Joint detention of deportation detainees and prisoners unlawfully. – Lower Saxony Refugee Council

In Lower Saxony, prisoners were recently imprisoned in the deportation detention center. The joint detention of deportation detainees and prisoners is illegal, say the Hanover District and Regional Court. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has the final say on this.

The European Court of Justice ruled in 2014 in a proceeding against the Federal Republic of Germany that detainees awaiting deportation may not be detained in penal institutions and not together with detainees, but must always be housed in special detention facilities. Nevertheless, the black-red federal government suspended this separation requirement in August 2019 with the so-called “Orderly Return Act” until June 30, 2022. Accordingly, it should now be sufficient to accommodate detainees detained for deportation separately from detainees (Section 62 subs. 1 sentence 1 AufenthG).

On the basis of this newly created regulation, the Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice detained prisoners in a building on the premises of the central deportation detention center in Langenhagen until October 2, 2020.

Muzaffer Öztürkyilmaz, advisor to the Lower Saxony Refugee Council:

“We are disappointed that Justice Minister Havliza has broken her promise to only detain detainees in prison in Langenhagen. Instead of restoring empty buildings for a lot of money in order to detain prisoners, investments should be made in improving the prison conditions for detainees awaiting deportation. “

In the opinion of the Hanover District Court, the joint detention of prisoners detained and detainees awaiting deportation violates Article 16 of the so-called Return Directive, which is why it submitted various questions to the European Court of Justice on October 22, 2020, which now has to decide on them.

Lawyer Peter Fahlbusch (Hanover):

“The federal government justified the suspension of the separation requirement with the fact that there were too few deportation detention places. The question arises what kind of emergency deportation detention center is supposed to be when entire buildings in deportation detention centers are empty, so that there is even space there for the detention of prisoners. “

The Hanover Regional Court made it easier for another procedure and simply decided on October 12, 2020 that the ordered detention was unlawful because in Langenhagen “in addition to the execution of deportation detention, prison sentences were also executed”.

The two prisoners, in whose proceedings the decision of the local and regional court was made, are still detained. Since the prisoners were relocated on October 2, 2020, the courts do not believe that there is anything against their further detention.

For questions:

Lawyer Peter Fahlbusch – 0511 600 60 30 – fahlbusch@lsfw.de

Refugee Council Lower Saxony – Muzaffer Öztürkyilmaz – 0511 98 24 60 38 – moy@nds-fluerat.org

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