Germany evicts Afghan refugees to make way for Ukrainians
Berlin is evicting refugees from Afghanistan from their houses to put up refugees from Ukraine in their stead.
Afghan refugees living in Germany after the NATO withdrawal that left their country in shambles are now being evicted from their homes in order to make way for newly arriving refugees from Ukraine, according to Foreign Policy.
Hundreds of Afghans have received eviction notices from authorities over this period, with some being ordered to leave within 24 hours, without any questions or negotiation.
“The evictions purposefully weren’t publicized. Some people had lived in their homes for years and were ripped out of their social structures, including children who were moved to locations far from their respective schools,” said Tareq Alaows, a board member of the Berlin Refugee Council.
Germany is justifying these evictions by claiming that the Afghans were evicted from what authorities are calling "arrival centers" where they should supposedly be staying for a short term. However, some families have been living there for years, while others were living in places other than arrival centers.
“Few people’s living conditions improved, but most were afraid to speak up, afraid it could impact their immigration status,” Alaows said, explaining that around 10 residences had been emptied in Berlin.
Some of these families have had to move multiple times since being evicted, while Germany only offered apologies to the refugees, claiming Ukrainians needed a roof over their heads and a bed, and that the evicted Afghans were given other "permanent" accommodation of equivalent quality.
According to Foreign Policy, this is not the case for many of these families, who have been forced to stay in places for people who are "involuntarily homeless", and many do not know how long they will be allowed to stay there.
The number of Afghans who arrived in Germany after the Taliban's takeover is roughly 12,000, while the country has registered close to 60,000 Ukrainians fleeing the war.
One Afghan refugee who has been relocated three times so far said, “When images first emerged from Ukraine, I cried for its people. I know war and its horrors. I still cry for them. I just ask that we’re all treated the same. Refugee is refugee.”