Alleged corruption scandal in Bremen used to restrict right to asylum in Germany


Alleged corruption scandal in Bremen used to restrict right to asylum in Germany

Martin Kreickenbaum

26 April 2018

Rumours about alleged cases of corruption in the German city of Bremen during decisions on applications for asylum have been used over recent days to launch a right-wing campaign against supposedly unlawfully-issued asylum decisions and to further curtail the already heavily restricted right to asylum. A closer inspection shows that the accusations are groundless.

The floodgates were opened by a report published last Friday morning in the daily Süddeutsche zeitung, and broadcasters NDR and Radio Bremen. Under the sensationalist title “Suspicions of wide-ranging corruption scandal at the Federal Office for Immigration and Refugees,” the nominally liberal Süddeutsche reported in its online edition that the head of the Federal Office’s Bremen division “allegedly granted asylum in around 2,000 cases” between 2013 and 2017 “although the legal prerequisites were not present.”

The incident, which the Bild tabloid blew up into a “major corruption scandal,” was not even a storm in a teacup. In reality, the case does not involve any corruption, since the head of the Bremen office neither received money nor benefits in kind for herself or a third party, or any “unlawfully” issued positive asylum decisions.

Those involved in the overwhelming majority of the cases being called into question are members of the Yazidi religious group who were forced to flee Syria and Iraq, and are guaranteed a right to protection under German asylum law.

The Yazidis, who lived in northern Syria and Iraq, were brutally persecuted during the early stages of the advances of the so-called Islamic State, which was initially backed by the imperialist powers,…

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