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Newsletter #16

The German Basic Law Art.1 , obliges the state to respect and protect the dignity of all human beings, Art.2 is about personal freedom, Art.3, is about equality of the law and Art.4, is about freedom of faith and conscience. Therefore, we are taking the 70th anniversary of its entry into force as an opportunity to demand amnesty for a right to stay as a step towards a policy that finally takes these claims seriously.

The basic law in Germany has its 70th anniversary this year and there will be state celebrations.Unfortunately, not everybody living in Germany has the privileges of celebrating or is part of this happening. In fact, many people, including refugees, who could benefit from the consistent implementations of the German Basic Law, which is purportedly supposed to protect everybody without discrimination, are not even aware of their rights.

A right to stay instead of exclusion and illegality”; is a petition on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the German Basic Law initiated by the Fundamental Rights Committee (Grundrechtekomittee) and medico international. We, Women in Exile and Friends are signatory and supporters of this campaign.

Quoting from the petition. “In Germany, hundreds of thousands of people live in existential insecurity – often for years – because they have either only a precarious or no right of residence at all. This state of existential insecurity and lawlessness must be ended. We therefore call on the German Bundestag / Petitions Committee on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Basic Law: Everyone who lives here permanently must be granted the right to stay”.

To mark such occasions many countries give Amnesty to different categories of people including undocumented foreigners living in their countries. This is why; we (Women in Exile and Friends) specifically, call for Amnesty for the asylum seekers and all those with shaky resident status. This will not only compliment the basic law which obliges the state to respect and protect the dignity of all human beings; but also as following on the footsteps of Spain and Italy, European countries which have given amnesty papers indiscriminately to those who were residing in their respective countries. In Spain, there have been six massive regulations between 1996 and 2001; the highest number of amnesty was from the right wing government which gave amnesty to 240,000 people.

Meanwhile in Germany, the asylum laws are changing daily from bad to worse – from the backlash of the Residenzpflicht, racial profiling, vouchers etc. to new mass accommodations in the ANKER centers, proposals of new police laws and the famous Seehofer “Geordnete-Rückkehr-Gesetz” on quick deportations and criminalisation of refugees, supporters and a critical civil society.

The consequences of the living conditions and discriminative refugee laws in Germany can be seen on the rising numberof reported suicide and attempted suicide cases of traumatised refugees living in the lagers.

This is why, we call for solidarity from the civil society to pressurise the Germany politicians and government to fulfil the demands of the Basic Laws Art.1-3, and grant Amnesty for the Right to stay!

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