Vienna, Afghanistan, working for and with people on the run

For all those who accompany, support, observe our work in goodwill and also for those who are directly affected by it, a small cross-section from the last visit to Vienna.

BBU Federal Care Agency #Fairlassen

Very good cooperation between various NGOs that have been working intensively on the loss of independent legal advice for the last year. Together we have tried to make the best out of this terrible situation. The Federal Care Agency provides for people on the run to be accommodated in care centres of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, isolated from NGOs and civil society, and also to be legally represented by it in the asylum procedure. It's like getting divorced and having my ex-partner's lawyer represent me in court. The campaign continues in autumn and will then deal with the issue of "isolation". https://www.

In wonderful cooperation, we have achieved a good step. The Minister of Justice, Dr. Alma Zadic, attaches great importance to mutual appreciation and respect, and Lukas Gahleitner-Gertz, spokesperson of the Asylum Coordination Austria, has had many good discussions with her on behalf of all of us. The result is better than we initially expected. During my visit to Vienna, Lukas Gahleitner-Gertz, Christoph Riedl, Diakonie, Theresa, Amnesty Austria and I, Fairness Asyl, were able to hand over the signatures collected on behalf of all the NGOs and civil society involved. It was a very good appointment. Not only did the Minister of Justice take 1 1/2 hours for us and our concerns, she was also very interested in the other topics such as isolation in the BBU, detention pending deportation, continuation of the already existing NGOs in this area, etc.. We left the ministry with the good feeling of being taken very seriously. A wonderful example of how dialogue and exchange between politics and civil society can work. We would be very happy if other ministers would follow suit.


A very dear family, good friends of mine have taken in a young Afghan whom I am allowed to accompany. He moved in last week. I was also allowed to stay overnight with them, so we had some good hours together, which made it easier to settle in. I left with a happy heart. Thank you!

Another young man from Afghanistan is just finishing school. His father wrote to me looking for tutoring for his son. I met with the boy and was very pleased when I noticed that the young man was very motivated. After my search, my friend and colleague, Jutta Lang from Fairness-Asyl, immediately agreed to support him until he graduates from school. The first learning day has already taken place. A big thank you to Jutta. I have already set the course for an apprenticeship. Great joy!

Meeting with Dr Rasuly/Expert, Afghanistan

Dr Rasuly responded very kindly to my request for an appointment and so we met at Cafe Eiles in Vienna. My very esteemed friend Dr Susanne Scholl accompanied me. Even though we have a different opinion than Dr. Rasuly on some things, it was still a very respectful conversation. Dr Rasuly also sees the deportations to Afghanistan as controversial. We agreed to ask Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for an appointment. There has to be a good dialogue for all of us. Afghans who have fled to us from a high-risk area, go to school here, have apprenticeships, work or are in training, have found friends and families, a good solution must be found for them. Deportations to Afghanistan are not a solution. We will continue to report.


The invitation to a baptism of 2 Afghans was something special. A very solemn moment followed by good conversations with a staff member of the Austrian Bishops' Conference, the godparents, the priest and the two young people. We ended the celebration with a good meal. Also on this topic of "converts", many discussions, open dialogue are still necessary. The respective faith communities check the admission with great responsibility. Sometimes the authorities ask questions about "faith" that are difficult even with a degree in theology. This too must come to an end. 1 year of intensive baptismal preparation, examination by the respective responsible persons must attain a corresponding status. Not least also as respect and appreciation to the faith communities and trust in their actions. We will stay tuned.

Detention pending deportation:

2 meetings in Vienna were devoted to this topic. At the moment there are no deportations to Afghanistan. That is why we are trying to hold talks here as well, together with Asylkoordination Österreich and Diakonie. It is not acceptable that young, blameless Afghans are held in detention pending deportation for weeks on end, while the Federal Ministry of the Interior, despite knowing better, repeatedly sets alleged deportation dates and thus prevents the young people from being released from weeks of detention pending deportation. Being in detention pending deportation is a huge psychological burden. The fears of imminent deportation to the high-risk area of Afghanistan are enormous. This is a situation to which we must not expose young people on the run. I would like to thank all the friends and NGOs who are speaking out against this and are always trying to find a humane solution. I myself am on the phone with a detainee. After telephone conversations with him, my heart is sore and I cannot understand in any way why the issue of Afghanistan is not finally being dealt with in parliament in accordance with the real circumstances in this country.


Tired but satisfied, I returned to Graz at the weekend. Here, too, many tasks are waiting, apprentices, pupils, young people who have been trying to do their best here for years and still have to fear deportation to Afghanistan.

#StopDeportationToAfghanistan #AfghanistanIsNotSafe #HumanRights

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