Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
July 12, 2018
A German minister known for strong antimigrant rhetoric is under pressure to resign over the suicide of a failed Afghan asylum seeker after he was deported from Germany.
Germany’s opposition parties called on Interior Minister Horst Seehofer to step down a day after Afghan authorities said a 23-year-old migrant killed himself in Kabul on July 10.
His death came after Germany sent 69 asylum seekers back to Afghanistan on July 4.
The man was forcibly returned to Afghanistan after spending eight years in Germany, according to Afghan migration officials.
Seehofer, an anti-immigration hardliner, welcomed the deportations of the asylum seekers, noting that the 69 Afghans had left on his 69th birthday.
“Exactly 69 were taken back to Afghanistan on my 69th birthday – it wasn’t on my orders,” Seehofer said with a smile on July 10.
Seehofer said on July 11 that the man’s death was “deeply regrettable, and we should deal with it in a factual and respectful manner.”
Asked about calls for him to resign, he said: “I have nothing to say to that.”
Gyde Jensen of the Free Democrats party said Seehofer’s comments showed he was in the “wrong job,” while Jan Korte of the Die Linke party said it was “high time for Seehofer to go.”
Seehofer has been waging a battle within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition for tighter immigration controls.
Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters