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Chancellor Scholz says Germany will deport 'serious' criminals even to high-risk countries

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during a Bundestag German Parliament session in Berlin Thursday, June 6, 2024.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during a Bundestag German Parliament session in Berlin Thursday, June 6, 2024. Copyright Sabina Crisan/(c) Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten
Copyright Sabina Crisan/(c) Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten
By Tamsin PaternosterAbby Chitty with AP
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The German chancellor's comments on toughening up deportation policy come after a series of violent incidents in the country, including a stabbing at a far-right rally in Mannheim.

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German chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed on Thursday to deport criminals convicted of serious crimes back to their home countries, including high-risk ones such as Syria and Afghanistan.

“Such criminals should be deported — even if they come from Syria and Afghanistan. Serious criminals and terrorist threats have no place here," Scholz said in a speech made to the Bundestag.

He added that Germany's Federal Ministry of the Interior was already looking for ways to legally implement his remarks into policy, saying, "Germany's interest in security outweighs the perpetrator's interest in protection."

The SPD politician added that those who glorify and celebrate terrorist crimes would also face deportation, concluding, "we will tighten our deportation regulations so that even condoning terrorist offences is followed by a serious interest in deportation."

His comments are a marked change in policy following a spate of violent incidents in the southwestern German city of Mannheim.

A policeman was stabbed and later killed on Friday after a man injured five participants who attended a rally organised by the anti-Islam movement Pax Europa.

People attend a rally under the motto 'Mannheim sticks together' in Mannheim Germany, Monday, June 3, 2024.
People attend a rally under the motto 'Mannheim sticks together' in Mannheim Germany, Monday, June 3, 2024.Uli Deck/(c) Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten

The suspected perpetrator is a 25-year-old man who migrated from Afghanistan to Germany in 2013 and had legal residence in the country.

Scholz's pronounced rhetoric on deportation follows campaigning by the far-right Alternative for Germany party in days following the attack, who have seized the opportunity to criticise the government's immigration policies.

The chancellor's ruling coalition, which includes the SPD, Greens, and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), has previously said it would take a tougher stance on migration after passing a law in January that would make it easier for authorities to deport migrants whose claims for asylum have been rejected.

Germany stopped deportations to Afghanistan in 2021 following the Taliban's takeover of power.

Other German political parties, such as the Greens, have resisted the suggestion, pointing to Afghanistan's poor record of human rights.

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