. Abdallah received a notice on 12 November that his temporary residence permit was to be revoced and he was given a four day period to draft a statement. But before the end of this period, Abdallah was overwhelmed at his home and put into prison. The police doctor noted that Abdallah showed an obvious psychological risk, but he found that a deportation with strict security and medical escort would not cause any problems.

In the meantime, an international campaign had formed in support of Abdallah. The case became unexpectedly high profile, when the magistrate responsible explained that he was biased and declared publicly that the Interior Ministry had pressured him since June 1999 to extend the warrant. It was probably the public awareness, which was caused through the above mentioned scandal, that caused the Administrative Court in Ansbach to stop the deportation one evening before the flight was to depart.

The result is a big setback for the Bavarian government, tens of thousands of Marks of expenses and a temporary right of residence for Abdallah, who has also received 'Eilrechtschutz' legal protection in his asylum process, due to the high public profile of his case. But despite all the joy of success, Abdallah himself has lost out, suffering a heavy re-traumatisation following the many violent assaults and long detention periods. The only thing Abdallah wants now is to get out of Bavaria as soon as possible and to head towards a safe state of refuge. The case of Abdallah is only one example for the hypocracy of the Office for Foreigners and other ministries, especially when it comes to the deportation of rejected refugees. And despite the setback, the high expenses and the damaged image the Bavarian deporters received, they still hold on to the idea of proceeding with deportations in charter flights.

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