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France expels four Afghan asylum seekers to Bulgaria, lawyers fear “deportation to Afghanistan”

Bulgaria “has not suspended removals to Afghanistan, despite the Taliban takeover,” worries the Strasbourg bar.

Has France put Afghans “vulnerable” in danger ? The Strasbourg Bar Association denounced, Tuesday, September 28, the expulsion of four Afghan asylum seekers to Bulgaria, “from where they risk a return to Afghanistan”. Bulgaria “did not suspend removals to Afghanistan, despite the Taliban takeover”, worries the bar.

President of the Bar Christian Kruger accuses the Bas-Rhin prefecture of having acted “in defiance of a court decision”. On Sunday, a judge ordered the release of the four men placed in an administrative detention center. The prosecution appealed against this decision and a hearing at the Colmar Court of Appeal was scheduled for Monday afternoon.

“But without even waiting for the court hearing, the prefecture services forced the Afghan detainees at dawn on Monday morning to take the plane to Bulgaria”, according to Christina Kruger. “The Bar is indignant that the administration, despite the generous effects of announcements, is thus removing vulnerable Afghan nationals”, she added.

Asked, the prefecture assured that “the appeal of the prosecution (was) suspensive, which allows this operation to be carried out legally”. Asked about the guarantees that Bulgaria will not send these asylum seekers back to Afghanistan, the prefecture did not respond.

At the end of August, the city of Strasbourg had welcomed a hundred Afghan asylum seekers fleeing the Taliban regime. “The care of these Afghan nationals is fully in the tradition of welcoming our country, as well as in compliance with our laws and regulations”, declared Josiane Chevalier, the prefect of Bas-Rhin.

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