Germany wants to stop migrants. So they put up a sign. No, I’m not kidding

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My how Germany has fallen.

Captain Blackadder once explained that the Germans have no word for fluffy…meaning they were tough.

Well, they used to be tough, now they are as soft as pudding.

As a result of the persistent influx of Afghan refugees into Germany, a new campaign has been launched asking potential refugees to think twice before they embark on their perilous journeys.

The German embassy in Afghanistan started the campaign in Kabul and other major cities last week highlighting the dangers involved in undertaking risky journeys to Europe.

Billboards in the streets pose questions like, “Leaving Afghanistan? Are you sure?” and “Leaving Afghanistan? Think about it again”, in the country’s two main languages, Pashto and Dari.

But critics say the campaign is expected to do little to deter Afghans determined to leave in search of safety and protection.

“I know we cannot trust human traffickers who promise us an easy trip and a better life in Germany, but I will still take the risk. My family is not safe here. I am not safe,” Basir Karimi, a 22-year-old belonging to the Hazara minority, told Al Jazeera.    

“In Afghanistan, I can say at least for us [Hazara] it is hell. We can’t even travel easily and are scared about being kidnapped, then slaughtered like animals. This has happened before and recently as well.”

The Hazara community has long suffered oppression and persecution in Afghanistan. During the 1990s, thousands were killed by al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

Earlier this month, seven Hazara were found dead in Zabul province after being abducted in neighbouring Ghazni up to six months earlier. The group, including a child, were beheaded with razor wire.

The German campaign uses a hashtag, #RumoursAboutGermany, encouraging Afghans on Twitter to stay back.

“Germany [is] not withdrawing support for Afghanistan. New disaster prevention projects [underway],” said one of the tweets under @GermanyinAFG account which is the official Twitter account of the German embassy in Kabul.

Thomas Ruttig, a German researcher based in Kabul and the co-director of the Afghan Analysts Network, said the campaign aims to deflate rumours about Europe circulating among would-be refugees.

“The German government tries to undermine rumours that all refugees will automatically find a better life in Germany through this campaign. The Afghans need to know this [is not true],” Ruttig told Al Jazeera.

“However, many Afghans who are determined might still go anyway, regardless of this campaign. It’s a hostile situation here, security-wise and economically.”

A far better way would be to tell prospective immigrants that there will be no bludging in Germany, no welfare and they will have to work for any assistance they are given. That would halt it overnight.

Oh…and apply it to those sitting in tents getting ready for winter too.

 

– Al Jazeera


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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