Five years after German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the country’s borders to refugees from Syria and Iraq, the country has deported migrants in their thousands, Nigerians inclusive.
Many of them are either drugged or placed in physical restraints, the Daily Mail reported.
A Nigerian interviewed in Leipzig, in the east of Germany, William Osaruyi, told the UK-based news site that he first entered Europe through the Italian island of Sardinia, via the dangerous Mediterranean crossing.
“I was sent from Sardinia to the Italian mainland and lived on the streets. There, an Italian man I met bought me a train ticket to Dusseldorf in Germany. He said: ‘Try it’. I thought it would be better,” he narrated.
“I went straight to the German police to claim asylum, and they put me in the Leipzig camp and left me there.
“I was handed my deportation papers. Germany has given me nothing. All I do is hide. I left the camp so they couldn’t send me back and I slept on a friend’s floor.”
It is estimated that 200,000 failed asylum seekers like Osaruyi, illegal entrants, and foreigners convicted of crimes in their own countries or Germany are scheduled to be listed for deportation flights. Many of them came to Germany in 2015 when Merkel indicated the country’s willingness to accept refugees from war-torn Syria.
If German authorities pick up Osaruyi, however, the mode of deportation might be traumatic.
According to the news outlet, the migrants on board deportation planes are outnumbered by hand-picked security officers, many drawn from the police, wearing protective gear to stop attacks.
One such flight that left Leipzig carried 45 Afghans to their capital city of Kabul. The plane had 70 officers on guard throughout. Some of the deportees were forced to wear physical restraints that limit their upper body movement to reduce the threat of violence.
Another migrant, Mohammed Saleh, said he watched an African being carried off like a corpse.
“I watched the police come early one morning. They took an African away to the deportation plane in a police car. They had drugged him to keep him quiet. He was carried off like a corpse and never seen again. I witnessed this with my own eyes,” he said.
Explaining the reasons behind the extreme measure, a German police union chief, Jorg Radek, said recently that many of the deportees are in an ‘exceptional state emotionally’.
Meanwhile, Osaruyi is stock between two walls, as life for illegal African migrants in Germany is not pleasant.
Narrating conditions in Leipzig, where 80 per cent of some 2,000 migrants are Africans, an Iranian who asked not to be named said, “The Germans have let refugees down. They treat us like cattle. They talk to us like two-year-olds, as though we can never be as intelligent as them because we are not Germans.
“They are deporting people daily. Eighty per cent of the 2,000 people in Leipzig’s main migrant camp are African. I now have a flat, but I lived in the camp when I came to Germany.
“The Africans there are afraid. They are paid less than a euro a day by the German government to clean the place. That is modern slavery.”
Despite Merkel’s acceptance of more than a million refugees in 2015, the EU has for over three years now, come together to sponsor different projects aimed at stopping massive migration to the economic bloc.
To stop people coming in through the Mediterranean, the EU has allegedly funded militia groups in Libya to serve as coastguards.
These guards, according to reports, now handle most of the rescue operations on the sea and return the survivors to detention camps, where they are made to wait in horror for an EU-sponsored Assisted Voluntary Return programme flight back to their homeland.
The AVR, which is handled by the International Organisation for Migration, tries to help returnees resettle in their home countries with small business capital.