Iraqi Christian Refugees Abuse Czech Solidarity and Exit to Germany

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© AFP 2016/ Bulent Kilic
A group of 25 Iraqi refugees refused asylum in the Czech Republic (CR) and headed to Germany. Half of them have already received asylum in Germany for religious reasons, while the others, who were refused protection, have vanished after being told to return to the CR.

Under the “Generace 21” relocation program, 25 Iraqi Christians abused Czech generosity by moving to Germany in the beginning of April, according to Czech information agency CTK.

Instated of staying in the CR as agreed, the refugee group crossed the German border in a privately hired bus.Five refugees filled in an asylum request, claiming that they have close family ties in Germany.

On July 17, alternative protection was provided to 17 persons from Iraq by the Evangelical Brotherhood, so-called “Bohemian Brethren,” in the Saxon town Gangelt.

According to statistics published by Asyl in der Kirche, an organization that grants asylum status to Christian refugees, church protection gives a certain guarantee to people that they can stay in Germany in the future.

According to Germany, the migrants must return to the CR as Czech authorities are responsible for proving them with asylum. The fact that they vanished has proven problematic for the Berlin, especially as political pressure over the migration program is mounting.

“We were not able to track them down. They just disappeared,” said the representative of Federal Office for Migration and refugee, Edith Avram.  “But they will be eventually found and deported back to CR.”

If within six months, Iraqi refugees will not attain an asylum status for religious reasons, Germany automatically becomes responsible for refugee asylum provision.The Bohemian Brethren have not commented on the situation. The brotherhood believes that the key issue now is to ensure the protection of refugees, who were afraid that the CR could send them back to Iraq.

Last December 2015, the CR agreed to accept 153 Iraqi Christian refugees, who left areas controlled by Daesh, but only 89 migrants have so far arrived to the country.