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Old 10-08-2007, 06:27 AM   #1
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Deportations of foreign families in Austria

Platter, another fucking criminal in the interior ministry, read this
What a Nazi country I´m living in.. everything full of brown shit.

VIENNA, Austria: The deportation began at dawn.

The Milicis — a family from Kosovo with six young children — lived in Austria since 2005 but were forced to leave this week after authorities rejected their asylum application and their request to stay on humanitarian grounds.

When they didn't go voluntarily, police arrived unannounced at the family's front door early one morning late last month. On Tuesday, they were put on a flight back to the Balkans.

Residents of Peggau, the southern Austrian village the Milicis had called home, had petitioned for them to stay. Appeals to Interior Minister Guenther Platter and other top officials in their favor by Peggau Mayor Werner Rois and Styria Governor Franz Voves also were ignored.

"It's so disappointing — the family was fully integrated and the children were so smart and well-behaved," Rois said. "I don't understand it."

Recent deportations of well-integrated foreigners such as the Milicis have sparked countrywide calls for a more humane approach to people who seek asylum in Austria and often try to stay on when their applications are rejected.

The fate of the Zogaj family from Frankenburg, Upper Austria, has also captured the attention of the Alpine republic in recent days.

The father and four of his five children were deported to Kosovo late last month. But 15-year-old Arigona fled and threatened to commit suicide unless her family is reunited in Austria.

In a video message that surfaced Friday, Arigona — who has been in hiding for 10 days — reiterated she would rather kill herself than go back to Kosovo, where, she said, the only person she knows is her grandmother and her prospects for the future are slim.

"I just want us to be able to continue to live here," Arigona, her voice breaking, said in the video given to Austrian broadcaster ORF. The video shows her sitting in a corner against a white wall in an undisclosed location. Police have said they think she may be at a friend's home.

Arigona's father came to Austria in 2001; his wife and children joined him the following year. Authorities rejected their application for asylum several years ago but the family stayed on — until the police came to pick them up.

In an interview with the Vienna weekly Falter newspaper, Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, a Social Democrat, deemed the recent deportation of the Zogaj family as "cruel" and said it didn't make sense to send people back home who have lived in Austria for a long time and made efforts to integrate.

Heinz Patzelt, secretary-general of the Austrian branch of Amnesty International, called on authorities to respect Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights that states everyone has the right to respect for his or her private and family life.

"You can't tear families apart or uproot people like this," Patzelt said.

But Platter, a conservative, maintains that while Austria provides asylum to foreigners who are truly in need of protection, it must say no when there is no adequate proof of persecution.

"A politician can't fall over every time the wind blows," Platter told Austrian radio this week.

The crux of the issue is an immigration law that took effect in January 2006 and sets stricter guidelines on qualifying for residency.

While Platter and other proponents claim it has helped reduce the number of applications for asylum and slowed immigration, opponents say it causes inhumane hardship by uprooting people who, in some cases, have lived in Austria for years.

The Interior Ministry claims that the number of people deported has declined since the law took effect. While 4,090 deportations were carried out last year, 1,535 people were expelled from the country in the first half of 2007, it said.

The recent deportations have called attention to the fact that it often takes years for asylum applications to be processed. At the end of August, decisions related to 33,943 cases were outstanding, Interior Ministry statistics show.

In a recent TV interview, Platter acknowledged the backlog was a problem and has proposed the creation of a special tribunal to deal with asylum applications. He has also said he wants applications to be dealt with within a year.

"This situation doesn't leave me cold," Platter said.

But it remains to be seen if much will change.

All political parties — except for the Greens, voted in favor of the law in 2005. Even back then, NGOs had warned about its potentially cruel consequences. On Wednesday, Austria's parliament meets for a special session to debate the deportations.

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Old 10-08-2007, 09:45 AM   #2
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This shouldn't be happening.
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