German Chancellor Olaf Scholz addresses the German parliament 'Bundestag' in Berlin, Germany, 06 June 2024. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN


Scholz wants to deport migrant criminals ‘to Afghanistan and Syria’


In reaction to a brutal knife attack in Mannheim during which a police officer was fatally stabbed in the neck, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he wanted stricter deportation policies targeting criminal migrants.

Scholz said in the German Parliament on June 6 that serious criminals “should be deported – even if they come from Syria and Afghanistan”.

“In such cases, Germany’s security interest outweighs the perpetrator’s interest in protection.”

Referring to the May 31 mass stabbing attack, Scholz said: “Anyone who exploits our protection, like the perpetrator in Mannheim, has forfeited our protection. There’s zero tolerance for that.”

According to media reports, a 25-year-old Afghan man carried out the assault in Mannheim, targeting Islam critic Michael Stürzenberger and his companions. Six people were stabbed, including one police officer who later died of his injuries.

Scholz decried the attack as a form of terror.

He did not provide further details on how such deportations would be organised but said the Federal Ministry of the Interior was seeking “legally and practically viable ways” of implementing the plan.

Scholz said the ministry was already in talks with officials in Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries.

Currently, both the German Constitution and the Geneva Refugee Convention state that foreigners cannot be deported if they are threatened with torture, death or other inhumane treatment in their home country.

Scholz also announced that celebrating and glorifying terrorist attacks would no longer be tolerated.

He added that deportation procedures would be tightened so that supporting terrorist offences would constitute justification for expulsion from Germany.

“Anyone who supports terrorism goes against all of our beliefs and should be deported,” he said.

The Chancellor declared that criminal law would be strengthened so that “anyone who kills a police officer must be punished in the most severe way”.

But Scholz also warned against people using the situation to target the 23 million people with a migrant background in Germany.

“People with a migrant background are part of our society – we will not allow ourselves to be divided,” he said.

“Everyone must be able to live in our country without fear of their fellow human beings, that is the central promise of our constitutional State. And we are enforcing this promise with all our might.

“We declare war on terror, it wants to spread fear and terror,” the Chancellor added.

“Those who want to attack our freedom and peace must be afraid. Anyone who does that has me and the federal government as their most determined opponent.”

The two opposition parties most critical of mass migration, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and the Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance (BSW), pushed back.

Leaders of both stressed that the alleged terrorist had resided in Germany illegally for a decade, receiving taxpayers’ money. AfD co-leader Alice Weidel called the latest case “a model example of this progressive government’s policies”.

Sahra Wagenknecht meanwhile noted on Welt TV: “No one can explain to me why he [the alleged attacker] could not have been deported to Afghanistan.”

As an Islamist, she added, he would certainly not have been persecuted by the Taliban.

The Greens — whom are in coalition with Scholz — have meanwhile denounced the plan, claiming that it would involve Germany recognising the legitimacy of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the Assad government in Syria.